Watson, IBM’s champion Jeopardy! computer, is making its way to Cambridge to compete in a trivia match with students from the MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School. The competition, dubbed the “IBM Watson Challenge,” will be held at the Harvard Business School’s Burden Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 31. The challenge will be preceded by “The Race Against the Machine: The Future of Tech” Symposium at the MIT Media Lab, which will include a number of talks about Watson’s creation and the future of the technology. Following the symposium, buses will depart from the Media Lab at 2:15 p.m. for those interested in attending the trivia competition at Harvard.
WASHINGTON - During his first presidential campaign, Mitt Romney often turned his home state into the butt of jokes, portraying himself as a lone culture warrior in a bastion of gay-marriage activists, scientists experimenting with human embryos, and reckless liberals who had given rise to blighted neighborhoods ruined by poverty.
A possibly armed robber stole a laptop from a student on the fifth floor of Baker House yesterday evening at 5 p.m. The student was approached from behind and felt something stuck in his back. The assailant demanded the student’s laptop, acquired it, and then fled the scene. Though no weapon was clearly identified, the victim saw the suspect with “something shiny” as he fled, according to a police bulletin. The suspect was described as a tall black male wearing a dark raincoat and carrying a black backpack. He has not been apprehended, and nobody was injured in the incident.
What can you build for $1,000? Last summer, Professor Yung Ho Chang in the Department of Architecture and Ying chee Chui ’11 — then a graduate student in the department — designed and built a house in Sichuan, China using local materials for that much.
Fifth week flags, the annual warnings from instructors that a student is failing or in danger of failing a class, were sent out over a 10-day period beginning Oct. 12. 249 flags were given this year to 215 students, roughly 19 percent of the freshman class — about the average proportion of students flagged every year. Thirty-one students were given two flags, and two students were given three flags.
Israel Ruiz SM ’01 was appointed as executive vice president and treasurer (EVPT) by the MIT Corporation on Oct. 14, a position held for five years by Theresa M. Stone SM ’76. In that position, Ruiz will be among MIT’s senior leadership, working with President Susan J. Hockfield alongside the provost and chancellor. Most members of the MIT community are familiar with the latter three positions — all of whom have direct involvement in academics or student life — but many may wonder, “What exactly does the EVPT do?”
The MBTA’s Red Line will stop weekend service to stations north of Harvard Square beginning Nov. 5. This change, expected to last until March, will allow workers to make repairs to cracked tunnels and corroded track beds that could pose a safety risk if not addressed. Operation will remain unchanged Mondays through Fridays, and service will not be shut down on the weekends of Christmas and New Year’s. Porter, Davis, and Alewife are the affected stations, which together carry over 20,000 passengers on Saturdays and nearly 15,000 on Sundays. The MBTA will add substitute bus routes to accommodate passengers north of Harvard Square. The repairs will cost $80 million, and the project has received $4.3 million in federal stimulus money. A 2009 report on the MBTA stated that continuing to ignore repairs on the 2.25-mile section could result in a significant danger of derailment. The MBTA is expected to spend a total of $420 million this year on repairs and maintenance throughout the system.
Professor Robert J. Silbey passed away Thursday at age 71 after a battle with cancer. Silbey, a faculty member at MIT for 45 years, held several positions, including dean of MIT’s School of Science (2000–2007), director of Materials Science and Engineering (1998–2000) and head of the Chemistry Department (1990–1998).
World financial markets powered higher Thursday in the giddy hope that Europe’s plan to solve its sovereign debt crisis would finally lift the uncertainty over the global economy and markets. In the United States, a sharp jump in stocks continued what has become the biggest monthly rally in 47 years.
BANGKOK — With government officials saying there was nothing more they could do to protect the capital city from devastating flooding, tens of thousands of people were fleeing Bangkok on Thursday, jamming train and bus stations and clogging the southern highways out of town.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to end its authorization on Monday of the foreign military intervention in Libya, the legal basis for the NATO attacks on Moammar Gadhafi’s forces during the eight-month civil war that toppled him from power.
While many people will be celebrating Halloween this weekend, Mother Nature may have a trick (or treat) of her own up her sleeve. A storm currently centered over Georgia is forecast to develop and move up the Atlantic coast Saturday, potentially leading to some stormy conditions here in the Boston area on Saturday night. Depending on the exact track the storm takes off the New England coast, rain showers on Saturday evening may turn to snow showers overnight.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Insurgents armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades attacked a small NATO base here Thursday, breaking an unusual period of calm in this volatile city and setting off a standoff between the attackers and coalition and Afghan forces that was continuing late into the evening.
SEOUL, South Korea — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta cast doubt Thursday on talks aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear program despite more positive public comments from negotiators for both countries earlier this week.
On Sept. 14, Elizabeth Warren announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Warren’s most recent contribution to U.S. public policy has been the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year. The bureau is tasked with promoting fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services. Warren believes that the CFPB should be an integral part of an effort to help middle-class American families, whom she believes have been “chipped at, hacked at, squeezed, and hammered for a generation.”
Last week, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was finally allowed to return home after being kidnapped and held hostage for over five years by Hamas. Shalit’s release showed the immense value that Israel attributes to a single human life, and this value of life deserves praise and emulation.
A new poll from Gallup confirms once again the widespread support for amending the Constitution to provide for presidential election by popular vote. For those unacquainted with the issue, in the United States, the president is not elected by direct popular vote. Rather, the framers of the Constitution saw fit to create a college of electors, appointed and regulated by their respective state legislatures, to choose the president by majority vote. While the procedure for the selection of electors has been modified in the intervening 200 years — for example, electors are now nominated by state political parties and elected on Election Day — the gist is largely the same. Currently, 48 states and Washington D.C. allocate their electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis; only Maine and Nebraska delegate part of their votes on a district-by-district basis.
It starts with a sound and ends with a painting. Creaking. Voices. Echoing footsteps. The soft swish of fabric. Above all, darkness. When the scene opens, the camera slowly pans back and forth across an evolving painting: The Mill and the Cross is centered around Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Way to Calvary (1564), so what better way to open the film than with a tour of the painting itself?
Tucked inside a dim corner of the MIT Museum, a fun surprise awaits the viewer, or more accurately, the participant — for Arthur Ganson’s motionless sculptures spring alive at the touch of a button or the push of a pedal with seemingly little more effort than a whir of gears.
In the 2011 prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is called to Antartica for what could be the discovery of the century: an alien ship buried deep in the ice and a frozen organism that seems to have died when the ship hit Earth. Kate and her Norwegian colleagues perform experiments on the organism in the name of science but, to their utter horror, unleash an alien nightmare; this “Thing” engulfs and transforms into anything it touches. So here we have a bunch of Scandinavians and righteous Kate isolated in a cluster of wooden cabins in Antarctica, each of them vulnerable to becoming the Thing. That’s essentially the entire plot — now how do I begin to discuss The Thing?
Colorful and motivational posters and balloons lined Rockwell Cage this Tuesday evening for the final home volleyball match of the regular season. Full of spirit, the seniors sprinted onto the court, energetically anticipating their final home game. For the ’12s, it was a night to remember as MIT defeated WPI in a 3-0 sweep, raising MIT’s record to 22-9 overall and 6-2 in NEWMAC.
Meet Molly E. McShane ’13. Molly started playing field hockey nine years ago as preparation for her high school’s highly competitive team. Having played many different sports growing up, field hockey must have come naturally to her because now, nine years later, she is the captain of the MIT Women’s Field Hockey team — currently tied for first in the NEWMAC conference and 13-3 overall this season.