When several Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) students read of an event that dares “the brave and brainy to design, build and pilot home-made flying machines off a 28-foot high flight deck in hopes of soaring into the wild blue yonder,” there was no way they could not take up the challenge.
“Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a physicist!” The cry by Leonard “Bones” McCoy of the original "Star Trek" television series became code for “that’s not in my job description.” A prognosticator of many future technologies and social issues, the show’s portrayal of professional roles remained stubbornly one-dimensional — although one might forgive the ship’s doctor for not being a bricklayer, coal miner, or torpedo technician.
From its low-profile beginnings 15 years ago, MIT’s Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) has grown to become one of the largest co-curricular programs on campus. With nearly half of all sophomores applying each year, UPOP has earned a reputation among students and employers as a success accelerator.
“This is the century of genetic engineering,” says MIT Professor Christopher Voigt. “There are applications from new materials to pharmaceuticals to chemicals, agriculture — essentially, anything you see biology in nature doing.”
In today’s cyber world, sharing selfies is one thing but keeping personal information private is another. Luckily, Vinod Vaikuntanathan, the Steven and Renee Finn Career Development Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, is working to make data stored on the cloud, more secure.
After three years, two months, and 650,000 lines of code, a team of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) stood proudly with their humanoid robot in a sporting arena surrounded by thousands of spectators. They were just one step away from winning the $2 million grand prize at an international competition that many have been calling “the Robot Olympics.”
On June 5-6, a team of nearly two dozen MIT students and faculty led by Russ Tedrake from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) final in Pomona, California. The DRC is a team competition to develop robot systems capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and human-made disasters.
Since the 2015 Start6 IAP class for innovators and entrepreneurs ended in mid January, the MIT students who took part were eager to continue another phase of their Start6 experience by venturing to California’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s startup culture during spring break in mid March. For two days, over 30 members of the Start6 class were given the opportunity to visit and network at Airware, AppDynamics, Khan Academy, Lemnos Labs, Nutanix, Pinterest, Quizlet, and Wearable Intelligence as well as attend several alumni receptions and meet with venture capitalists (VCs).
Today, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) celebrates the reopening of the W. David Kingery Ceramics and Glass Laboratory — formerly known as the MIT Glass Lab — and the Merton C. Flemings Materials Processing Laboratory, home to MIT’s forge and foundry.