October 2018

Dear members of the MIT community,

When I asked last month what makes the MIT community unique, the responses emphasized the quality of the faculty, the spectrum of intelligence, the openness to new ideas, and most resoundingly, the talented student body. “The students are unbelievably brilliant and creative,” said Jeremy Raines ’69, PhD ’74. “I got to attend classes with people who became pioneers in their fields after leaving MIT,” noted George Thompson SM ’63.

One article in this Infinite focuses on MIT professor Yoel Fink PhD ’00. He and his team at Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a $300 million institute on the edge of campus, are shaping the future of fabrics. Yoel traces the roots of his success to MIT’s meritocratic culture, entrepreneurial spirit, the presence of mentors, and embrace of game-changing ideas. “I think there is a lot of respect for students built into the system at MIT,” he says. “People realize that ideas come from different directions and from all levels, that student sitting in front of you may eventually discover a cure for a disease, discover a fundamental law, or form a great company so you are always listening.”

There is no shortage of ambition at MIT. An article in this edition also announces the leadership for the new Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health, or J-Clinic, which will bring the best AI technology developed in our labs at MIT to hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and worldwide. This initiative is in keeping with MIT’s mission to serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. My question for you this month: “What does MIT’s public service mission mean to you?”


profile image
Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Dean, MIT School of Engineering

Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

story image

Keeping confidence

The Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program helped Catalina Romero understand that she wasn’t alone on her MIT journey.

story image

Regina Barzilay, James Collins, and Phil Sharp join leadership of new effort on machine learning in health

MacArthur “geniuses” in machine learning and synthetic biology to serve as faculty co-leads; Nobel laureate to chair advisory board of new research center.

story image

Flexible electronics made from exotic materials

Cost-effective method produces semiconducting films from materials that outperform silicon.

story image

Fabrics are the future

How MIT will help transform the fabric materials in our lives.

story image

A recipe for health

Women’s health advocate, Top Chef host and executive producer, and MIT visiting scholar Padma Lakshmi tours campus, speaks on endometriosis.

story image

Solving a longstanding fusion challenge

Novel design could help shed excess heat in next-generation fusion power plants.

story image

A big new home for the ultrasmall

MIT.nano building, the largest of its kind, will usher in a new age of nanoscale advancements.