April 2019

Dear members of the MIT Community,

I look forward to welcoming a new batch of admitted students this week. With parents alongside, they will arrive in Cambridge to learn about the full breadth of MIT during Campus Preview Weekend.

Many young people will experience MIT for the first time: a place defined by open and down-to-earth people of extraordinary accomplishment, a fun and collaborative atmosphere, and a thriving culture of innovation. They will find themselves at home and begin to build an exciting future here.

This Infinite includes articles that reflect our special culture of making and building. Enter The Deep, a new makerspace open to the MIT community. It is the latest output of Project Manus, an initiative to establish and integrate makerspaces on campus. Meet senior Crystal Winston, one of five MIT students to receive the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, and learn of her delightful idea for a “cool ecosystem of autonomous, flying, swimming cars.” And learn how researchers from MIT, Columbia University, and elsewhere have developed computationally simple robots that connect in large groups to move around, transport objects, and complete other tasks.


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Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Dean, MIT School of Engineering

Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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“Particle robot” works as a cluster of simple units

Loosely connected disc-shaped “particles” can push and pull one another, moving en masse to transport objects.

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“Designing vehicles that drive, fly — and swim”

Senior and Marshall Scholar Crystal Winston pursues her vision of a world where cars aren’t limited to roads.

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Getting to the bottom of the “boiling crisis”

New understanding of heat transfer in boiling water could lead to efficiency improvements in power plants.

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Welcome to The Deep

A new space opens as maker culture continues to thrive at MIT.

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Machine learning moves popular data elements into a bucket of their own

Counting search queries isn’t easy, but MIT CSAIL’s new LearnedSketch system for “frequency-estimation” aims to help.

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MIT and NASA engineers demonstrate a new kind of airplane wing

Assembled from tiny identical pieces, the wing could enable lighter, more energy-efficient aircraft designs.