834,237 articles

When the mystical goes mainstream: how tarot became a self-care phenomenon

Tarot used to be seen as the domain of the credulous. It’s now seen as a means of coping with the present, thanks to psychology-minded practitioners like Jessica DoreWhen Jessica Dore was growing up, her mother had a tarot deck from which she’d pull cards – much to the mounting mortification of her daughter. As a child, Dore went along with it as fortune-telling fun. But “as an adolescent,...

Affordable housing that raises the bar

Daryl J. Carter, MArch ’81, SM ’81 grew up in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Core City on Detroit’s west side during the ’60s and ’70s, when redlining practices that reinforced segregated housing were still commonplace. The Federal Housing Authority and private banks denied low-interest loans to buyers in such neighborhoods, solidifying economic hardship for generations. Some...

Amit Sinha and Deepali Perti Sinha

“Because of my time at MIT, I had the training and opportunity to work with some of the smartest people throughout my career,” says Amit Sinha, chief technical officer and president of research and development, operations, and customer service at Zscaler, a cloud-based information security company. “Plus, my friends and colleagues think I’m smarter than I actually am!” Joking aside, he...

Digital body language for the post-pandemic era

The awkward pause on a Zoom call. The brusque, ambiguous email. The context-free meeting invite. When online interactions are so easily misconstrued, effective communication is essential. As the author of the new book Digital Body Language, Erica Dhawan, MBA ’12, trains corporate leaders to connect fluently in this new era of remote work, with clients ranging from the US Army to Pepsi to...

For this MIT couple, cancer research is the family business

Organic chemistry classes can create all sorts of memories, but few as lasting and meaningful as those of Alfred Singer ’68 and Dinah (Schiffer) Singer ’69. Since meeting while taking 5.41 in 1965—and graduating from MIT with degrees in biology (Dinah) and philosophy with a minor in biology (Al)—they have built an enduring marriage and influential careers at the National Cancer Institute...

Looking to space to cure osteoarthritis

In 1976, Alan Grodzinsky ’71, ScD ’74, was feeling a little frustrated.  He had spent two years teaching a basic course on semiconductor physics and circuits in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, learning the material in the fast-moving field as he went along. That didn’t leave him any time for research. Then a golden opportunity arose. With the...

Productive dialogue across lines of power

While working toward his PhD in sociotechnical studies at Stanford University in the 1980s, William Rifkin ’78 examined how a water quality control board in California handled disputes over pollution cleanup costs. The board was entirely Republican, while its technical staff seemed to be primarily Democratic—yet 99% of the time, the sides reached mutually agreeable resolutions. How? Rifkin...

Steady beat

The corridors of WMBR are quiet—empty of the DJs who should be combing the shelves in search of the perfect song, the engineers ensuring that the equipment is broadcasting to the whole Boston area. MIT’s campus radio station closed its doors in the basement of Walker Memorial in March 2020, when the Institute sent staff and students home at the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Though the campus...

The power of simple innovations

A labyrinth of rooms stretches across the third floor of N51, the weathered gray building that has long housed the MIT Museum. The rooms look more like a handyperson’s workshop than a scientist’s lab. There’s woodworking equipment, metalworking equipment, hammers, wrenches, and dozens of boxes just for storing bike parts. Cookstoves line a windowsill. Pots that cool food through evaporation...

Yup’ik fishing ancestry inspires Alaskan engineer and author

For Mia Heavener ’00, much of life revolves around water. As a senior civil engineer for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), she designs water systems for communities in her home state. And in her time off, she often works with her family’s commercial fishing business, which started with her great-grandmother. Nearly every summer she takes part in a three-week expedition to...

Fossil dental exams reveal how tusks first evolved

A wide variety of animals have tusks, from elephants and walruses to five-pound, guinea pig-looking critters called hyraxes. But one thing tusked animals have in common is that they're all mammals—there are no known fish, reptiles, or birds with tusks. In a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, paleontologists traced the first tusks back to ancient mammal relatives that lived before...

How do plants act fast to fight off infections?

New work led by Carnegie's Kangmei Zhao and Sue Rhee reveals a new mechanism by which plants are able to rapidly activate defenses against bacterial infections. This understanding could inspire efforts to improve crop yields and combat global hunger.

A new 3D printing frontier: Self-powered wearable devices

When most people think of wearable devices, they think of smart watches, smart glasses, fitness trackers, even smart clothing. These devices, part of a fast-growing market, have two things in common: They all need an external power source, and they all require exacting manufacturing processes. Until now.


TUESDAY 26. OCTOBER 2021