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The Boston Globe

President Biden has awarded Prof. Emeritus Subra Suresh ScD '81, the former dean of the MIT School of Engineering, the National Medal of Science for his “pioneering research across engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences,” reports Alexa Gagosz for The Boston Globe. Prof. James Fujimoto '79, SM '81, PhD '84, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM '84, and David Huang '85, SM '89, PhD '93 were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, “the nation’s highest award for technical achievement.”

STAT

STAT reporter Annalisa Merelli writes that the 2023 Lasker Award has been given to Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 for their work advancing the diagnosis of eye disease. Fujimoto, Swanson and Huang developed “optical coherence tomography (OCT) — the first noninvasive technology allowing doctors to see high-resolution images of the retina.”

The New York Times

Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 have won a Lasker Award for their work inventing optical coherence tomography, which can “detect conditions like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy earlier than previous methods, preventing blindness,” reports Noah Weiland and Cade Metz for The New York Times. “O.C.T. now is commonly used in ophthalmology offices, where the patient simply rests a chin and forehead against an instrument for a brief scan,” write Weiland and Metz. “The method, invented in 1991, offers a staggering amount of detail about the retina.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. James Fujimoto, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM ’84 and David Huang PhD ’93 have been honored with the Lasker Award for their work for their work inventing “imaging technology that revolutionized how ophthalmologists diagnose diseases of the eye," reports Jonathan Saltzman for The Boston Globe. The scientists were recognized for developing “optical coherence tomography, or OCT, the first technology that enabled doctors to see a two- and three-dimensional cross-sectional image of the retina,” Saltzman explains. “This painless scan takes less than 10 minutes, and is now the standard of care for diagnosing retina diseases.”

Nature

Nature contributor David Chandler writes about the late Prof. Edward Fredkin and his impact on computer science and physics. “Fredkin took things even further, concluding that the whole Universe could actually be seen as a kind of computer,” explains Chandler. “In his view, it was a ‘cellular automaton’: a collection of computational bits, or cells, that can flip states according to a defined set of rules determined by the states of the cells around them. Over time, these simple rules can give rise to all the complexities of the cosmos — even life.”

The New York Times

Former MIT Prof. Edward Fredkin, “a pioneer in artificial intelligence and a maverick theorist,” has died at 88, reports Alex Williams for The New York Times. Williams notes that Fredkin, who worked on Project MAC during his time at MIT, was “fueled by a seemingly limitless scientific imagination and a blithe indifference to conventional thinking.” Prof. Gerald Sussman recalls that “Ed Fredkin had more ideas per day than most people have in a month.”

Associated Press

Prof. John Goodenough, who shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work developing the lithium-ion battery, has died at age 100, reports Jim Vertuno for the AP. Goodenough “began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research laid the groundwork for development of random-access memory for the digital computer.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Brian Murphy memorializes the life and work of Prof. John Goodenough, who worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for over 20 years. Goodenough was “an American scientist who shared a Nobel Prize for helping create the lithium-ion battery that powered the mobile tech revolution and provides the juice for electric cars, but who later raised worries about a design that relies on scarce natural resources,” writes Murphy.

The New York Times

New York Times reporter Robert D. McFadden highlights the work of Prof. John Goodenough, a scientist who worked at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory for over 20 years and played a “crucial role in developing the revolutionary lithium-ion battery” has died at age 100. “At MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in the 1950s and ’60s, he was a member of teams that helped lay the groundwork for random access memory (RAM) in computers and developed plans for the nation’s first air defense system,” writes McFadden.

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT have developed a new artificial intelligence system aimed at helping autopilot avoid obstacles while maintaining a desirable flight path, reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “Any old algorithm can propose wild changes to direction in order to not crash, but doing so while maintaining stability and not pulping anything inside is harder,” writes Wiggers.

PBS

Researchers from Lincoln Laboratory and NASA are working on the TROPICS mission to study tropical cyclones, reports Bella Isaacs-Thomas for the PBS NewsHour. “Technology today — finally — allows us to miniaturize these satellites, fly a lot of them and get that temporal update that we’ve been wanting for so long,” explains Laboratory Fellow William Blackwell.

Scientific American

Researchers from Lincoln Lab and NASA are working on the TROPICS research mission, an effort to collect meteorological data on tropical storms from mini satellites, reports Daniel Cusick for Scientific American. "Scientists will observe temperature profiles in space that would be favorable to storm formation at the Earth’s surface, then use a weather prediction model and radiometric imagery to better predict how such storms would behave," Cusick writes. 

The Economist

Research scientist Ryan Hamerly and his team are working to harness “the low power consumption of hybrid optical devices for smart speakers, lightweight drones and even self-driving cars,” reports The Economist

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Helen Bradshaw writes that MIT researchers have improved the energy capacity of nonrechargeable batteries, the batteries used in pacemakers and other implantable medical devices, by employing a new type of electrolyte. “Expanding the life of primary batteries may also make them sustainable contenders,” writes Bradshaw. “Fewer batteries will have to be used in pacemakers as their lifespans increase, decreasing overall battery waste in addition to reducing the number of battery replacement surgeries needed.”

Science

Alexander Sludds, a graduate student in MIT’s Research Lab for Electronics, joins Megan Cantwell on the Science magazine podcast to discuss his team’s new method for processing data on edge devices, which are devices that connect two networks together.