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WHDH 7

Ariel Ekblaw, founder and director of MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative, speaks with 7 News about the Blue Origins spaceflight. “We are at that cusp now of interplanetary civilization,” she said. “As the economy grows around space exploration, it will become more accessible and prices will drop, and that will become a huge success for everyone involved.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights MIT startup Superpedestrian, a scooter rental service. “Superpedestrian’s scooters, packed with sensors, GPS, and a cellular connection, don’t need to be parked in a dock,” writes Pressman. “Instead, the company scatters them around cities in convenient locations.”

The Wall Street Journal

MIT researchers have developed a new robot that can help locate hidden items using AI and wireless technologies, reports Benoit Morenne for The Wall Street Journal. “The latest version of the robot has a 96% success rate at finding and picking up objects in a lab setting, including clothes and household items,” writes Morenne. “In the future, this home helper could also retrieve a specific wrench or screwdriver from a toolbox and assist a human in assembling a piece of furniture.”

Bloomberg TV

Prof. Danielle Wood speaks with Andrew Browne of Bloomberg TV about her work focused on using space technologies as a way to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Wood emphasizes how space “is a platform for serving the broad public. We use satellites to observe the environment and the climate, we use satellites to connect people across different parts of the Earth, and they give us information about our positions and our weather. All of these are broad public goods that really can serve people across the world all at once.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Laura Krantz reports that edX will be transferred to the education technology company 2U, and proceeds from the transaction will be used by a nonprofit aimed at addressing education inequalities and reimagining the future of learning.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Melissa Korn writes that 2U, an education technology company, will acquire edX for $800 million. The proceeds flow to a new nonprofit, led by MIT and Harvard, which will “focus on reducing inequalities in access to education. It will maintain the open-access course platform built by edX, research online and hybrid-learning models, and work to minimize the digital divide that still serves as a barrier for many younger students and adults,” writes Korn. 

Bloomberg

Prof. Danielle Wood has been named to Bloomberg’s list of catalysts who are inspiring “new ideas, fresh thinking and novel approaches to old quandaries. But most importantly, they incite action,” writes Andrew Browne for Bloomberg. “Wood uses her expertise to harness space technology for development challenges around the world,” writes Laura Bolt.

TopUniversities.com

Provost Marty Schmidt speaks with TopUniversities.com reporter Chloe Lane about how MIT has maintained its position as the top university in the world on the QS World University Rankings for 10 consecutive years. “I am honored to have been a part of the MIT community for almost 40 years,” says Schmidt. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative, thought-provoking place that encourages experimentation and pushes you to expand your mind. I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.”

CBC News

In an interview with of CBC Radio, graduate student Carmelo Ignaccolo discusses the need to better understand how to make cities good places for residents and tourists to coexist. "There are very different ways in which data can really help us plan better cities," says Ignaccolo.

7 News

Students in Prof. Azra Akšamija’s class created Covid-19 masks that reflected their experiences and shared powerful messages with the world, reports 7 News. “Students learn how to articulate problems they see in the world and issues that we are facing,” says Akšamija. “And to communicate that and translate that through their designs.”

Associated Press

An electric, autonomous boat developed by MIT researchers is being tested in the canals of Amsterdam as part of an effort to ease traffic, reports Aleksandar Furtula and Mike Corder for the AP. The Roboat project is aimed at developing “new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel,” write Furtula and Corder. “The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.”

New York Times

As the curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, addressed how we can live together and how architecture is responding to longstanding global issues that contributed to Covid-19’s global spread, from climate change and migration to political polarization and inequality, reports Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times. “The pandemic will hopefully go away,” said Sarkis. “But unless we address these causes, we will not be able to move forward.”

DesignBoom

Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, speaks with DesignBoom about the 2021 Venice Architecture Bienale, which was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The postponement led to open discussions among the participants about tactical things, thematic things, but also how do we respond collectively to a crisis like this?,” says Sarkis. “But then it also led to starting to share ideas about how it is more effective to ship from this port versus that, and using local support rather than shipping everything.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.”