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The GOP War on Voting

The GOP War on Voting [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 3, 2011 - 263 comments

St. Quirinus and the Dragon

MIT scientist Dr. Todd Rider has developed a viral infection treatment that works by triggering host cell suicide when it finds the cell has been producing double-stranded RNA. Since dsRNA is the mechanism by which all viral infections proceed, but is not part of normal cellular function, the treatment seems both universal and safe. [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett on Aug 11, 2011 - 49 comments

If I Could Have Light In A Bottle

MIT students created water bottle light bulbs that diffract natural sunlight and provide the equivalent of a 55 watt light bulb out of an empty plastic bottle, water, and a few drops of bleach. They are being installed and used in shanty towns where no natural light gets into the makeshift tin roof homes.
posted by COD on Aug 3, 2011 - 74 comments

Time-sharing Terminals, Math Dynasties, Music, Coping with Loss, and the Invention of Email

Did Errol Morris's brother invent email? Film documentarian Errol Morris starts an extended, discursive piece at the Opionator section of the New York Times. Having previously documented his investigation of Crimean War photographs, Morris has posted the first part of a planned five part series covering his older brother's role in creating an early form of email. Along the way he touches on the computer culture of the 60s, dining options in Cambridge, MA, the MIT experience, and the Van Vleck dynasty.
posted by benito.strauss on Jun 21, 2011 - 40 comments

"/b/ has given rise to more fluid practices to signal identity and status in spite of, or perhaps because of, the lack of technological support."

4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community is a paper by researchers from MIT and the University of Southampton. The paper itself [PDF].
posted by Sticherbeast on May 31, 2011 - 42 comments

"Commencement Speaker" has a new meaning

MIT now owns non-voting majority of Bose thanks to a generous alum. NYT, CNN.
posted by staggernation on Apr 29, 2011 - 68 comments

Joi Ito named director of MIT Media Lab

MIT is expected to announce tomorrow its naming of Joichi Ito as head of the MIT Media Lab (NYTimes). This is noteworthy because rather than being a star of academia, design, or engineering, he is a 44-year-old venture capitalist. [more inside]
posted by thedaniel on Apr 25, 2011 - 78 comments

Think again, again

Every year, nine million children under five die from preventable diseases such as diarrhea and malaria. Often, the treatments for these diseases are cheap, safe, and readily available. So why don't people pick these 'low-hanging fruit'? Why don’t mothers vaccinate their children? Why don’t families use bednets, or buy chlorinated water? And why do they spend such large amounts of money on ineffective cure instead?
Poor Economics is a book and website by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. It has maps, graphs, and data drawn from the research at MIT's Poverty Action Lab. It is currently being reviewed and discussed (1, 2, 3) at the Economist. BONUS: Duflo discusses the book and Randomized Controlled Trials (Wikipedia: RCT).
posted by anotherpanacea on Apr 25, 2011 - 46 comments

Time worms, Blitzscribe and Cognitive Science

From the day cognitive scientist Deb Roy and his wife brought their son home five years ago, the family's every movement and word was captured and tracked with a series of fisheye lenses in every room in their house. The purpose was to understand how we learn language, in context, through the words we hear. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Mar 4, 2011 - 22 comments

Get Smrt

openculture.com is offering hundreds of links to free online courses from the top universities in the United States (and Oxford).
posted by gman on Jan 12, 2011 - 16 comments

The good, the bad and the prolific moderator.

