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WBUR Open Source

In this episode of WBUR’s Open Source, Christopher Lydon speaks with Prof. Emeritus Noam Chomsky about a wide range of topics, from the current political situation in America and Europe to the greatest challenges facing humanity. Chomsky noted that a “Socratic-style willingness to ask whether conventional doctrines are justified,” is a key ingredient in his thought process. 

Boston Globe

Prof. Emeritus Stephen Erdely, who taught at MIT from 1973 to 1991 and also served as chair of the music department, died on Feb. 25, reports Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. Marquard writes that Erdely, an acclaimed violinist, “delighted audiences with duets through the years” with his wife, pianist Beatrice Erdely.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter James Hagerty spotlights Institute Professor Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus’ pioneering work in thermoelectric materials and as an advocate for women in science. Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero says that Dresselhaus, who died on February 20th, was also known for helping struggling students. “She was always able to see the best in you and bring it out.”

Boston Globe

Institute Prof. Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus, known for her work deciphering the secrets of carbon, died at 86, reports Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe. Dresselhaus’ granddaughter Leora Cooper, an MIT graduate student, explained that by being a role model for women in STEM, “she encouraged me to not just see the changes that needed to be made, but to start making them.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Natalie Angier memorializes the life and work of Institute Professor Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus, affectionately nicknamed the “Queen of Carbon” for her pioneering research into the fundamental properties of carbon. Angier notes that Dresselhaus was also “renowned for her efforts to promote the cause of women in science.” 

IEEE Spectrum

Institute Professor Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus, who was known as the “queen of carbon science” and was an advocate for women in STEM, died at 86, reports Mark Anderson for IEEE Spectrum. Dresselhaus “pioneered the study of carbon nanostructures at a time when studying physical and material properties of commonplace atoms like carbon was out of favor.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Paul Vitello writes that Prof. Emeritus Bruce Mazlish, a historian known for his psychoanalytical biographies of world leaders, died at age 93. Mazlish’s “experience teaching European history to young scientists and engineers inspired a lifelong interest in understanding the divide between science and the humanities.”

Boston Globe

Bryan Marquard writes for The Boston Globe about the legacy of Prof. Emeritus Jay Forrester, a computing pioneer who died at age 98. Marquard writes that Forrester was a “trailblazer in computers in the years after World War II,” then “pivoted from computers into another new field and founded the discipline of system dynamics modeling.”

New York Times

Prof. Emeritus Jay Forrester, whose research on computing and organizations led to the field of computer modeling, died at age 98, reports Katie Hafner for The New York Times. Prof. John Sterman explained that thanks to Forrester’s work, “simulations of dynamic systems are now indispensable throughout the physical and social sciences.”

PRI’s The World

Prof. Rainer Weiss speaks with Marco Werman of PRI about his childhood, what inspired his interest in science, and black holes. "One of the dreams I would have, had Einstein been still alive, is to tell him about this,” said Weiss, of the successful detection of gravitational waves. “I would have loved to have seen what he would have thought.”

New York Times

Prof. Emeritus Robert Fano, known for his instrumental work in the development of interactive computers, died on July 13 at age 98, reports John Markoff for The New York Times. Markoff writes that Fano made “fundamental theoretical advances, both in the ways computers handled information and in the design of interactive software.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Bryan Marquard writes about the life and work of Prof. Emerita Suzanne Corkin, who was widely known for her work with the famous amnesiac Henry Molaison. Brenda Milner, a neuroscientist at McGill University, noted that Corkin’s “painstaking attention to detail and her enormous enthusiasm – it’s a very nice combination, and she showed that always.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Matt Schudel writes about the impact Prof. Emerita Suzanne Corkin’s work had on our understanding of memory and cognitive disorders. Schudel writes that Corkin, who died on June 4, “made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and helped identify regions of the brain affected by degenerative disorders.”

New York Times

Prof. Emerita Suzanne Corkin, whose work with a famous amnesia patient was instrumental in uncovering the nature of memory, died on May 24, reports Benedict Carey for The New York Times. Carey writes that Corkin’s work “helped settle a debate about the function of the hippocampus in retrieving and reliving past experiences.”


Prof. Richard Schmalensee speaks with Forbes’ David Slocum about his book “Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms.” Schmalensee explains that the fundamentals of new businesses “are similar to those of old, familiar ones — from how they price, to how they solve the…problem of getting both groups of customers on board. New startups can then learn from old successful ones.”