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The Boston Globe

Gus Solomons Jr. '61, a “groundbreaking force in modern dance” has died at 84, reports Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. “Teacher, student, dancer, and choreographer, [Solomons Jr.] was based in New York City and commuted to Boston to spend each Tuesday teaching,” writes Marquard. “Performances with numerous dance groups in both cities packed his calendar, even before he made history as the first Black member of the legendary Merce Cunningham Dance Company.”

The Boston Globe

Research by Alden Cheng PhD ‘23 “suggests that big college football games in October 2016 distracted voters from seeing fake news stories that favored Donald Trump,” reports Kevin Lewis for The Boston Globe. “Counties around colleges that played a big game in that month had fewer online searches for pro-Trump fake-news-related terms and had lower percentages of votes for Trump than would otherwise have been expected, given other political demographics,” writes Lewis.

New York Times

Gus Solomons Jr. ’61, “a leading figure in modern and postmodern dance,” has died at 84, reports Gia Kourlas for The New York Times. Solomons began dancing at age 4, but didn’t begin training until he was a first year student at MIT, where he earned a degree in architecture. “Over his long career, Mr. Solomons danced with many companies and many choreographers, including Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham,” Kourlas notes. “He broke ground as the first Black dancer to join the Cunningham company.”

Fast Company

Ali Khademhosseini PhD ’05 founded Omeat, a cell-cultivated meat startup, which aims to provide sustainable meat without sacrificing an animal, reports Larissa Zimberoff for Fast Company. “Omeat takes cell biopsies from their cows and uses that to grow muscle cells in the lab, in steel-tank bioreactors that allow the cells to proliferate,” explains Zimberoff.


Undergraduate student Isabella Struckman and Sofie Kupiec ’23 reached out to the first hundred signatories of the Future of Life Institute’s open letting calling for a pause on AI development to learn more about their motivations and concerns, reports Will Knight for Wired. “The duo’s write-up of their findings reveals a broad array of perspectives among those who put their name to the document,” writes Knight. “Despite the letter’s public reception, relatively few were actually worried about AI posing a looming threat to humanity.”


Vaikkunth Mugunthan MS ’19 PhD ‘22 and Christian Lau MS ’20, PhD ’22 co-founded DynamoFL – a software company that “offers software to bring large language models (LLMs) to enterprise and fine-tune those models on sensitive data,” reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “Generative AI has brought to the fore new risks, including the ability for LLMs to ‘memorize’ sensitive training data and leak this data to malicious actors,” says Mugunthan. “Enterprises have been ill-equipped to address these risks, as properly addressing these LLM vulnerabilities would require recruiting teams of highly specialized privacy machine learning researchers to create a streamlined infrastructure for continuously testing their LLMs against emerging data security vulnerabilities.”

The Boston Globe

Ivan Sutherland PhD ’63, whose work “laid some of the foundations of the digital world that surrounds us today,” speaks with Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner about the importance of fun and play in advancing technological research. “You’re no good at things you think aren’t fun,” Sutherland said. If you want to expand the scope of what’s possible today, he noted, “you need to play around with stuff to understand what it will do, and what it won’t do.”


Sean Hunt MS ’13 PhD ’16 co-founded Solugen, a startup working to develop industrial chemicals with environmentally friendly ingredients, reports David H. Freedman for Newsweek. “The company's goals over the next seven years are to reduce the carbon emissions released by industry into the environment by an amount equivalent to eliminating 2 million cars, and to make enough bioplastic to get rid of 5 billion non-degradable plastic bottles,” writes Freedman.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman speaks with alumnus Jeremy Wertheimer, co-founder of ITA Software, about the state of AI innovation in the Greater Boston area, reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “Back in the day, we called it good old-fashioned AI,” says Wertheimer. “But the future is to forget all that clever coding. You want to have an incredibly simple program with enough data and enough computing power.”


A number of MIT alumni including Elaheh Ahmadi, Alexander Amini, and Jose Amich have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Local Boston list.

The Boston Globe

Jeff Heglie ’85 co-founded For Bitter For Worse, a zero-proof spirits company focused on bringing non-alcoholic cocktails to market, reports Ann Trieger Kurland for The Boston Globe. “They have won medals for their drinks, which are crafted like spirits,” writes Kurland. “Herbs and botanicals are first macerated in alcohol to extract their flavors, then they use a still to remove the alcohol in a process Heglie, an MIT graduate, calls ‘reverse bootlegging.’ Natural ingredients — organic roots and juices, fruit peels, spices, and more — are blended into the robust base to add layers of flavor.”


Merritt Jenkins MBA '21 co-founded Kodama Systems, a startup developing a semiautonomous timber harvesting machine to remove tree and debris from forests and bury them in an effort to help combat global warming, reports Christopher Helman for Forbes. “Scientists say burying trees can reduce global warming as well—particularly if those trees would otherwise end up burning or decaying, spewing their stored carbon into the air,” writes Helman.


At CSAIL’s Imagination in Action event, CSAIL research affiliate and MIT Corporation life member emeritus Bob Metcalfe '69 showcased how the many individual bits of innovation that emerged from the Telnet Protocol later become the foundation for email, writes Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, for Forbes. “Looking ahead to the future of connectivity, Metcalfe spoke of the challenges of limited network bandwidth, and the importance of keeping connectivity firmly in mind when developing any new computing technologies,” writes Rus.

Times Higher Education

MIT has been ranked among the top universities with the most successful start-up founders according to a new survey, reports Patrick Jack for Times Higher Education.


GBH reporter Megan Smith spotlights Open Style Lab, a nonprofit founded at MIT that aims to make fashion more accessible. Yasmin Keats, executive director of Open Style Lab, notes that the organization was founded in 2014 at MIT’s International Design Center to “show what was possible in fashion. We also looked at the importance of design and style and how it can change not only the way that you see yourself — but also looked at how it can be a vehicle to change the way that the world views disability.”