At the Bartos Theater, in conversation with Henry Jenkins, these speakers [Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein] don’t so much square off as share their hopes and fears for the emergence of online democracy. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 6, 2010 - 7 comments

Automation Insurance: Robots are taking Middle Class Jobs

Is the rise of automation from computers software and robotics and web-fueled outsourcing leading to a shrinking middle class? MIT Economist David Autor thinks so. Good Magazine speculates on the implications for America's future.
posted by mccarty.tim on Oct 15, 2010 - 69 comments

The Multifunction In-Dorm Automation System

The MIDAS - multifunction in-dorm automation system - offers a complete, torturously elaborate system for controlling every aspect of dormitory life. Note especially the emergency party mode button, and Seagalvision, the spy camera in a can of Seagal-branded energy drink.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Oct 11, 2010 - 13 comments

Colourful fluid dynamics

Two galleries of fluid motion - one from the journal Physics of Fluids, and one from MIT. The MIT gallery shows some common everyday fluids in unexpected lights. The PoF gallery (which is quite extensive, check out the 85-09 archives) mostly concerns itself with more esoteric interests. Some of the results presented have a stark beauty and some are riotously colourful. I personally love the results that look at turbulence and transition. Also, some visualisations from the past ten or so years are presented as video! (PDFs, Quicktime)
posted by Dim Siawns on Sep 16, 2010 - 9 comments

Almost two decades of scientific answers for (young) inquiring minds

The internet is full of answers, and some of them might even be true. For almost 20 years, the the Newton BBS has been a source of answers to science questions that may be accessed directly via the Web as well as through telnet (no public telnet access any more, sorry). The Newton BBS "Ask A Scientist" archive has answers from 15 science fields, from astronomy to zoology, for a total of more than 20,000 questions answered. This was covered previously, and the site is aimed at teachers and students from grades K-12, so io9's Ask a Physicist questions (with answers from Dr. Dave Goldberg) might be more engaging. See also: MIT's Ask An Engineer.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 9, 2010 - 4 comments

Andrew "bunnie" Huang: taking it apart and making it better, then telling others how it's done

Andrew Shane Huang is a 35 year old hardware hacker, known to some as bunnie, and others as that guy who hacked the Xbox and went on to write a book about it. Finding the hidden key to the Xbox was an enjoyable distraction while he worked on getting his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT as part of Project Aries. Since then, he has written for (and been written about) in Make Magazine, has giving talks on the strategy of hardware openness and manufacturing practices in China, as experienced with the development of the opensource ambient "internet-based TV" called Chumby. When he's not busy on such excursions, bunnie writes about hacking (and more specifically, Chumby hacking), technology in China, and even biology in exquisite detail on the bunnie studios blog (previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 17, 2010 - 36 comments

The Talented Mr. Ripley + Six Degrees of Separation + Clark Rockefeller ...

"Former Harvard student Adam Wheeler was indicted [yesterday] on multiple counts of identity fraud and larceny. According to the Boston Globe, Wheeler allegedly built a 'fraudulent life history that led to his admission to Harvard, and for using forged academic materials from Harvard when he applied for the prestigious Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.'"* In his transfer student application to Harvard "...Wheeler claimed he got a perfect score on the SAT, straight A's at prestigious prep school Phillips Academy Andover and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...In reality, he had never attended either school..."* He has plead not guilty to the charges. [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 18, 2010 - 164 comments

Copenhagen Wheel

The Copenhagen Wheel project transforms ordinary bicycles into hybrid electric bikes that also function as mobile environmental sensing units. [via digital urban] [more inside]
posted by gruchall on Apr 29, 2010 - 15 comments

The Neurology of Morality

Researchers at MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences have identified two "morality centers" of the brain. In two separate experiments, they have shown a correlation between a particular part of the brain and the ability to make moral jusgments related to intent to commit a crime. In one experiment, patients with brain damage in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of the brain don't consider hypothetical perpetrators to be morally responsible for their actions. In another experiment (noted on NPR today) the researchers showed that they could switch off the moral judgment function by applying a magnetic field to the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of the brain. The TPJ has also been implicated in "out of body experiences", both in cases of brain damage and by artificially stimulating the area.
posted by darkstar on Mar 29, 2010 - 32 comments

I'll have a glass of sea water, hold the salt

Researchers at MIT and in Korea have developed a new, efficient desalinization nanotechnology that could theoretically lead to small, portable units powered by solar cells or batteries, yet deliver enough potable fresh water from seawater to supply the needs of a family or small village. As an added bonus, the system would simultaneously remove many contaminants, viruses and bacteria. MIT Press Release. Abstract and Supplementary Information from Nature Nanotechnology. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 24, 2010 - 32 comments

Sex at MIT

Sex@MIT [more inside]
posted by SpecialK on Feb 19, 2010 - 50 comments

Education!

