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Newsweek

Hasier Larrea MS ’15 - CEO of Ori, a company that creates expandable tiny apartments - writes for Newsweek about his journey and inspiration for developing expandable housing options. Larrea writes that Ori is focused on creating, “expandable urban apartments that are more flexible, functional, affordable and sustainable—in short, living spaces that can suit the amazing diversity of people who want to live in the world's most incredible cities.”

Politico

Prof. Cynthia Breazeal discusses her work exploring how artificial intelligence can help students impacted by Covid, including refugees or children with disabilities, reports Ryan Heath for Politico. “We want to be super clear on what the role is of the robot versus the community, of which this robot is a part of. That's part of the ethical design thinking,” says Breazeal. “We don't want to have the robot overstep its responsibilities. All of our data that we collect is protected and encrypted.”

Scientific American

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers demonstrates that forming weak ties on LinkedIn can help people find new jobs, reports Vivianne Callier for Scientific American.  “One thing the study highlights is the degree to which algorithms are guiding fundamental, baseline, important outcomes, like employment and unemployment,” says Prof. Sinan Aral.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Sam Becker writes that a study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that weaker social connections on LinkedIn have a greater impact on job mobility than stronger relationships. The findings demonstrate that “the best thing many job seekers can do, as counterintuitive as it sounds, is to mine their lesser-known or secondary connections for opportunities,” writes Becker.

The Guardian

Research by Prof. Sinan Aral and his colleagues has found that having “moderately weak ties” can positively facilitate job shifts, reports Nicola Davis for The Guardian. Aral said that as well as examining the importance of weak ties, the study highlighted the degree to which social media algorithms “are turning the knobs on our economies and fundamental indicators like employment." 

Economist

Prof. Edward Boyden has developed a new imaging technique called expansion-revealing microscopy that can reveal tiny protein structures in tissues, reports The Economist. “Already his team at MIT has used it to reveal detail in synapses, the nanometer-sized junctions between nerve cells, and also to shed light on the mechanisms at play in Alzheimer’s disease, revealing occasional spirals of amyloid-beta protein around axons, which are the threadlike parts of nerve cells that carry electrical impulses.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg News, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Robert Muggah of the Igarapé Institute make the case that cities should use venture capital strategies to manage risk and spur innovation. “To do so, local governments need to change their approach to procurement,” they write. “If administrators pay more close attention to what venture capital can teach them, then the city — one of the first, greatest ventures in human history — will be able to continue to invest in a shared, prosperous tomorrow.”

Reuters

A new study by Prof. Albert Saiz has found that Mexican housing must become denser and better planned in order to provide adequate living options to lower-income parts of the population, reports Kylie Madry for Reuters. “According to Saiz, the prevalence of self-built, one-family homes is a bigger problem than growing numbers of ‘digital nomads’ – remote workers living in Mexico but earning disproportionately large salaries from abroad – which have been the focus of criticism since the coronavirus pandemic took many jobs online,” writes Madry.

Times Higher Ed

Researchers at MIT’s Senseable City Lab have found that academics missed out on forming new connections during Covid-19 lockdowns, hindering academic collaboration, reports Tom Williams for Times Higher Education. “Colleagues associated more with previous collaborators, which could create closed loops of communication, rather than with new potential collaborators, which enables the critical exchange that stimulates research and innovation,” says postdoctoral researcher Daniel Carmody.

Forbes

Joseph Coughlin, Director of the MIT AgeLab, writes for Forbes about Serena William’s recent retirement announcement and the evolving concept of retirement. “Tennis star Serena Williams announced her ‘retirement’ from tennis this week while challenging the very idea of retirement,” writes Coughlin. “Williams is not alone. Many people, far older than her 41 years, are declaring retirement a dated term best left to past generations and another era.”

WBUR

The Emerald Tutu, a climate resiliency project in Boston led by Gabriel Cira ’08, is developing a system of floating wetlands designed to reduce coastal flooding by knocking down waves, reports Hannah Chanatry for WBUR. The Emerald Tutu was the winning project at the 2018 MIT Climate Changed Ideas competition. “Fundamentally, it’s like a giant sponge that fits around urban coastlines like we have here in Boston,” said Cira. “It buffers those coastlines from the intense effects of coastal storms.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Miho Mazereeuw speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Lindsay Ellis about courses she is teaching at MIT focused on environmental risk and disaster-resilient design. During her course last semester, “students weighed how to build environments that can cope with a changing climate as well as the social inequities that disasters reveal,” writes Ellis.

The Washington Post

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma about the growing field of smart textiles and his work creating fabrics embedded with computational power. Fink and his colleagues “have created fibers with hundreds of silicon microchips to transmit digital signals — essential if clothes are to automatically track things like heart rate or foot swelling. These fibers are small enough to pass through a needle that can be sown into fabric and washed at least 10 times.”

The Economist

The Economist spotlights how Prof. Carlo Ratti and researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab are working on revitalizing neglected spaces in Kosovo’s capital. “We wanted to start something that could continue in the long term: small interventions that, little by little, could become part of the city,” says Ratti.

Experience Magazine

Ezra Haber Glenn, a lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning, writes for Experience Magazine about how companies and technologists are looking to make electric vehicle charging stations destinations themselves. “Still in the conceptual stages, the program envisions replacing gas stations with a variety of ‘new-age community centers,’” writes Glenn.