December 2019

Dear members of the MIT community and friends,

As we near the end of the calendar year, we reflect back upon 2019 and the historic launch of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing—a defining moment emphasizing our overarching commitment to innovation, advances in artificial intelligence and computing, and breakthroughs that will impact a broad range of disciplines.

This issue of The Infinite pays homage to the past year by looking forward toward the future…the battle against climate change, and a significant new method to remove carbon dioxide from the air; new collaboration in the classroom, where science and engineering have joined hands to transform learning; critical steps in robotics, enabling humanoid robots to carry out tasks that could one day save lives; new developments in food security, and a means to impact agriculture on marginal lands; and advances in biomedical research that will benefit genomics, diagnostics, and drug screenings.

I’m excited as ever about what is yet to come and the new year ahead for the MIT School of Engineering.

I wish you all the best for a wonderful holiday season.


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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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Science and Engineering join hands to transform learning

In 8.02, students explore the practical application of electromagnetic concepts.

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Waiting to launch

For these engineers, Starliner’s crew is top priority.

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Removing carbon dioxide from air

New process could work on the gas at any concentrations, from power plant emissions to open air.

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A robot finds balance

New control system may enable humanoid robots to do heavy lifting and other physically demanding tasks.

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Coated seeds may enable agriculture on marginal lands

A specialized silk covering could protect seeds from salinity while also providing fertilizer-generating microbes.

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Realizing crazy ideas

Paul Blainey creates technology platforms that have benefited genomics, diagnostics, and drug screening.