3 space science questions that computing is helping to answer

What did the early universe look like? Advances in computing could help astronomers turn back the cosmic clock. Earlier this year, Japanese astronomers used ATERUI II, a supercomputer that specializes in astronomy simulations, to reconstruct what the universe may have looked like as early as the Big Bang.  ATERUI II is helping the researchers investigate […]

These impossible instruments could change the future of music

What Sassoon had heard were the early results of a curious project at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where Ducceschi was a researcher at the time. The Next Generation Sound Synthesis, or NESS, team had pulled together mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists to produce the most lifelike digital music ever created, by running hyper-realistic […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]