In true MIT style, this year’s Elevator Pitch Contest — part of the $100K Entrepreneurship Competition — was full of cosplay and nerdy puns, reminding us that entrepreneurship is fun! The audience was given red balloon-drumsticks, emblazoned with “100K,” with which to make as much noise as possible. The theme of the night was “superheroes.” Hosts were dressed as Avengers superheroes, who represented each of the five competition tracks — Emerging Markets, Energy, Life Sciences, Mobile, Products & Services, and Web/IT.
This fall, many dorms will see new faces in their house teams in the form of Residential Life Area Directors (RLAD). RLADs will live in the dorm and assist housemasters and Graduate Resident Tutors (GRT) with administrative and operational tasks. These changes were revealed last week, when an anonymous source leaked a letter, written by Chancellor W. Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80 to MIT housemasters, that spoke of imminent changes in residential life. The information caught many students and GRTs off-guard, sparking campus-wide controversy and debate.
L. Rafael Reif has been named the 17th President of MIT. Reif has spent the past several months heading the MITx and EdX initiatives, stressing MIT’s commitment to improving residential education using online technologies. He was born in Venezuela, received a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford, and spent many years in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Listen to our podcast for more on Reif.
In the time that it takes to walk down the Infinite, you can now catch up on campus news! Just listen to The Tech’s new biweekly news digest. It will cost you 10 minutes each week — or less than 0.1% of your time. You can subscribe to the podcast at http://tech.mit.edu/rss/newsdigest.xml.
Phyo N. Kyaw ’10, 23, died on Dec. 27 in a traffic accident while riding his bicycle at the intersection of Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue. At the time of his death, he was working as a research scientist at Cambridge-based Soane Labs. Kyaw received an SB in chemical-biological engineering, Course 10B, in 2010.
Every year, 13 diseases that affect a fifth of the world’s population are responsible for the loss of 56.6 million disability-adjusted life years and 534,000 deaths. But because these diseases only afflict the world’s most impoverished and powerless people, the international community has forgotten about them.
Bruce Friedrich, the vice-president of policy and government affairs for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), debated the ethics of eating meat with the MIT Debate Team on Monday night in 10-250. Shireen S. Rudina ’13, the debate team’s vice president of tournaments, argued against Friedrich’s proposal that eating meat is unethical under all circumstances.
The legality of patents on genes is in jeopardy after a judge ruled that genes were ineligible for patents because they involved “laws of nature.” Twenty percent of the human genome is currently patented.
Nightline, MIT’s student-run hotline for counseling, information, and support, is ceasing operations for at least two semesters while it decides on several major structural changes. Its coordinators hope that Nightline will be able to return in the fall of 2011 at least in some reduced capacity.
MIT Libraries drastically cut hours for the new 2010-2011 academic year. The libraries Hayden, Barker, Dewey, Lewis, and Rotch lost a combined 27.5 hours of service per week. Most libraries will open half-an-hour later and some, including Hayden, will close an hour earlier.
A final report on the 2010 House Dining Review was released on Tuesday, which summarizes the House Dining Advisory Group’s recommendation for the new dining plan that will be implemented in the four dorms with dining halls starting in Fall 2011.
“Dreams feel real while we are in them, it is only after we wake up that we realize that something was actually strange” says Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Over 800,000 people gathered on the Esplanade on July 4th this year to watch the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The show featured musical performances at the Hatch Shell by country singer and superstar Toby Keith, the Boston Pops Orchestra with conductor Keith Lockhart, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums. This is a “show that will surely dazzle the senses!” promised the announcer as the show went live on national television.
Lori Helene Berenson, a former MIT student and political activist imprisoned in Peru, was granted parole on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Berenson, who withdrew from MIT as a sophomore in 1988, has served 15 years out of a 20-year prison sentence for aiding the leftist guerilla group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru). She is now 40 years old.
Many MIT students are searching for a way to help others. Nick Sisler ’11, Course II, has discovered how to make a difference in the life of an 11-year old boy. Nick has been a “big brother” to Evan Wilcox for three years, and was recently selected as a finalist for the Massachusetts Bay Big Brother Big Sister of the Year award. The Big Brother Big Sister program pairs children aged 6 through 18 with older mentors to develop “positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young people,” according to their website.
Lori Helene Berenson, a former MIT student and political activist imprisoned in Peru, was granted parole yesterday. Berenson, who withdrew from MIT as a sophomore in 1988, has served 15 years out of a 20-year prison sentence for aiding the leftist guerilla group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, or MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru). She is now 40 years old.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week started yesterday in Stata, when around two dozen students gathered to share private stories about sexual violence. The event, called Take Back the Night, began a week of activities intended to bring talk of sexual assault into the open, as the first step toward ending it.
Last Friday, in the middle of Campus Preview Weekend, students from the Campaign for Students (CFS) gathered in Lobby 7 to protest the Division of Student Life’s handling of dining reform. Students joined and left the protest intermittently, but the number of attendees at any point in time was around two dozen.
Though the effects of the health reform bill have yet to be felt, the passage of the bill shined a hard light on health care inequities and runaway medical costs. Professors, and staff at MIT Medical are already preparing for the bill’s consequences by conducting new research and looking for new ways to fix health care inefficiencies.
A line of motorcycles, black SUVs, and police cars arrived at Kresge Auditorium on Wednesday to escort British foreign secretary David W. Miliband SM ’90, who became the youngest speaker to ever deliver the Compton lecture at MIT. In his lecture, “The War in Afghanistan: How to End it,” Miliband stressed that military operations were not enough to end the war; the Afghans must build their own political system.
MIT students have become addicted to two new popular websites, MIT FML (http://mitfml.com/) and I Saw You MIT (http://isawyou.mit.edu/), created this past semester. Filled with anonymous, quirky, Twitter-like posts the two sites were designed to entertain, bond, and poke fun at the MIT community.
Marilee Jones, who resigned as dean of admissions in April 2007 after admitting she had lied about her academic credentials on her resume, has forged a new life for herself after MIT.
Eighty-nine faculty members from a variety of departments have banded together to propose a new sustainability minor, an “extension” of the energy minor introduced last year. The members make up FENS, the MIT Faculty Environmental Network for Sustainability, and their proposal would create an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate program in environment and sustainability.
MIT is a multitasker. In addition to being an institute of higher education, MIT is a political force with its own office in Washington.
Despite the long trek from main campus to NW35, turnout for last Monday’s fall Community Picnic was far greater than organizers had anticipated, said Gayle M. Gallagher, senior director of Institute events.