Do you want to go to IIT for engineering? Or maybe Yale? Open classes are everywhere now.
posted by pelham on Feb 2, 2010 - 22 comments

All Gnytte Long

The Sexaholics of Truthteller Planet - yes, it's one of those rotten logic problems, one of many that can be found at Tanya Khovanova’s Math Guide to the MIT Mystery Hunt.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 13, 2010 - 21 comments

Visionary Engineer

Visionary Engineer : the Harold 'Doc' Edgerton digital collection consolidates the large body of work by the pioneer of stroboscopic high-speed photography. Iconic pictures, for instance. [via Slice of MIT] [more inside]
posted by peacay on Jan 2, 2010 - 10 comments

Facebook outing

It started as a simple term project for an MIT class on ethics and law on the electronic frontier. Using data from the social network Facebook, they made a striking discovery: just by looking at a person’s online friends, they could predict whether the person was gay.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Sep 20, 2009 - 80 comments

Catch you later.

Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. Wired's David Kushner examines the work of two young, competitive AI researchers, and the eerie circumstances of their deaths.
posted by knave on Sep 15, 2009 - 48 comments

Near Space Photography Under $150

With the integration of cameras, GPS receivers, and more into cellphones, many people take for granted the lightweight, energy efficient technology in their pockets. MIT ties all that tech together to a weather balloon in Project Icarus, where for $150 a prepaid cellphone becomes a high-altitude near-space camera.
posted by mccarty.tim on Sep 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Personas

Personas is a part of the MIT Metropath(ologies) exhibit that scours the web for information and attempts to characterize a person based on an entered first and last name, showing visualizations of the process as it chugs along. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal on Aug 20, 2009 - 55 comments

From the Poor Man's Tesla to the Rich Man's Sedan

From the successful conversion of a Porsche 914 into a battery electric vehicle (BEV), MIT's Electric Vehicle Team are now working on the conversion of a Mercury Milan Hybrid into a quick-charging BEV. Instead of the typical 10 to 12 hours for a full charge, the MIT team is looking at an 11 minute charge-time for their BEV, dubbed "elEVen," and they're blogging in detail about their progress. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 22, 2009 - 44 comments

I am a strange loop.

Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid has been recorded as a series of video lectures for MIT's Open Courseware project.
posted by loquacious on May 30, 2009 - 74 comments

MIT faculty vote for university-wide Open Access mandate

The MIT faculty unanimously adopted a university-wide Open Access mandate. Open Access got a big boost yesterday because of MIT's move. [more inside]
posted by tarheelcoxn on Mar 19, 2009 - 46 comments

Sixth Sense: wearable tech

MIT demo of some very interesting wearable tech (~7 mins vid from TED)
posted by peacay on Mar 11, 2009 - 49 comments

Videos of university courses

Academic Earth collects lectures on a wide variety of subjects from UC Berkely, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale that the universities have released under Creative Commons. The site is still in beta so it doesn't quite have the thousands of lectures its frontpage promises. It has many full courses, for example Benjamin Polak teaching game theory, Amy Hungerford on the American novel since 1945, Charles Bailyn's introduction to astrophysics, John Merriman on the history of France since 1871, Shelly Kagan on death and Oussama Khatib's introduction to robotics.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 4, 2009 - 10 comments

80 Million Tiny Images

A visualization of all the nouns in the English language arranged by semantic meaning. [NSFW words included!] [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 15, 2009 - 40 comments

