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Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Andrew Paul spotlights “Ways of Seeing” a documentary project that aims to create “extended reality” (XR) experiences of significant architectural locales in Afghanistan as part of an effort to preserve the country’s historical sites. Paul notes that the project combines “cutting edge 3D imaging, drone photography, and virtual reality combined with painstakingly detailed hand drawings.”


Prof. Azra Aksamija speaks with NPR’s Scott Simon about her book "Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp," which spotlights the inventions and designs created by Syrian refugees at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “For me, you know, what's so powerful about them is they visualize, on the one hand, this ingenuity of human spirit, yes, and resilience but, on the other hand, really, what is missing because people invent what is not provided,” says Aksamija, “and what is not provided are basic ideas of what constitutes human - essential human needs.”


Prof. Nergis Mavalvala has been named the new Dean of MIT’s School of Science, reports Zara Khan for Mashable. Khan notes that Mavalvala “is known for her pioneering work in gravitational wave detection,” and will be the first woman to serve as Dean of the School of Science.

Fast Company

MIT researchers have conducted a new examination of the Dead Sea Scrolls in an effort to determine how the documents have lasted so long. Prof. Admir Masic “sought to decode just how this unique parchment was made, in hopes that the ancient technology might also reveal new approaches to preserving sensitive historical documents in the modern age,” writes Evan Nicole Brown for Fast Company.

The Guardian

A new MIT study of the Dead Sea scrolls found “salts used on the writing layer of the Temple scroll [that] are not common to the Dead Sea region,” reports Nicola Davis for The Guardian. “These salts are not typical for anything we knew about associated with this period and parchment making,” explains Prof. Admir Masic.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters highlights how MIT researchers have developed a robot that can swim through pipes and identify leaks. Peters writes that alumnus You Wu estimates that “if half of the leaks in the world could be found and fixed, that would recover enough water to support 1 billion people.”


MIT alumnus You Wu has spent six years perfecting robots that can travel through pipes to identify water leaks, writes Anne Quito for Quartz. “Over 240,000 water pipes burst in the US each year, with each incident costing an average of $200,000 in infrastructure damage,” notes Quito.


Gigi Levy Weiss writes for Forbes about the importance of social change in tech education. Highlighting MEET (Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow), an MIT-supported non-profit that connects and empowers Palestinian and Israeli students, Weiss notes that alumni of the program “have gone on to study, work and lead in the global tech industry, as well as in NGOs and government roles.”


The Economist highlights a study by MIT researchers that shows climate change could cause the flow of the Nile River to become more variable, increasing strain on regional water conflicts. The researchers found that while output could increase by up to 15%, variability would also increase, resulting in, “more (and worse) floods and droughts.”


In a Guardian article about how technology can be used to help refugees, Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad highlights MIT’s Refugee ACTion Hub (ReACT). ReACT is aimed at finding, “digital learning opportunities for a lost generation of children who, as a result of forced displacement, are losing their education.”

Scientific American

In an article for Scientific American, Kavya Balaraman writes that MIT researchers have found that climate change could impact rainfall conditions over the Nile, potentially exacerbating water conflicts. Prof. Elfatih Eltahir explains that with the increased frequency of El Niño and La Niña, “we are projecting enhanced variability in the Nile flow.”

BBC News

Prof. Elfatih Eltahir speaks with the BBC’s Ed Butler about whether desalination could be an effective remedy for water shortages in the Middle East. Eltahir notes that current desalination methods use “a lot of energy to basically distill water…and could have very high costs and could contribute to the potential for global warming.” 


Prof. Barry Posen speaks with Tom Ashbrook of NPR’s On Point about how the United States should respond to the threat of ISIS. “If we can deprive ISIS of the illusion of success, the illusion of vitality, then this beacon role [that ISIS serves] is going to become a lot duller,” says Posen. 

New York Times

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Prof. Roger Petersen argues that the U.S. should use political leverage to pressure regional actors to combat ISIS. “Playing politics entails costs, but bombing only promises stalemate and 'boots on the ground' involves untenable risks,” writes Petersen. 

USA Today

In an article for USA Today, Colin Chilcoat highlights a study co-authored by Prof. Elfatih Eltahir that indicates that climate change could cause the Persian Gulf to experience severe heat with greater regularity. Greenhouse-gas buildup could raise “temperatures to intolerable seasonal highs and [increase] the frequency and severity of extreme heat waves,” writes Chilcoat.