Dear members of the MIT community and friends,
“Mens et manus” (“mind and hand”) is at the heart of who we are and what we do at the MIT School of Engineering. We are inventors, designers, and builders who, now more than ever, are applying all that we know to create immediate solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges.
The current pandemic has demonstrated that no matter how hard the problem, our community will find a way forward. From projects big to small, high to low tech, we’re witnessing awe-inspiring work from developing vaccines and discovering new drugs, to manufacturing personal protective equipment and sterilizing masks — it is truly a spectrum of advances.
I am particularly proud of the many projects that have stemmed from coursework, such as a low-cost ventilator that grew out of class 2.75 (Medical Device Design) and a machine learning algorithm that began as part of the final project in class 2.168 (Learning Machines).
This is the MIT School of Engineering.
In this issue of The Infinite, I share with you a subset of the amazing work that is currently underway. Through these stories, you’ll be taken on a journey that explores some of our far-reaching efforts on Covid-19, and just as importantly, you’ll hear inspiring stories of how our students are adapting to this changing world. Here are a few of the things you’ll discover:
- the rapid generation and testing of an affordable Covid-19 vaccine;
- a commitment to support the development of new classes of antibiotics to treat the world’s deadliest bacterial pathogens;
- students resolving to continue to make a better world despite physical distance;
- a 3Q on searching for a Covid-19 protein test;
- a model quantifying the impact of quarantine measures on Covid-19’s spread;
- a how-to on properly cleaning your smartphone;
- an investigation into whether gamma radiation could make N95 masks reusable;
- how one senior is helping his immigrant family address medical matters while balancing his school work;
- and in the media, a device developed to monitor patients with Covid-19, developed by Dina Katabi, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and colleagues.
I take such pride in the efforts of our entire MIT community. The ambition, resilience, creativity, and passion is truly inspiring. I want to thank you again for all your support and outreach during this time. Stay safe and be well.