Blind, Yet Seeing

Blind, Yet Seeing : New research into blindsight from Harvard University and M.I.T. showing that people who have been blinded by brain injury have resources beyond sight to do such tasks as navigate an obstacle course (movie).
posted by grapefruitmoon on Dec 26, 2008 - 21 comments

Reality Mining

"Reality mining is just like data mining... except instead of being applied to text and web pages... we're trying to find patterns in real life." MIT students "swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails." [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed on Dec 1, 2008 - 12 comments

Fixing the world on $2/day

Amy Smith and MIT's D-lab apply engineering principles to real-world problems that affect the world's poorest residents. She organizes an annual conference. Hear her talk at TED. Previously
posted by lalochezia on Nov 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Lies, damned lies, and graphs

Graph your life at MIT's Mycrocosm. Simple interface. Interesting potential. Worrying about. Freelance: No Idea What the Hell Is Going On. Food and Liquid Consumption. Also allows for sharing datasets with other users.
posted by artifarce on Sep 8, 2008 - 10 comments

MIT Hackers Restrained

Three MIT students planned to reveal to Defcon how to make counterfeit "Charley Cards" - the electronic passes that allow access to Boston's MBTA transit system. The MBTA sued for a restraining order, and a judge has granted it. [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Aug 11, 2008 - 104 comments

All Night Long

MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for later use. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

MIT TechTV

MIT TechTV [beta]. Like YouTube for braniacs (minus the scandalous invasion of privacy).
posted by Rykey on Jul 18, 2008 - 8 comments

They were applying his own paradigms for learning

Papert, who was a professor of mathematics, education, and media technology at MIT, has devoted much of his career to learning: self-learning (he taught himself Russian) and learning about learning. He was one of the early pioneers of artificial intelligence, and he invented the computer language Logo to teach children about computers. Now he must learn something even more challenging - how to be Seymour Papert again.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 15, 2008 - 18 comments

And it's day-glow orange. Srsly.

All of the light, 40 times the power. Improve the performance of run-of-the-mill solar cells by standing orange pieces of glass on them. MIT's Mark Baldo describes the technology. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Jul 14, 2008 - 41 comments

Video killed

YouTomb MIT project that tracks youtube file deletions for aledged copyright infringement. They do not host the deleted files, fyi.via wired [more inside]
posted by asok on May 21, 2008 - 16 comments

Somewhere, Richard Feynman is smiling.

Swinging from pendulums and facing down wrecking balls, MIT professor Walter Lewin shows students the zany beauty of science.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 14, 2008 - 10 comments

learning math online

Free math courses online, from very basic to brainiac. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 26, 2008 - 19 comments

free writing courses

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online.
posted by nickyskye on Jan 29, 2008 - 15 comments

First of the photojournalists

Japanese places and people photographed by Felice Beato, a pioneer 19th century photographer who documented the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and the Anglo-French military intervention in China before opening a studio in Yokohama in 1863. He also seems to have been the first photographer in Korea.Wikipedia NYPL archive First two links are units in MIT's Visualizing Cultures project.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 23, 2008 - 12 comments

Pasta Printer

The Fabaroni is a 3D printing machine that constructs 3D models with pasta dough. You've also got the 3D chocolate printer made out of lego. And Previously.
posted by mattbucher on Jan 15, 2008 - 11 comments

Would I like it? What a DREAM! But hey, what happens if I push this red button?

In the early 1950's, Monsanto Chemical Company, MIT and Disneyland collaborated their resources and creative brainpower to build "the house of 1986." Using 30,000 pounds of plastic (The building's structure, carpet, chairs, sinks, appliances and floors were all plastic. About $7,500 to $15,000 worth.), the Monsanto House of the Future* was opened to an excited public in June of 1957. It was closed in 1967 as ideas of the future were beginning to change. Let's take a quick tour, shall we?
*(Not to be confused with Xanadu Homes of Tomorrow.) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 12, 2007 - 30 comments

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