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News @ Northeastern

Chancellor Melissa Nobles spoke at the launch of the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive, a digital resource co-authored by Nobles and Northeastern Prof. Margaret Burnham aimed at identifying and documenting anti-Black killings in the mid-century South, reports Jessica Taylor Price for News @ Northeastern. “The archive seeks to right an egregious wrong in American history – the mass coverup of cases of lynching during the Jim Crow era," writes Price. 

Nature

In an editorial for Nature, Chancellor Melissa Nobles, Chad Womack of the UNCF, Prof. Ambroise Wonkam of Johns Hopkins University, and Elizabeth Wathuti of the Green Generation Initiative detail the long history of racism in science and outline their work as guest editors on a series of special issues of Nature focused on racism in science. “Racism has led to injustices against millions of people, through slavery and colonization, through apartheid and through continuing prejudice today,” write Nobles and her co-authors. 

The Tech

Prof. Agustín Rayo ’01, dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, speaks with The Tech about his goals for his time as dean, the importance of an education in the humanities, arts and social sciences, and his plans for advancing the school’s DEI efforts. “The humanities, arts, and social sciences are crucial to understanding the human condition and our complex social, political, and economic institutions,” says Rayo. “MIT’s SHASS classes help develop powerful career, leadership, and problem-solving skills.”

The Boston Globe

Shirley McBay, the former dean of student affairs at MIT who directed groundbreaking efforts that improved the future of students of color, has died at 86, reports Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. “She was very dedicated to ensuring that as more women and minorities came to MIT, they did well – that they could thrive,” said associate dean of engineering for diversity, equity and inclusion Daniel Hastings. “She, in that sense, had a national impact.”

New York Times

Shirley McBay, the dean for student affairs at MIT in the 1980s and a leading advocate for diversity in science and math education, has died at age 86, reports Clay Risen for The New York Times. McBay “confronted the challenge of bringing more students from underrepresented minorities into science, technology, engineering and math, both at her university and in higher education broadly.”

The Tech

Incoming Chancellor Melissa Nobles speaks with Tech reporter Srinidhi Narayanan about her academic trajectory, specific initiatives she is interested in pursuing as Chancellor and how she plans to incorporate student voice in decision-making. “In the Chancellor’s Office, we get to focus on the student experience inside and outside of the classroom, and we can help students grow into their whole selves here at MIT,” says Nobles.

Associated Press

The Associated Press reports that MIT postdoc Nataliya Kosmyna has developed a “Thinking Cap” that analyzes brain activity to sort wearers into a Hogwarts house. The cap, which uses noninvasive electrodes, will eventually be used to help students build self-esteem.

Boston Globe

MIT postdoc Nataliya Kosmyna demonstrated a device dubbed the “Thinking Cap” at the MIT Computing Expo, part of the Institute’s celebration of the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Kosmyna explains that the “Thinking Cap” aims to help students build self-esteem and improve their academic performance, writes Steve Annear of The Boston Globe.

The Boston Globe

Hiawatha Bray of the Boston Globe writes about the celebration of the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, which featured a demonstration of the Mini Cheetah robot. Learning how machines can simulate the behavior of living organisms like the cheetah “is just the kind of problem the new College of Computing is intended to solve,” writes Bray.

Times Higher Ed

Times Higher Ed reporter Matthew Reisz highlights Prof. Daniel Jackson’s book, “Portraits of Resilience.” Reisz writes that, “MIT and its press are to be congratulated on a book – given out free to all this year’s new students – that not only addresses head on the issue of mental health within higher education but is so frank about how this plays out within its own institution.”