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Graduate, postdoctoral

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Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff makes the case that the demise of local banks in the U.S. should be examined and regulatory changes should be made to enable them to operate more profitably. “A system that can make small loans to small entrepreneurs not only helps the borrowers, but also promotes a more efficient allocation of resources in the economy," Aronoff writes. 

GBH

Graduate student Olumakinde “Makinde” Ogunnaike and Josh Sariñana PhD ’11 join Boston Public Radio to discuss The Poetry of Science, an initiative that brought together artists and scientists of color to help translate complex scientific research through art and poetry. “Science is often a very difficult thing to penetrate,” says Sariñana. “I thought poetry would be a great way to translate the really abstract concepts into more of an emotional complexity of who the scientists actually are.”

Wired

Graduate student Rida Qadri writes for Wired about the National Database and Registration Authority, a kinship-based digital ID system used in Pakistan. “Pakistan’s experience with creating databases that encode kinship reveals important lessons about the complexities of building digital ID systems,” writes Qadri “Database design is not just computational. At every step, social, political, and technical decisions coalesce." 

Wired

Wired reporter Sarah Scoles spotlights how graduate students Thomas Abitante and Rachel Bellisle, both Draper Scholars, are developing new spacesuits and muscle toning devices that could help keep astronauts healthy while in space. “We need to make sure they're as healthy as possible,” says Abitante. “But we can't really add more exercise. So what else can we add?”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter George Dvorsky writes that astronomers have found two red asteroids, which resemble objects typically found beyond Neptune, in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  “This finding suggests some asteroids in the main belt formed in the outer solar system, and that a population of these objects is likely to exist within the main belt,” writes Dvorsky.

Reuters

A study by graduate student Carly Ziegler finds that how cells in the nose respond to the coronavirus could help predict how sick a person might become with Covid-19, reports Nancy Lapid for Reuters. "If further studies support our findings, we could use the same nasal swabs we use to diagnose COVID-19 to identity potentially severe cases before severe disease develops, creating an opportunity for effective early intervention," says Ziegler.

Associated Press

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane finds that the MBTA subway network faces the threat of flooding caused by rising sea levels over the new 50 years, reports the Associated Press. “A 100-year storm would completely inundate the Blue Line and large portions of the Red and Orange lines by 2030, researchers found. By 2070, a 100-year storm would flood nearly the entire network.”

The Boston Globe

A new study by researchers from MIT and Tulane University finds that rising seas have the potential to inundate the MBTA’s network and underscores the importance of fortifying the system’s infrastructure, reports Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “Severe flooding is a grave challenge for the T,” explains graduate student Michael Martello.

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff makes the case that banks should not serve as the gatekeepers of digital currencies. Aronoff writes that anointing “banks as the gatekeepers would keep the current oligopoly in place and jeopardise many of the possible benefits of digital currency.”

Forbes

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Forbes contributor Talia Milgrom-Elcott about how his mother helped inspire his love of mathematics and the importance of representation. “It’s very hard to dream of being in a career if you can’t relate to anyone who’s actually in that field,” says Urschel. “One of my main goals in life as a mathematician is to increase representation of African American mathematicians.”

7 News

Prof. Troy Littleton and graduate student Karen Cunningham speak with 7 News about how Littleton placed a crib in his lab for Cunningham’s young daughter to help create a safe place for her if she needs to accompany her mother to work. Cunningham says Littleton “has a long history of supporting parents and just generally has a history of supporting parents in the lab with whatever their needs are.”

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.

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff writes that “the US may avoid inflation, but it cannot escape the consequences of increased government spending, for good or ill.”

Scientific American

In an article for Scientific American, graduate students Meghana Ranganathan, Julia Wilcots, Rohini Shivamoggi and Diana Dumit call for the removal of racist language from the names of many geographic features and places in the United States. “We cannot have a just society when racist names are officially sanctioned,” they write. “We need a national, multifaceted push to change any instances of racial slurs and racist terminology in our natural land features.”

Inside Higher Ed

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, graduate student Austin DeMarco, federal affairs chair of the MIT Graduate Student Council, advocates for increased federal investment in scientific research. “Sustained, ambitious investment in innovation and research, beginning with the Endless Frontier Act, will rebuild America’s technological ecosystem, strengthen and diversify our scientific workforce, and regain our world leadership in science and technology,” DeMarco writes.