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Women in STEM

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Forbes

Forbes reporter Marija Butkovic spotlights Alicia Chong Rodriguez MS ’18, Founder and CEO of Bloomer Tech, for her work in building a cardiovascular disease and stroke database that can generate non-invasive digital biomarkers. “We envision a world where the future of AI in healthcare performs the best it can in women,” says Chong Rodriguez. “We also have created a digital biomarker pipeline where our digital biomarkers can explain, influence, and even improve health outcomes for women.”

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.”

Forbes

Prof. Ariel Furst, and alumna Claire Beskin and Loewen Cavill were named the winners of the first annual MIT Female Founders Pitch, reports Stephanie MacConnell for Forbes. Furst’s company, Pharmor, has developed an inexpensive protective coating that allows microbes to be produced and transported in non-ideal conditions. Beskin’s company, Empallo, uses machine learning to unlock information on siloed patient data. And Cavill’s company, AuraBlue, has developed a wearable device that can predict hot flashes and enable a cooling pad to counteract the change in body temperature in menopausal women.

Forbes

Alumna Anurupa Ganguly SB ’07, MNG ’09 speaks with Forbes contributor Rod Berger about Prisms of Reality, a virtual reality platform she founded that provides math learning through movement, experience and discovery. “We envision a dramatic re-engagement of our students with their education,” says Ganguly. “Our students, many for the first time, will find a profound sense of purpose in their math learning and their lives.”

TechCrunch

Ifueko Igbinedion PhD ’22, Marlyse Reeves PhD ’22 and Wharton alumni Isoken Igbinedion, and Simone Kendle founded Parfait, a company that uses technology to more efficiently design and create wigs, reports Ron Miller for TechCrunch. “The four women have built a solution that lets women simply choose a wig and answer a series of questions to come up with the final design,” explains Miller. “They have mixed this with machine learning to help with sizing and proper tinting, while bringing in human stylists to make the final decisions when needed.”

ABC News

Shirley Ann Jackson ’68, PhD ’73, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is retiring, reports Kendall Ross for ABC News. “It’s about being able to walk so you can carry someone else,” says Jackson. “The most influential the positions I’ve had and the more powerful they’ve become, the more I’ve been able to help people develop open doors." 

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Diverse Issues in Higher Education reporter Lois Elfman spotlights Shirley Ann Jackson '68 PhD '73 for her distinguished professional career in academia, industry, and government. “Sometimes, a window in time opens for you, and if you are prepared to step through then it can create opportunities for you to make a real difference in the world,” says Jackson. “I’ve had that kind of extraordinary set of opportunities. I have always felt it’s important to make a difference and leave and imprint.”

The Boston Globe

Julie Chen ’86, SM ’88, PhD ’91 has been named the next chancellor of UMass Lowell, reports Shirley Leung for The Boston Globe. “With three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has been a fixture on campus for 25 years,” writes Leung. “Chen is considered one of the region’s leading experts in nanotechnology, earning her the nickname ‘nanoqueen’ in a field that builds structures and devices working at an atomic scale.”

WBUR

WBUR host Robin Young speaks with Danielle Dreilinger, author of “The Secret History of Home Economics,” which spotlights alumna Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman to attend MIT and the institute’s first female instructor.  “Ellen Swallow Richards was an amazing woman… and she was devoted to science in the public interest… and she turned her attention to helping everyday women in the home,” says Dreilinger.

Nature

Nature Physics senior editor Silvia Milana spotlights “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus” a new book written by MIT News Deputy Editorial Director Maia Weinstock. “Carbon Queen does not only capture the journey into the personal and professional life of an outstanding figure in carbon science, it is a careful account of the evolution of societal attitudes towards women from the 1950s to today” writes Milana.

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe highlights Robert Buderi’s new book, “Where Futures Converge: Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub.” Buderi features the Future Founders Initiative, an effort by Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins aimed at increasing female entrepreneurship. 

WBUR

Professor Linda Griffith speaks with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing about her research on endometriosis. The dream is “that we get diagnosis at the start, and you get your therapy at the start, and you don’t even develop the disease,” says Griffith.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Nina MacLaughlin spotlights how the MIT Press, MIT Press Bookstore and the MIT Libraries have launched a new reading series called authors@mit. The series will kick off with Maia Weinstock, deputy editorial director at MIT News, and her new book, “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus.”

Nature

Ariana Remmel spotlights “Carbon Queen,” a new book written by MIT News Deputy Editorial Director Maia Weinstock, which highlights the career of Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus. “Weinstock navigates the complexities of theoretical physics and research bureaucracy deftly,” writes Remmel. “She describes of carbon – from diamond to graphite – and their properties with sleek diagrams and colourful analogies that unpack basic principles and broader implications.”

Science

Science writer Maia Weinstock, deputy editorial director at MIT News, has written a new book titled “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus,” which highlights the career of Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus, reports Vijaysree Venkatraman for Science. “In “Carbon Queen,” Weinstock has pieced together Dresselhaus’s story using decades of profiles, print interviews, oral histories conducted with the scientists herself, and new interviews with her contemporaries,” writes Venkatraman.