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New York Times

Institute Professor Emeritus Isadore Singer, who became “one of the most important mathematicians of his era,” has died at age 96, reports Julie Rehmeyer for The New York Times. “Dr. Singer created a bridge between two seemingly unrelated areas of mathematics and then used it to build a further bridge, into theoretical physics,” writes Rehmeyer. “The achievement created the foundation for a blossoming of mathematical physics unseen since the time of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have developed a new machine learning algorithm that can anticipate and recognize a protein’s varied structures. “The new AI-system,” writes Hays, “does more than image a diversity of conformations, it can also predict the varied motions of different protein structures.”

The Christian Science Monitor

The Climate Modeling Alliance (CliMA), which includes a number of MIT researchers, is working on developing a new climate model that could be used to create more accurate climate predications that could be useful at the local or regional levels, reports Doug Struck for The Christian Science Monitor. “It’s always a mistake to say that you shouldn’t try something new,” says Prof. Raffaele Ferrari. “Because that’s how you change the world.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Mike Darling spotlights a math problem from an 1876 MIT entrance exam.  The prompt read as follows: “A father said to his son, Two years ago I was three times as old as you; but in fourteen years I shall be only twice as old as you. What were the ages of each?’” 

Newsweek

MIT researchers have developed a model that could help people estimate the risks of contracting Covid-19 in different scenarios, reports Emily Czachor for Newsweek. The tool “provides calculations which estimate how many people can remain within an enclosed space, and for how long, before they are theoretically exposed to the virus.”

Boston 25 News

MIT researchers have developed a new model that could be used to help determine “how long you will be safe in a room with someone who is positive for COVID-19 based on room type, size and even the ventilation and filtration system,” reports Boston 25 News.

Quanta Magazine

Quanta Magazine reporter Kevin Hartnett spotlights the work of graduate student Ashwin Sah, who has “produced a body of work that senior mathematicians say is nearly unprecedented for a college student.” Sah recalls how he was drawn to mathematics from a young age, noting that some of his “earliest memories are of my mom teaching me basic arithmetic.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Sullivan writes that Prof. John Bush and Prof. Martin Z. Bazant have developed a mathematical model that “simulates the fluid dynamics of virus-loaded respiratory droplets in any space, from a cozy kitchen to a gigantic concert hall.”

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, Prof. Scott Sheffield argues that “circuit breakers” – strict closures for limited periods of time - could be used to help reduce Covid-19 infections. Sheffield and his co-authors explain that circuit breakers could “interrupt viral spread and bring case counts down without the long-lasting social and economic pain of extended lockdowns.”

Stat

STAT reporter Elizabeth Cooney spotlights a new working paper by Profs. Martin Bazant and John Bush that explores the risk of airborne transmission of Covid-19. “Depending on ventilation, mask use, air filtration, and other variables, any indoor space may carry either low or high risk of transmission,” Bazant explains. 

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Robin Lloyd spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new app that “allows users to adjust parameters such as mask usage, ventilation, and room size to estimate the indoor transmission risk for SARS-CoV-2 among a given number of people in various types of spaces.”

ESPN

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Jamison Hensley of ESPN about his efforts aimed at empowering and encouraging more Black students to pursue careers in STEM fields. “Now more than ever, it’s really important that we highlight some of the diverse areas of mathematics that don’t typically get seen every day,” says Urschel.

Wired

Prof. Lisa Piccirillo, The Engine CEO Katie Rae, and several MIT alumni are among the community members honored as part of Wired25, an annual list compiled by Wired that spotlights people who are working to make the world a better place.

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, John Wolfson spotlights Prof. Lisa Piccirillo’s work solving the Conway knot problem. “When you perform a calculation, sometimes there’s really clever tricks you can use or some ways that you can be an actual human and not a computer in the performing of the calculation,” says Piccirillo of what drew her to math. “But when you make a logical argument — that’s entirely yours.”

New Scientist

Asst. Prof. Lisa Piccirillo speaks with Chelsea Whyte at New Scientist about what led her to a career in math and how she solved the decades-old Conway knot problem. “In maths, 100 per cent of the days, basically you won’t solve anything,” said Piccirillo. “So you have to learn to be okay with that and still enjoy what you’re doing.”