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The Washington Post

Prof. Daron Acemoglu makes the case in a piece for The Washington Post that there should be oversight of how AI is applied, arguing that current AI technologies are already having tangible impacts on the labor market, the criminal justice system and on democratic discourse and politics. “Will AI be allowed to work increasingly to displace and monitor humans, or steered toward complementing and augmenting human capabilities,” Acemoglu writes, “creating new opportunities for workers?”

The Wall Street Journal

A new paper co-authored by Prof. James Poterba finds that not all projects to enhance infrastructure are worth investing in, reports David Harrison for The Wall Street Journal. “If we are going to commit a significant amount of resources to new infrastructure projects or to maintain our existing infrastructure, bringing some discipline to the way we decide what we’re spending on is an important element of this,” says Poterba.

On Point

Prof. Michael Cusumano, deputy dean of Sloan, speaks with Meghna Chakrabarti of On Point on the growth of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and whether AWS should be broken off from Amazon. “We have also seen cloud computing evolving into being like an operating system – so it’s more than a utility, it’s a development environment,” says Cusumano. “It has become a platform for innovation, so we have to be careful with what we do with it.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Esther Duflo has been named to India’s new economic advisory panel, reports Ganesh Nagarajan for Bloomberg.

The Guardian

Writing for The Guardian, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of a worldwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign. “Vaccinating the world will be crucial if countries are going to act together to confront the climate crisis,” they write, “which will require many of the same things as delivering vaccines: resources, innovation, ingenuity and a true partnership between rich and developing countries.”

The Washington Post

Prof. Eric Lander will be sworn into his new post as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on a 500-year-old Jewish text, reports Jack Jenkins for The Washington Post. The question of what book to use for the swearing-in ceremony made him think of the choice as “a statement of what’s in my mind and what’s in my heart.”

The Hill

Prof. Ronald Prinn writes for The Hill about the urgent need for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help reduce global temperature increases. Lowering “transition risks toward net-zero-emissions economies will involve integration of both physical and transitional components, a process that requires new and improved models and frameworks,” writes Prinn. “The goal is to empower decision-makers in government and industry to lower the transition risks as an integral companion to mitigation strategies.”

The Boston Globe

A coalition of students, faculty and alumni have come together to raise the funds necessary to replace the radome that sits atop the Building 54, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “Once the overhaul is complete, MIT’s radio buffs, astronomers, and satellite researchers will have a tool that will serve them for decades,” writes Bray. “And they’ll have also preserved one of the school’s most famous landmarks.”

Good Morning America

Reporting for Good Morning America, Kate Kindelan spotlights how Prof. Troy Littleton has placed a travel crib in one of his lab’s offices so his graduate student, Karen Cunningham, can bring her 10-month-old child to work with her when needed. “These sort of local ways that people in positions of power can protect parents against the systemic things, like what Troy's been doing in creating a really supportive and inclusive lab, I think that does make a really big difference and it's great to have an example of that,” says Cunningham.

NPR

Prof. Linda Griffith joins Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air to discuss how studying endometriosis could help unlock some of the mysteries of tissue regeneration. "The regeneration of the endometrium is weirdly not studied as much as it should be," she says. "But it's fascinating because you get about a centimeter of growth of tissue that has beautifully formed blood vessels, an immune system, all of the structures of the tissue — over a period of about two weeks."

The Tech

MIT has announced a new climate action plan aimed at helping the Institute tackle climate change, reports Kristina Chen for The Tech. The plan offers increased opportunities for student involvement and a new organizational structure. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, explains that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.” 

Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of helping other countries avoid a repeat of the coronavirus surge India is facing. “The world needs to look beyond India and avoid yet another mistake of timing,” they write. “We cannot afford to repeat the experience of the first wave, when we didn’t realize just how quickly a virus can travel. Neither should nations be lulled into a sense of false security by the progress of vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.”

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim writes that “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a book by Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, and research associate Luke Yoquinto is “an important contribution to the literature on learning science and higher education change.” Kim adds that “Grasp can provide the foundations of what learning science-informed teaching might look like, with some fantastic real-world examples of constructivist theory in pedagogical action.”

New York Times

Prof. Linda Griffith is on a mission to change the conversation about endometriosis “from one of women’s pain to one of biomarkers, genetics and molecular networks,” writes Rachel E. Gross for The New York Times. “The endometrium is inherently regenerative,” says Griffith. “So studying it, you’re studying a regenerative process — and how it goes wrong, in cases.”