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TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new machine-learning model capable of “predicting a physical system’s phase or state,” report Kyle Wiggers and Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch

Forbes

Prof. Roger Levy, Prof. Tracy Slatyer and Prof. Martin Wainwright are among the 2024 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship recipients, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. “The new fellows represent 52 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields and are affiliated with 84 academic institutions,” writes Nietzel.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Roger Levy, Prof. Tracy Slatyer and Prof. Martin Wainwright have been awarded John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, reports Mark Feeney for The Boston Globe. A Guggenheim fellowship “is one of the most sought-after honors in academe, the arts, and culture,” explains Feeney. “It helps underwrite a proposed art or scholarly project.”

The Boston Globe

Omar Abudayyeh '12, PhD '18 and Jonathan Gootenberg '13 speak with Robert Weisman at The Boston Globe about their deep-rooted working relationship, which began as undergraduates at MIT and has gone on to include joint appointments at the McGovern and Broad Institutes and multiple startups. “Science is difficult, and it’s great to have someone to do it with,” said Gootenberg. “You got to work with people you enjoy hanging out with.”
 

Fortune

Fortune reporter Trey Williams spotlights alumnus Alexandr Wang, co-founder of Scale AI, a “software company that tags text, images, and videos to help companies improve the data used to train AI algorithms.”

The New York Times

Joseph J. Kohn ’53, “who played a key role in extending the mathematics of calculus,” has died at 91, reports Kenneth Chang for The New York Times. “Dr. Kohn studied how mathematical functions behave in the realm of complex numbers,” writes Chang. “This field is esoteric, even to many mathematicians. But the techniques that Dr. Kohn developed have found use in tackling a wide range of problems in mathematics as well as fundamental equations in physics, including Einstein’s theory of general relativity.”

TechCrunch

Arvid Lunnemark '22, Michael Truell '22, Sualeh Asif '22, and Aman Sanger '22 co-founded Anysphere, a startup building an “‘AI-native’” software development environment, called Cursor,” reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “In the next several years, our mission is to make programming an order of magnitude faster, more fun and creative,” says Truell. “Our platform enables all developers to build software faster.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Siobhan Roberts spotlights Yulia’s Dream, a free math enrichment and research program for exceptional high school students in Ukraine organized through the MIT Department of Mathematics. “Mathematics is often misunderstood as a solitary endeavor,” says Lecturer Slava Gerovitch. “One cannot be a successful mathematician without being integrated into these international networks for the exchange of knowledge.”

MSNBC

Graduate students Martin Nisser and Marisa Gaetz co-founded Brave Behind Bars, a program designed to provide incarcerated individuals with coding and digital literacy skills to better prepare them for life after prison, reports Morgan Radford for MSNBC. Computers and coding skills “are really kind of paramount for fostering success in the modern workplace,” says Nisser.

Forbes

MIT has been selected as the world’s best university in the 2024 QS World University Rankings, reports Cecilia Rodriguez for Forbes. MIT has secured “the top position for the 12th consecutive year,” writes Rodriguez.

New Scientist

MIT scientists have found that the “motions of undulating animals and the states of quantum objects can be described using strikingly similar equations,” writes Karmela Padavic-Callaghan for New Scientist. The similarity “allowed the team to use mathematical tools previously developed by quantum physicists to analyze the animals,” notes Padavic-Callaghan. “For instance, the team quantified how differently a snake-like robot and a C. elegans move and created a diagram that placed them on a spectrum of other undulating creatures.”

USA Today

Prof. Gilbert Strang received a standing ovation after delivering his last lecture after over 60 years of teaching at MIT, reports Saleen Martin for USA Today. “Teaching has been a wonderful life,” wrote Strang in the comments section of his last lecture on YouTube. “I am so grateful to everyone who likes linear algebra and sees its importance. So many universities (and even high schools) now appreciate how beautiful it is and how valuable it is. That movement will continue because it is right.”

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Eli Curwin spotlights how after 63 years of teaching and over 10 million views of his online lectures, MIT Prof. Gilbert Strang received a standing ovation after delivering his last lecture. Prof. Michel X. Goemans, head of the Department of Mathematics, notes that Strang “has had a tremendous impact on the teaching of mathematics to tens of thousands of students at MIT through his lectures, to countless of students at other academic institutions through his textbooks, and to millions of people all over the globe.”

Quanta Magazine

Quanta Magazine reporter Jordana Cepelewicz spotlights graduate students Ashwin Sah and Mehtaab Sawhney for their work proving the existence of special objects called “subspace designs.” Sah and Sawhney have “proved the existence of objects whose existence is not at all obvious,” said Prof. David Conlon of the California Institute of Technology. “They’re producing high-quality research at a rate where I can’t even blink.”

The New York Times

Virginia Norwood ’47, an aerospace pioneer who designed and championed the scanner used to map and study the earth from space, has died at 96, reports Dylan Loeb McClain for The New York Times. Using her invention, the Landsat Satellite program has been able to capture images of the planet that provide “powerful visual evidence of climate change, deforestation and other shifts affecting the planet’s well-being,” writes McClain.