Learning to think computationally; MIT-Africa initiative; 1st annual Maker Break

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
May 10, 2018

MIT News: around campus


A weekly digest of the Institute’s community news



Computation counts


Students are flocking to 6.00 (Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python), where they learn not just coding but computational thinking.




3Q: Hazel Sive on MIT-Africa


Faculty director discusses the future of the initiative and Africa’s position as a global priority for the Institute.




Maker Break: A celebration of making at MIT


Over 700 students and makers joined in the first annual participatory showcase of fabrication and crafts around the Institute.




Mircea Dincă: Searching for materials that collect and store energy


A lifelong fascination with chemistry has led to research on exotic new materials with environmental advantages.




Be our guest!


For nearly two decades, MIT has put its collective best foot forward to welcome admitted students during Campus Preview Weekend.




Addressing bias, inequality, and accessibility in breastfeeding


Make the Breast Pump Not Suck hackathon at the Media Lab emphasizes social and political issues over engineering.



In the Media



The Economist explores the basics of free trade, its benefits and downsides, with Prof. John Van Reenen. “With free trade, you come into more contact with foreign companies, new ideas, new people and so on,” explains Van Reenen. “That’s mutually beneficial. And it is a political force for cooperation.”






Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab, writes for Wired about the uses of AI in the criminal justice system, and why we should use such technologies to examine causes of systemic injustice. “We’re using algorithms as crystal balls to make predictions on behalf of society,” writes Ito, “when we should be using them as a mirror to examine ourselves and our social systems more critically.” 




DUSP Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn and Prof. Neri Oxman of the Media Lab were among the ten winners of this year’s Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum awards, “also known as the Oscars of the design world,” writes Aileen Kwun for Co.Design. Spirn received the “Design Mind” honor, while Oxman was selected for “Interaction Design.”



research & innovation



Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity


A drug treatment that mimics fasting can also provide the same benefit, study finds.




Self-driving cars for country roads


Today’s autonomous vehicles require hand-labeled 3-D maps, but CSAIL’s MapLite system enables navigation with just GPS and sensors.




Biologists discover function of gene linked to familial ALS


Study in worms reveals gene loss can lead to accumulation of waste products in cells.




Prize-winning projects promote healthier eating, smarter crop investments


Meal kits for “food deserts” and crowdsourced crop-pricing platform win Rabobank-MIT Food and Agribusiness Innovation Prize.



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