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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.”

The Nobel Podcast

Prof. Joshua Angrist speaks with The Nobel Podcast host Adam Smith about his career in economics and how winning the Nobel Prize has impacted his life. “I never stop thinking about my work,” says Angrist.

Freakonomics Radio

Prof. Joshua Angrist speaks with Steven D. Levitt about natural experiments, the Talmud, and his path to winning the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics on the Freakonomics Radio Network's podcast, People I (Mostly) Admire. “Natural experiments started to attract people like me, partly because it was interesting and fun, and we had the opportunity to actually say something concrete about the world,” said Angrist.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Jinhua Zhao explores how many people, when provided the opportunity to work remotely, work from a location other than their home. “If employers provide the necessary flexibility to their staff, and policymakers engage in smart land use and transportation planning for third-place trips,” writes Zhao, “the result could be a rare win-win-win for workers, businesses, and the public good.”

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.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Charlotte Hu writes that MIT researchers have simulated an environment in which socially-aware robots are able to choose whether they want to help or hinder one another, as part of an effort to help improve human-robot interactions. “If you look at the vast majority of what someone says during their day, it has to do with what other [people] want, what they think, getting what that person wants out of another [person],” explains research scientist Andrei Barbu. “And if you want to get to the point where you have a robot inside someone’s home, understanding social interactions is incredibly important.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new machine learning system that can help robots learn to perform certain social interactions, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “Researchers conducted tests in a simulated environment, to develop what they deemed ‘realistic and predictable’ interactions between robots,” writes Heater. “In the simulation, one robot watches another perform a task, attempts to determine the goal and then either attempts to help or hamper it in that task.”

Times Higher Ed

Writing for Times Higher Ed, Agustín Rayo, interim dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, underscore the importance of the arts, humanities, and design fields as “an essential part of an MIT education, critical to the Institute’s capacity for innovation and vital to its mission to make a better world." They add that "the MIT mission is to serve humankind, and the arts and humanities are essential resources for knowledge and understanding of the human condition.”

Financial Times

Prof. Joshua Angrist has been named one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “a framework showing how precise conclusions about cause and effect could be drawn from natural experiments,” reports Delphine Strauss for the Financial Times. “The committee said this had ‘transformed’ applied work, and was now widely used in economics, and increasingly in other social sciences, epidemiology and medicine,” writes Strauss.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Paul Hannon and David Harrison write that Prof. Joshua Angrist, who won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics along with David Card and Guido Imbens, “helped economists make better use of natural experiments, in which some people are randomly subjected to a policy while others aren’t.” Says Angrist of his work: “Whereas the generation that I’m part of and associated with the credibility revolution, we entered the arena with specific questions in mind and then we had a strategy for answering that question using this idea of natural experiments.”

Associated Press

The Associated Press spotlights the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, one of the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Economics. Angrist was honored “for working out the methodological issues that allow economists to draw solid conclusions about cause and effect even where they cannot carry out studies according to strict scientific methods.” Of winning a Nobel prize, Angrist said, “I can hardly believe it. It's only been a few hours and I am still trying to absorb it."

Reuters

Prof. Joshua Angrist, Prof. David Card of the University of California at Berkeley and Prof. Guido Imbens of Stanford have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for “pioneering ‘natural experiments’ to show real-world economic impacts,” reports Simon Johnson and Niklas Pollard for Reuters. “The Nobel committee noted that natural experiments were difficult to interpret, but that Angrist and Imbens had, in the mid-1990s, solved methodological problems to show that precise conclusions about cause and effect could be drawn from them,” write Johnson and Pollard.

New York Times

New York Times reporter Jeanna Smialek explores the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, who was honored as a recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “research tools that help economists use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.” Angrist and his fellow recipients David Card and Guido Imbens “ushered in a new phase in labor economics that has now reached all fields of the profession,” said Prof. Trevon D. Logan of Ohio State.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Joshua Angrist was named a winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Economics for “a body of work stretching across decades that has sought to answer the complex questions at the crux of modern political discussion through the lens of proven research,” writes Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “It’s just the greatest honor a person could have,” said Angrist. “It’s a high point of my life.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”