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Graduate, postdoctoral

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GBH

Former postdoc Leah Ellis speaks with GBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath about   Sublime Systems, an MIT startup she co-founded that aims to produce carbon-free cement to combat climate change. “Sublime Systems and this technology spun out of my postdoctoral work at MIT,” says Ellis. “My co-founder and I are both electric chemists, so we have experience with battery technologies and electrochemical systems. Our idea was thinking about how we might use renewable energy—which we know has become more abundant, inexpensive and available—to eliminate the CO2 emissions from cement.”

GBH

Arthur Musah '04, MEng '05 and Philip Abel '15 speak with GBH “Under The Radar” host Callie Crossley about Musah’s documentary, “Brief Tender Light,” which follows the life of four African-born students on their personal and academic experiences at MIT. “The takeaway for me is about how we all belong in all spaces all around the world,” says Musah. “For me, the film has always been about celebrating the lives of African students and Black people at institutions like MIT.”

Chronicle of Higher Education

Chronicle of Higher Ed reporter Karin Fischer spotlights “A Brief Tender Light,” a documentary created by Arthur Musah '04, MEng '05 that follows four African undergraduates at MIT on their journey as international students studying and working in Boston. Musah’s “dream scenario is that such screenings could facilitate dialogue between groups represented in the documentary, such as international and African students, students of color, and gay and lesbian students,” writes Fischer.

Axios

Graduate student Zhichu Ren has developed CRESt (Copilot for Real-World Experimental Scientist), a lab assistant which “suggests experiments, retrieves data, manages equipment and guides research to the next steps in an experiment,” reports Ryan Heath for Axios.

Bloomberg

Prof. Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation and inclusion at MIT Sloan, speaks with Bloomberg Law reporter Lauren Castle about her recent study that found female PhD students are 17% less likely to become new inventors compared with their male counterparts. “What we can show is relative to the supply into Ph.D. programs, there’s still just this huge difference in the percentage of women on patents coming out of the labs than there are in the university,” says Murray.

Inside Higher Ed

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Columbia University Simons Fellow Robert W. Fernandez highlights MIT’s “publicly published outcomes for students of color.” “MIT’s data showed, for example, that the population of enrolled graduate students in biology who identified as underrepresented minorities increased from 4 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2023—suggesting that the institute’s recruitment efforts for that department have improved over time,” explains Fernandez. 

The Boston Globe

Tristan Swedish SM '17, PhD '22 co-founded Ubicept – a company that “uses a radically different kind of digital camera that can shoot razor-sharp images under the most challenging conditions, and can even see around corners,” reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “Ubicept abandons the chip technology called CMOS, or complementary metal-oxide semiconductors, that’s used in nearly all digital cameras, in favor of a newer kind of sensor,” explains Bray.

The Tech

Tech reporters Tina Zhang and Russel Ismael spotlight MIT’s Winterfest celebration, which brought the MIT community together to enjoy tasty treats and revelry. Graduate student Josh Marchant noted that the festivities were “a fun way to destress.” President Sally Kornbluth said that Winterfest is a “wonderful MIT tradition to mark the end of the fall semester and kick off the winter season by gathering with colleagues and friends for a well-deserved break.” Events like this, observed Kornbluth, “where we can be together as a community, are always important, but they are especially meaningful in difficult times.”
 

Forbes

Postdoctoral associate Wen Shuhao and postdoctoral fellows Ma Jian and Lai Lipeng co-founded Xtalpi, a biotech startup that uses “artificial intelligence to find chemical compounds that could be developed into new drugs,” reports Zinnia Lee for Forbes. “By combining AI, quantum physics, cloud computing and robotic automation, Xtalpi said it helps increase the efficiency and success rate of identifying novel drug compounds,” writes Lee. “The company has recently expanded into discovering new chemical compounds for agricultural technology, cosmetics and other applications.”

The Messenger

Writing for The Messenger, graduate student Kartik Chandra highlights the MIT Art Lending Program, which allows students to select one piece from the List Visual Arts Center’s collection to keep in their dorm rooms for the duration of the academic year. “Three years into my time at MIT, I’m convinced the program works well,” writes Chandra. “Our relationship with art changes from the moment we walk into the gallery. As students wander, pondering what to take home, conventional measures of fame, monetary worth, and even beauty fall away, and the only question that matters becomes: Does this piece speak to you, personally? And something always does — as if it were put there just for you.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Conor Dougherty spotlights DUSP graduate student Nick Allen MS '17 and his work advocating for Land-value taxes (LVT) in distressed US cities.

The Washington Post

Graduate student Shayne Longpre speaks with Washington Post reporter Nitasha Tiku about the ethical and legal implications surrounding language model datasets. Longpre says “the lack of proper documentation is a community-wide problem that stems from modern machine-learning practices.”