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The Boston Globe

Drew Houston ’05, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, speaks with Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner about his favorite courses and extracurriculars activities at MIT, his first computer, and the future of work at Dropbox during a recent visit to MIT where he announced a gift that will endow a professorship in the Schwarzman College of Computing. “I loved studying computer science, and I loved things like distributed systems and operating systems and algorithms,” said Houston of his time at MIT. “Those were my favorite classes. I had grown up tinkering under the hood of my computer, trying to figure out how it worked.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Andrew Liszewski writes that MIT researchers “used a high-resolution video camera with excellent low-light performance (the amount of sensor noise has to be as minimal as possible) to capture enough footage of a blank well that special processing techniques were able to not only see the shadow’s movements, but extrapolate who was creating them.”

CNBC

MIT has been named one of the top 20 universities in the world for studying cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, reports Taylor Locke for CNBC.

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Sophie Bushwick writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system that can interpret shadows that are invisible to the human eye. “The system can automatically analyze footage of a blank wall in any room in real time, determining the number of people and their actions,” writes Bushwick.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Kate Park spotlights Catalog, a startup founded by MIT graduates that is “developing an energy-efficient, cost-competitive and more secure data storage and computation platform by using synthetic DNA.”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Emmett Smith spotlights how MIT researchers have created a new toolkit for designing wearable devices that can be 3D printed. “The researchers used the kit to create sample devices, like a personal muscle monitor that uses augmented reality,” explains Smith, “plus a device for recognizing hand gestures and a bracelet for identifying distracted driving.”

Fortune

Fortune reporter Shawn Tully writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that examines the amount of e-waste Bitcoin generates. The researchers found that: “In 2020, the Bitcoin network processed 120 million transactions,” writes Tully. “For every sale or purchase recorded on the blockchain, the miners disposed of e-waste equal in weight to two iPhone 12 Minis. In other words, the industry trashed the equivalent of 240 million of the 135 gram mobile devices.”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Meera Navlakha writes that researchers from the MIT AgeLab have found that when using partially automated driving systems drivers may become less attentive. The researchers found that when using the Autopilot system in Tesla vehicles, “visual behaviour amongst drivers is altered before and after Autopilot is disengaged. That means before the feature is switched on/off, drivers look less on the road and pay more attention to ‘non-driving related areas.’”

Fast Company

Graduate student Ken Nakagaki’s tiny transformable robots, called Hermits, have changeable mechanical shells that allow the robots to acquire new capabilities, reports Mark Wilson for Fast Company. The Hermits project has been selected as the winner of Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards in the Student category. 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Aayushi Pratap spotlights Vicarious Surgical, an MIT startup and surgical robot company aimed at making “abdominal surgery faster, easier and subject to fewer complications, starting with hernia repairs.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Christopher Magee and his colleagues have developed a new method that could help provide insights into how quickly different innovations are improving, reports Christopher Mims for The Wall Street Journal.  Magee and former MIT fellow Anuraag Singh have developed a search engine that allows users to “answer in a fraction of a second the question of how quickly any given technology is advancing,” writes Mims.

The Guardian

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that “a single bitcoin transaction generates the same amount of electronic waste as throwing two iPhones in the bin,” reports Alex Hern for The Guardian.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Christine Hall spotlights CodeSignal, a startup o-founded by alumnus Tigran Sloyan that is developing a skills-based assessment platform for hiring. Sloyan "got the idea for the company from an experience his co-founder and friend Aram Shatakhtsyan had while trying to find an engineering job,” writes Hall.

Good Morning America

Graduate student Joy Buolamwini speaks with Good Morning America about her work uncovering bias in AI systems and how beauty data can marginalize people of color. “We can’t have social justice without algorithmic justice,” says Buolamwini.

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine reporter Tom McGrath spotlights Prof. Tim Berners-Lee’s crusade to rethink the Web and build a new platform that can help users control the digital data they share. Berners-Lee’s platform, Solid, is aimed at ensuring that for the “first time ever, we users—not big tech companies—will be in control of our data, which means that websites and apps will be built to benefit us and not them,” writes McGrath. “That, in turn, could mean revolutions in things that really are consequential, from healthcare and education to finance and the World Wide Web itself.”