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President L. Rafael Reif

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Radio Boston (WBUR)

Associate Provost Richard Lester and Prof. Noelle Selin speak with Tiziana Dearing, host of Radio Boston, about MIT’s Climate Grand Challenges. “To me, the Climate Grand Challenges effort really represents that we’re kind of at a frameshift when thinking about the climate problem. It’s not just a problem that some people can work on,” says Selin. “A climate challenge is a whole of society challenge, and therefore it really has to be a whole of MIT challenge.” Lester adds he hopes the challenges will “inspire a new generation of students to roll up their sleeves, put their shoulders to the wheel and help us solve this problem.”

The Boston Globe

MIT celebrated the Classes of 2020 and 2021 during a special ceremony on May 28 that featured an address by Kealoha Wong ’99, Hawaii’s first poet laureate, reports Laura Crimaldi for The Boston Globe. “We may make some esoteric discovery or some small contribution to our industries, but most likely, our most significant impact will be in our communities and in our families,” Kealoha said. “Our impact will be felt in the way that we treat others and the way that we treat ourselves.”

State House News

MIT President L. Rafael Reif and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry discussed the urgency of addressing climate change during the Climate Grand Challenges Showcase event, reports Chris Lisinski for the State House News Service. “Climate change has been called a ‘super wicked’ problem. In Boston, that might sound like a local way of saying ‘really hard,’ but this phrase is actually a technical term,” Reif said. “It describes any enormously complex societal problem that has no single right answer and no clear finish line as well as multiple stakeholders with conflicting priorities and no central authority empowered to solve it.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News reporter Janet Wu speaks with President L. Rafael Reif and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry during the Institute’s Climate Grand Challenges showcase event. “If you can capture the emissions -- literally, genuinely -- then you’re reducing the problem,” said Kerry of the importance of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

The Tech

Prof. Agustín Rayo ’01, dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, speaks with The Tech about his goals for his time as dean, the importance of an education in the humanities, arts and social sciences, and his plans for advancing the school’s DEI efforts. “The humanities, arts, and social sciences are crucial to understanding the human condition and our complex social, political, and economic institutions,” says Rayo. “MIT’s SHASS classes help develop powerful career, leadership, and problem-solving skills.”

The Tech

Provost Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 reflects on her time as chancellor and her new role at MIT with Jennifer Ai of The Tech. “I really do want to help members of our community thrive here at MIT, because if they thrive, MIT thrives,” says Barnhart. “That very much motivates how I think things must be.”

Boston Globe

In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, MIT has decided not to continue the MIT Skoltech Program, reports Laura Crimaldi for The Boston Globe. “This step is a rejection of the actions of the Russian government in Ukraine,” wrote President L. Rafael Reif in a letter to the community. “We take it with deep regret because of our great respect for the Russian people and our profound appreciation for the contributions of the many extraordinary Russian colleagues we have worked with.”

The Tech

Provost Martin Schmidt speaks with Tech reporter Caroline Powers about his proudest accomplishments as MIT’s senior academic officer, what he will miss most about MIT and the importance of integrating ethics into engineering education. “I’m going to miss the interactions I’ve had with the students and my faculty colleagues,” notes Schmidt. “Part of the joy of being here has been making those relationships and working together.”

Associated Press

President L. Rafael Reif, who bolstered MIT’s stature "as a hub of tech innovation,” is stepping down at the end of 2022, reports the AP. "His achievements include the creation of a new business incubator in 2016 to help scholars turn big ideas into companies,” writes the AP. “In 2018, he announced a $1 billion investment in artificial intelligence and computing, centered around a new College of Computing that aims to apply AI technology across all academic disciplines.”

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News spotlights how President L. Rafael Reif, who “oversaw a revitalization of MIT’s campus and its continued integration with Kendall Square” has announced he will step down at the end of 2022. “Reif’s emphases as provost and president included the shift to more online learning, and innovation in ‘tough tech,’ including the creation of 'The Engine,' an incubator supporting companies to solve the world’s greatest challenges, from fusion energy to new medical devices.”

The Boston Globe

President L. Rafael Reif, who was "instrumental in leading [MIT] to convert its science into innovation, especially in the areas of life sciences, energy, materials, and machine learning and artificial intelligence,” has announced he will step down at the end of 2022, reports Laura Krantz for The Boston Globe. “What I felt was special about Rafael as president was his humanity,” says Prof. Caroline Jones. “He understood when there were problems that couldn’t be solved by technology.”

Diverse: Issues in Higher Ed

Provost Martin A Schmidt has been named the 19th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),  reports Diverse Issues in Higher Education reporter Jessica Ruf. “MIT has been a remarkable home for me,” Schmidt told Ruf. “It has allowed me to pursue my research and teaching passion, and I’ve been presented with outstanding opportunities.”  

Associated Press

MIT Provost Martin Schmidt has been named the next president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he received his undergraduate degree, reports the Associated Press. “Marty is a unifying, visionary leader, and a renowned scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science," said Arthur F. Golden, chair of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees.

Boston Globe

President L. Rafael Reif and Linda Henry, CEO of Boston Globe Media Partners, took part in a wide-ranging fireside chat during the inaugural Globe Summit, touching upon everything from the urgent need to address the climate crisis to MIT’s response to Covid-19, the Institute’s approach to AI education and the greater Boston innovation ecosystem. “This is such an important global issue,” says Reif of climate change. “It’s the most serious challenge we have in our times.”
 

The Tech

Incoming Chancellor Melissa Nobles speaks with Tech reporter Srinidhi Narayanan about her academic trajectory, specific initiatives she is interested in pursuing as Chancellor and how she plans to incorporate student voice in decision-making. “In the Chancellor’s Office, we get to focus on the student experience inside and outside of the classroom, and we can help students grow into their whole selves here at MIT,” says Nobles.