Engineering In Action

Taking The Engine for a Test Drive
Taking The Engine for a Test Drive

Innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs worldwide are waiting on news of the first companies chosen to be part of The Engine. Founded by MIT, The Engine is a combination of long-term investment, resources, and services for founders working on “tough tech” that prioritizes high-impact solutions to big problems over early profits. This summer a group of MIT students got a taste of what it’s like to be inside The Engine’s space in Central Square, near the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They may not be members of The Engine’s first cohort of startups, but they still had a chance to warm up the space, so to speak, for those chosen.

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Karate is for Everyone
Karate is for Everyone

Vazrik Chiloyan, an instructor for the MIT Shotokan Karate Club, developed a love for karate nearly a decade ago. Since then, Chiloyan, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, has earned a second-degree black belt. Shotokan karate, he says, is one of the most beautiful things he has ever studied.

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Apophis Is Coming!
Apophis Is Coming!

Alissa Michelle Earle is rehearsing in front of her class. She stands before a presentation slide, and reads: “Mission Motivation: Apophis is coming!”

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Entering the Animal World
Entering the Animal World

On a field trip, Harriet Ritvo and her MIT students went to look at preserved animals on public display, or stored as lab specimens, in collections housed at Harvard University. They encountered hundreds of species, some up close: touching the wings of a pickled bat, the silky fur of a mink, and the sharp claws of a lynx and a lion.

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The Creation of a Public Engineer
The Creation of a Public Engineer

“In my lab, we bridge a gap,” says Hadley Sikes. “We try to figure out how to take established science and implement it in clinical practice in a reliable, easy and cost-effective way.”

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Genuine Enthusiasm for AI
Genuine Enthusiasm for AI

On an afternoon in early April, Tommi Jaakkola is pacing at the front of the vast auditorium that is 26-100. The chalkboards behind him are covered with equations. Jaakkola looks relaxed in a short-sleeved black shirt and jeans, and gestures to the board. “What is the answer here?” he asks the 500 MIT students before him. “If you answer, you get a chocolate. If nobody answers, I get one — because I knew the answer and you didn’t.” The room erupts in laugher.

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Having a Ball
Having a Ball

Each spring, the MIT Ballroom Dance Team hosts the MIT Open Ballroom Competition — the largest collegiate competition in the country. Nearly 1,000 dancers from dozens of universities pack Rockwell Cage and strive to deliver, according to MIT team captain Corey Cleveland, something truly individual.

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The Warmup
The Warmup

With graduation on the horizon, MIT students Gabe Alba and Victoria Gregory have work to do. They have a promising idea, a series of prototypes, and if all goes according to plan, a trendy product that will satisfy a coffee drinker’s desire.

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The Sanity of the Long-Distance Runner
The Sanity of the Long-Distance Runner

Polina Anikeeva is ready for Patriots Day. Like the thousands of other runners who make their way from Hopkington, Massachusetts, all the way to that last turn onto Boylston Street in the heart of Beantown, she has her own reasons for running the Boston Marathon; among them: the desire for a balanced life within academe.

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Putting Data in the Hands of Doctors
Putting Data in the Hands of Doctors

Regina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning. 

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