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Stephen Wukitch, John Wright win Landau-Spitzer Award August 17, 2018 - 1:37pm

The American Physical Society (APS) has recognized MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) principal research scientists John Wright and Stephen Wukitch, as well as Yevgen Kazakov and Jozef Ongena of the Laboratory for Plasma Physics in Brussels, Belgium, with the Landau-Spitzer Award for their collaborative work.

Advancing undersea optical communications August 17, 2018 - 3:33am

Nearly five years ago, NASA and Lincoln Laboratory made history when the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) used a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth — more than 239,000 miles — at a record-breaking download speed of 622 megabits per second.

Now, researchers at Lincoln Laboratory are aiming to once again break new ground by applying the laser beam technology used in LLCD to underwater communications.

Thomas Magnanti honored with Singapore’s National Day Award August 17, 2018 - 3:33am

Institute Professor Thomas Magnanti has been honored as one of Singapore’s National Day Award recipients, for his long-term work developing higher education in Singapore.

The government of Singapore announced that Magnanti received the Public Administration Medal (gold) on Aug. 9, the National Day of Singapore, for his role as founding president of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He will receive the medal at a ceremony in Singapore later this year.

“I am quite pleased,” Magnanti says about the award. “It’s quite an honor to receive it.”

More efficient security for cloud-based machine learning August 17, 2018 - 3:33am

A novel encryption method devised by MIT researchers secures data used in online neural networks, without dramatically slowing their runtimes. This approach holds promise for using cloud-based neural networks for medical-image analysis and other applications that use sensitive data.

Tiny ASTERIA satellite achieves a first for CubeSats August 16, 2018 - 4:35pm

A miniature satellite called ASTERIA (Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics) has measured the transit of a previously-discovered super-Earth exoplanet, 55 Cancri e. This finding shows that miniature satellites, like ASTERIA, are capable of making of sensitive detections of exoplanets via the transit method.

Preparing postdocs for life beyond the bench August 16, 2018 - 12:35pm

The postdoctoral training period is a time when junior researchers learn what it takes to become independent investigators. Pursuing a career in biomedical research can be highly demanding, and young researchers often feel challenged to find time to reflect on various career possibilities, explore options of interest, develop associated professional skills, and still maintain an acceptable work-life balance.

At MIT, about 1,500 postdocs are appointed to more than 50 departments, and serve as vital members of the Institute’s research workforce. 

Design tool reveals a product’s many possible performance tradeoffs August 16, 2018 - 12:35pm

MIT researchers have developed a tool that makes it much easier and more efficient to explore the many compromises that come with designing new products.

Designing any product — from complex car parts down to workaday objects such as wrenches and lamp stands — is a balancing act with conflicting performance tradeoffs. Making something lightweight, for instance, may compromise its durability.

Jie Yun August 15, 2018 - 3:01pm
A solution for urban storm flooding August 15, 2018 - 2:39pm

Flooding, on the rise due to climate change, can devastate urban areas and result in drawn-out, costly repairs. Cities are in dire need of new strategies to manage the influx of stormwater. An interdisciplinary team of engineers and urban planners at MIT has now developed a solution: multifunctional urban stormwater wetlands and ponds that seamlessly integrate the control and cleaning of stormwater with ecological and recreational benefits.

Shaping technology’s future August 15, 2018 - 12:40am

Jessika Trancik’s life has been one of straddling languages and cultures, both in academia and in her own life.

NASA student competitors honored for persistence August 14, 2018 - 3:42pm

Three high school girls whose entry in a NASA technology competition was targeted for derailment by a racist and misogynistic online forum were honored by an MIT group recently to celebrate their achievement in engineering a water-filtration system using aerospace technology.

Introducing the latest in textiles: Soft hardware August 14, 2018 - 12:36pm

The latest development in textiles and fibers is a kind of soft hardware that you can wear: cloth that has electronic devices built right into it.

High school students learn to build big ideas August 13, 2018 - 7:39pm

A group of high school students, some from as far away as Italy and China, came to MIT’s Edgerton Center this summer to learn more about what it takes to be an engineer — and learned a bit more about themselves as well.

Now in its 12th year, the Edgerton Center’s Engineering Design Workshop (EDW) brought together 27 students in a month-long creative binge to flesh out their own projects. Some were practical, some were whimsical, but all were challenging and fun.

A transformative summer for student engineers August 13, 2018 - 4:35pm

Visitors roaming the MIT Stratton Student Center chatted with high school students stationed at various booths, as 3-D printers hummed and a remote-controlled inflatable shark swam above their heads. Down the street at the Johnson Ice Rink, self-driving miniature racecars hurtled down a racetrack while onlookers cheered them on. 

A summer tune-up for industry professionals August 12, 2018 - 12:40am

Kristala Jones Prather is speaking in a packed MIT lecture hall. Many of her students wear reading glasses, some have a little less hair than they used to, and most of them are well dressed and groomed. But all of these engineers, biologists, chemists, microbiologists, and biochemists take furious notes in thick course binders and lean forward to study the equations she jots on the chalkboard.

3Q: Muriel Médard on the world-altering rise of 5G August 10, 2018 - 6:44pm

The rise of 5G, or fifth generation, mobile technologies is refashioning the wireless communications and networking industry. The School of Engineering recently asked Muriel Médard, the Cecil H. Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at MIT, to explain what that means and why it matters.

Krithika Ramchander and Andrea Beck awarded J-WAFS fellowships for water solutions August 9, 2018 - 5:39pm

The Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) has announced that two MIT PhD students, Krithika Ramchander and Andrea Beck, have been awarded fellowships to pursue water resource solutions for the 2018-2019 academic year. A third student, Julia Sokol, was chosen to receive an honorable mention. 

Holding law-enforcement accountable for electronic surveillance August 8, 2018 - 11:37am

When the FBI filed a court order in 2016 commanding Apple to unlock the iPhone of one of the shooters in a terrorist attack in San Bernandino, California, the news made headlines across the globe. Yet every day there are tens of thousands of court orders asking tech companies to turn over Americans’ private data. Many of these orders never see the light of day, leaving a whole privacy-sensitive aspect of government power immune to judicial oversight and lacking in public accountability.

Sensor could help doctors select effective cancer therapy August 7, 2018 - 5:42am

MIT chemical engineers have developed a new sensor that lets them see inside cancer cells and determine whether the cells are responding to a particular type of chemotherapy drug.

The sensors, which detect hydrogen peroxide inside human cells, could help researchers identify new cancer drugs that boost levels of hydrogen peroxide, which induces programmed cell death. The sensors could also be adapted to screen individual patients’ tumors to predict whether such drugs would be effective against them.

Mass timber: Thinking big about sustainable construction August 7, 2018 - 2:39am

The construction and operation of all kinds of buildings uses vast amounts of energy and natural resources. Researchers around the world have therefore been seeking ways to make buildings more efficient and less dependent on emissions-intensive materials.