153 articles from TUESDAY 24.8.2021

Bird communities threatened by urbanization

Urbanization is one of the most drastic forms of land-use change. Its negative consequences on biodiversity have been studied extensively in countries like Germany. However, there has been less research in tropical regions from the Global South. Researchers investigated the effects on farmland bird communities in Bangalore and found that urbanization filters out species with certain traits, such...

Using your smartwatch to reduce stress

An engineering researcher has modified a smartwatch to reduce stress. The new technology monitors sweat to infer brain stress and, when detected, sends a message through the smartwatch to calm down.

Quantum computing: Exotic particle had an 'out-of-body experience'

Scientists have taken a clear picture of electronic particles that make up a mysterious magnetic state called quantum spin liquid (QSL). The achievement could facilitate the development of superfast quantum computers and energy-efficient superconductors. The scientists are the first to capture an image of how electrons in a QSL decompose into spin-like particles called spinons and charge-like...

A “far out” take on transportation planning

As a boy, Eric Plosky ’99, MCP ’00, rode the New York subway with his grandmother to every city attraction on the map. “Whenever anyone asks me how I got into transportation, I always ask them, ‘How did you get out of it?’” he says. “Every little kid seems to love trains and subways and buses and cars and planes, and for some reason they ‘grow out of it.’ I never did.” Now,...

A musical postcard to MIT graduates

On February 11, I got a call from MIT’s executive director of Institute events and protocol, Gayle Gallagher. President Reif had just announced that MIT would again be conducting commencement online—and to open the ceremony, we needed a compelling piece of music that would evoke renewal as we began to emerge from the pandemic.  After nearly a year of socially distanced teaching,...

A window into the clean room

Abbie (Carlstein) Gregg ’74 remembers giving up on wearing lab gloves during her undergraduate research at MIT. There weren’t any small enough to fit her, at a time when undergraduate men outnumbered women on campus 15 to 1. Even so, it was the first time she’d met other women interested in engineering and technology—and she quickly found a home in the Metallurgy Department (now Materials...

“Rocket Woman”: from space shuttle engineer to space historian

Linda (Getch) Dawson ’71 grew up during the height of the space race between the US and the USSR. She recalls driving with her family to an observatory to hear the beeping of the Soviet satellite Sputnik as it passed overhead. “It’s funny how your path takes different turns, but I always came back to that first love: aerospace,” she says. Dawson’s path took her from MIT to NASA, then...

Log on all ye of MIT

A record-breaking total of more than 5,000 alumni and friends attended this year’s MIT Tech Reunions, held online June 4–6. There were special events for reunion-year classes, and the entire MIT community was invited to watch the online Tech Night at Pops, learn from faculty during Technology Day, and take virtual campus tours. Symphony Hall…

Pairing economics with empathy to study life in the developing world

Reshmaan Hussam ’09, PhD ’15, once dreamed of becoming a “psychohistorian” like the protagonist in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels who combines sociology, history, and statistics to save the world. Maybe, she thought, such a psychohistorian would be able to make sense of the stark and unnerving contrasts that marked her childhood living in suburban Virginia and visiting her parents’...

Technology Day: Pathways to the Future

Continuing an annual tradition, Technology Day offered alumni an inside view of MIT’s role in solving global challenges. The online symposium focused on online learning, cancer research, computing, and climate change. The first three topics were covered in updates from Curt Newton, director of MIT OpenCourseWare; Matthew Vander Heiden, director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer...

The practice of moving energy around

One of the things Rod Bayliss III ’20, MEng ’21, remembers most clearly from his childhood is his father’s 1964 Ford Mustang. “I was fascinated by that car,” says Bayliss. “Especially by the engine, this thing that converted oxygen and fuel into power.” Bayliss grew up in Augusta, Georgia. Math and physics came easily to him, and in high school he developed a passion for Latin,...

Virtual Photo Booth

Patrice Langford ’95 Paul Chai ’99 Claude Gerstle ’68 with his wife, Ellen Gerstle Claire DeRosa ’11, MEng ’12, and Kimberly Gonzalez ’11 John Paul Mattia ’86, SM ’91, Eng ’96, PhD ’96 Tara Chang Pettus ’08 with daughter Celeste and father Clifton Chang ’71...

NASA Invites Media to Launch of Lucy Mission to Study Trojan Asteroids

Portal origin URL: NASA Invites Media to Launch of Lucy Mission to Study Trojan AsteroidsPortal origin nid: 473478Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 16:22Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Media accreditation is open for the upcoming launch of NASA’s Lucy mission, which will send the first spacecraft to study the Trojan asteroids.Portal...

Studying the mechanism of metal extraction with ionic liquids

The heaviest known elements are the so-called "superheavy" elements, those with atomic numbers greater than 103. These elements are found only in laboratories, where they are made by fusing together two lighter elements. This process is unlikely to occur, so scientists have only tiny amounts (a few atoms) for experiments, and chemists are interested in the chemical properties of these elements....