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NASA astronaut Christopher Williams PhD '12 shares his excitement over the upcoming solar eclipse with Elizabeth Howell, noting he is most excited that the celestial event will provide unique views of the sun’s outer atmosphere. Williams previously conducted radio astronomy research and helped build the Murchison Widefield Array in Australia during his time at MIT. "It was an incredible experience, because I got to both work on the cosmology and the science behind that,” recalls Williams. 


Graduate students Martin Nisser and Marisa Gaetz co-founded Brave Behind Bars, a program designed to provide incarcerated individuals with coding and digital literacy skills to better prepare them for life after prison, reports Morgan Radford for MSNBC. Computers and coding skills “are really kind of paramount for fostering success in the modern workplace,” says Nisser.

The Washington Post

The MIT Educational Justice Initiative has developed a 12-week program called Brave Behind Bars that teaches inmates “basic coding languages such as JavaScript and HTML in hopes of opening the door for detainees to one day pursue high-paying jobs,” reports Washington Post reporter Emily Davies. “The level of 21st century technology skills they just learned, I can’t do those things,” said Amy Lopez, deputy director of college and career readiness for the D.C. Department of Corrections. “They are transferrable, employable skills.”


Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about the new meaning of a career and how employers, parents, institutions must adapt in the new age of technology. “Institutions must prepare young people to learn for a lifetime – not just for one profession that may be in high demand today, only to fade tomorrow,” writes Coughlin.


GBH reporter Megan Smith spotlights how the Educational Justice Institute at MIT, which offers learning programs to incarcerated individuals, was able to expand its reach through a new virtual platform that allows for real-time interaction, and provides an opportunity to bring together students from different facilities and local universities. “I really enjoy the humanity in the course because over a period of time you realize — it’s not about ‘inside’ students or ‘outside’ students, really,” said Mackenzie Kelley, a student in the program. “It’s just, we’re all human and we all make mistakes.”


The Economist spotlights a recent essay by Prof. David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the state of work. “If remote working proves a lasting shift, then the café staff, taxi drivers and cleaners who depend on their custom could find themselves out of work,” writes The Economist.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes about a new study by Prof. David Autor that finds middle class jobs for non-college grads are disappearing, particularly for Black and Latino workers. Autor suggest that higher minimum wages “are surprisingly effective at improving the incomes of workers in low wage jobs,” adding that “they don’t seem to have noticeable adverse effects on employment.”


Prof. David Autor has found opportunities for minority workers in cities have receded, particularly those without college degrees, reports Jonnelle Marte for Reuters. “As the middle hollowed out, (minority workers) were more exposed to middle-skilled work, and net of that, they were also over-represented at the low end and under-represented at the high end,” says Autor.


Bloomberg reporter Peter Coy writes that a new study by Prof. David Autor finds cities are no longer “escalators of opportunity” for people in middle-paying jobs, in particular Black and Latino workers. Coy writes that Autor proposes, “one solution is to raise minimum wages in cities, which would raise the living standards of low-income workers.”

Fortune- CNN

A study co-authored by Prof. Susan Silbey found that many women leave engineering because of sexism at school and in the workplace, writes Valentina Zarya for Fortune. The researchers found that “female engineers’ first substantive experiences with sexism occurred in school, with many women describing being treated differently by professors and classmates.”

Inside Higher Ed

A new study co-authored by MIT Prof. Susan Silbey examines why female students leave the field of engineering. When the researchers analyzed "more than 40 engineering students’ twice-monthly diaries, they found that female students often felt marginalized during group activities,” Inside Higher Ed reports. 

US News & World Report

Prof. Tomasz Mrowka, head of the Department of Mathematics, speaks with U.S. News & World Report’s Delece Smith-Barrow about options for graduate students participating in MIT’s mathematics program. "We span the gamut of what happens in mathematics," says Mrowka. 


MIT career development specialist Lily Zhang writes for Forbes about how to most effectively kick-start a job search. “[T]ake a full day off from work, stop daydreaming about your new position, and actually do something that’ll help you land it,” writes Zhang. 


MIT Career Development Specialist Lily Zhang writes about the value of making mistakes. Citing a speech by Dr. Marilyn Tam, Zhang argues that taking risks and making big mistakes is key to learning and development.


In a piece for Forbes, MIT Career Development Specialist Lily Zhang advises job seekers on how to improve performance on phone interviews. Zhang suggests treating phone interviews like in-person interviews.