Industry News

MIT School of Engineering

  • Using machine learning for medical solutions
    Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of time testing potential drugs, and they end up wasting  much of that effort on candidates that don’t pan out. Kyle Swanson wants to change that. A master’s student in computer science and engineering, Swanson is working on a project that involves feeding a computer information about chemical compounds that have or have not worked as drugs in the past. From this input, the machine “learns” to predict which kinds of new compounds have the most promise as drug candidates, potentially saving money and time otherwise spent on testing. Several prominent companies have already adopted the software as their new model. “Our model is never going to be perfect … but the hope is that by doing this prediction phase ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-19
  • Open access task force releases draft recommendations
    The Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has released a set of draft recommendations that aim to support and increase the open sharing of MIT publications, data, software, and educational materials. They are available for public comment until April 17. The recommendations include ratifying an Institute-wide set of principles for open science; broadening the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy to cover all MIT authors; adopting an open access (OA) policy for monographs; and asking department heads to develop discipline-specific plans to encourage and support open sharing from their faculty, students, and staff. “Our recommendations are grounded in the view that openness leads to better research,” says Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries and co-chair of the OA task force along with Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-18
  • Tim Berners-Lee named FT “Boldness in Business” Person of the Year
    The week that his invention of the World Wide Web turned 30, MIT professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been named the Financial Times’ Person of the Year in their special “Boldness in Business” issue. Berners-Lee was honored for his new startup inrupt, which emerged out of work at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developing the open-data platform Solid. Solid aims to give users ownership over their data by building decentralized social applications. "Right now we really have the worst of all worlds, in which people not only cannot control their data, but also can’t really use it, because it’s spread across a number of different silo-ed websites,” says Berners-Lee. “Our goal is to ‘re-decentralize the web’ and develop a web architecture ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-18
  • Ethics, Computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT
    The MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will reorient the Institute to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields at MIT; allow the future of computing and AI to be shaped by all MIT disciplines; and advance research and education in ethics and public policy to help ensure that new technologies benefit the greater good. To support ongoing planning for the new college, Dean Melissa Nobles invited faculty from all five MIT schools to offer perspectives on the societal and ethical dimensions of emerging technologies. This series presents the resulting commentaries — practical, inspiring, concerned, and clear-eyed views from an optimistic community deeply engaged with issues that are among the most consequential of our time.  The commentaries represent diverse branches of ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-18
  • Meenakshi Chakraborty named 2019 Churchill Scholar
    Meenakshi Chakraborty, a senior from Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been named a 2019 Churchill Scholar and will pursue an MPhil at Cambridge University. Chakraborty is expected to graduate this spring with a BS in computer science and molecular biology. As a Churchill scholar she aims to pursue a master’s degree in genetics at Cambridge. When she returns to the U.S. she plans to pursue a PhD in biology with a focus on genetics.   Chakraborty realized a passion for scientific research when still in high school. After a trip to a South African hospital, she realized the devastation caused by the AIDS epidemic, and discovered a desire to participate in scientific research that could lead to medical breakthroughs. Upon her return, she learned of the work of ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15
  • MIT celebrates 50th anniversary of historic moon landing
    On Sept. 12, 1962, in a speech given in Houston to pump up support for NASA’s Apollo program, President John F. Kennedy shook a stadium crowd with the now-famous quote: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” As he delivered these lines, engineers in MIT’s Instrumentation Laboratory were already taking up the president’s challenge. One year earlier, NASA had awarded MIT the first major contract of the Apollo program, charging the Instrumentation Lab with developing the spacecraft’s guidance, navigation, and control systems that would shepherd astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong to the moon and back. On July 20, 1969, the hard work of thousands ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15
  • Exercises in amazement: Discovering deep learning
    It was standing-room only in the Stata Center’s Kirsch Auditorium when some 300 attendees showed up for opening lectures for MIT’s intensive, student-designed course 6.S191 (Introduction to Deep Learning). Nathan Rebello, a first-year graduate student in chemical engineering, was among those who were excited about the class, coordinated by Alexander Amini ’17 and Ava Soleimany ’16 during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January. “I hope to go into either industry or academia and to apply deep learning techniques for the design of new materials,” Rebello says. He signed up for 6.S191 to learn more about deep learning with the intention of applying it to the design of bio-inspired polymeric materials, adding: “I also wanted to network with students and faculty to explore their ways ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15
  • Robot hand is soft and strong
    Fifty years ago, the first industrial robot arm (called Unimate) assembled a simple breakfast of toast, coffee, and champagne. While it might have looked like a seamless feat, every movement and placement was coded with careful consideration. Even with today’s more intelligent and adaptive robots, this task remains difficult for machines with rigid hands. They tend to work only in structured environments with predefined shapes and locations, and typically can’t cope with uncertainties in placement or form. In recent years, though, roboticists have come to grips with this problem by making fingers out of soft, flexible materials like rubber. This pliability lets these soft robots pick up anything from grapes to boxes and empty water bottles, but they’re still unable to handle large or heavy ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15
  • Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields
    A new way of measuring atomic-scale magnetic fields with great precision, not only up and down but sideways as well, has been developed by researchers at MIT. The new tool could be useful in applications as diverse as mapping the electrical impulses inside a firing neuron, characterizing new magnetic materials, and probing exotic quantum physical phenomena. The new approach is described today in the journal Physical Review Letters in a paper by graduate student Yi-Xiang Liu, former graduate student Ashok Ajoy, and professor of nuclear science and engineering Paola Cappellaro. The technique builds on a platform already developed to probe magnetic fields with high precision, using tiny defects in diamond called nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. These defects consist of two adjacent places in the diamond’s orderly ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15
  • Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields
    A new way of measuring atomic-scale magnetic fields with great precision, not only up and down but sideways as well, has been developed by researchers at MIT. The new tool could be useful in applications as diverse as mapping the electrical impulses inside a firing neuron, characterizing new magnetic materials, and probing exotic quantum physical phenomena. The new approach is described today in the journal Physical Review Letters in a paper by graduate student Yi-Xiang Liu, former graduate student Ashok Ajoy, and professor of nuclear science and engineering Paola Cappellaro. The technique builds on a platform already developed to probe magnetic fields with high precision, using tiny defects in diamond called nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. These defects consist of two adjacent places in the diamond’s orderly ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-03-15

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