March/April 2022

Dear members of the MIT community and friends,

We are just a few weeks away from the end of the spring term and exactly six weeks away from the first in-person Commencement ceremony in two years. We’ve come so far, and I am so grateful to this entire community of brilliant, dedicated, and supportive individuals who banded together to ensure we could continue to rise to challenges while keeping our community safe across the past two years. Research and education remained at the forefront, and discovery and innovation flourished.

The spring term has been particularly noteworthy. From this week’s announcement of the Climate Grand Challenges flagship projects, all of which are led by or include School of Engineering researchers working side-by-side with peers from across MIT to develop ideas and quickly transform them into practical solutions at scale; to the recent launch of the MIT AI Hardware Program and its five inaugural companies that will engage with MIT researchers to advance AI technologies for the next decade. From the head of our department of mechanical engineering, Evelyn Wang’s presidential nomination for Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy; to Thomas Tull, CEO of Tulco, joining us as a School of Engineering Visiting Innovation Scholar to advance technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship across the school for the coming year.  

And these are just a few of many highlights I could share!

We have students—particularly undergraduate seniors and 2022 advanced degree candidates—who are spending their final term bringing this chapter of their MIT journeys to a close with incredible discoveries and collaborations. And faculty who have transformed lecture halls and labs to embrace technological pedagogy adopted throughout the pandemic, and integrated it into their teachings in ways that will continue to transform education.

Every single day I find myself amazed by the astounding individual and collective contributions of members of our school community, and today is no different. In this issue of The Infinite, I have curated stories that uncover some incredible research and programmatic advances that will unearth new ground, and stories that will shine a light on some inspiring individuals within our community who are impacting the school in extraordinary ways.

Here’s to a promising and productive spring season.


profile image
Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Dean, MIT School of Engineering

Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

story image

New program bolsters innovation in next-generation AI hardware

The MIT AI Hardware Program launches with five inaugural companies to advance AI technologies for the next decade.

story image

Manipulating the future

A new Robotic Manipulation course provides a broad survey of state-of-the-art robotics, equipping students to identify and solve the field’s biggest problems.

story image

Leading industry toward sustainability and equity

MIT LGO alum combines her drive for sustainability, innovation, and diversity to lead $1B project to drive impact in operations.

story image

New gold standards

Professor Ariel Furst is working on responsible methods of developing inexpensive technologies that can be deployed on site in non-ideal conditions.

story image

School of Engineering welcomes Thomas Tull as visiting innovation scholar

Primary focus will be to advance and promote technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship across the school.

story image

MIT Morningside Academy for Design created as a new hub for cross-disciplinary education, research, and innovation

Supported by a $100 million founding gift, the academy will deepen the integration of design across the Institute and beyond.

story image

Recognizing exemplary staff across the school

Jane Halpern, Communications Officer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is a passionate storyteller.