Professor Rudolf Jaenisch, MIT biology professor and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute, was recently named by President Obama as one of the seven recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the U.S. government in the fields of science and engineering. Jaenisch was awarded for his work on epigenetic regulation, the biological processes that affect how genetic information is translated into cell structures without changing the genes themselves. Last Friday, Jaenisch sat down with The Tech to discuss his research and inspiration:
Editor’s Note: The following text was sent as a campus-wide email last Friday.
Candidate Top three priorities Background MIT/Cambridge relations Students Need Henrietta Davis Healthier Children: Better physical education and food in schools. Better parks and playgrounds for children. Better serivces for seniors: More housing options. Environmental initiatives: Greener transportation options, energy-efficient buildings, planning for climate change, locally sustainable food. Eight terms on City Council 2010–2011 Vice Mayor Chair of Council Environmental Committee Enjoys working with MIT on environmental and energy matters. More housing options, especially for graduate students. An increase in housing development in Kendall Square area. Minka vanBeuzekom Public schools: Improve education by targeting early childhood and adult education programs in schools. Environmentalism and urban living: Encourage commerce growth; increase city growth while paying attention to overpopulation and overbuilding in places like Kendall, Lechmere, Alewife Overlay. Increase innovation in Cambridge government: Function with the best practice. Epidemiologist with a background in public health. Owner of small biotech company in Cambridge in the ’90s. Involved in many environmental and community activist groups, including Green Decade Cambridge and Area Four Neighborhood Coalition Leader. Believes there should be a distinction between MIT, the university, and MIT, the investment corporation. Takes the stance that the MIT Investment Management Company is not taking its full share of consequences — while developing Kendall, for example, it should invest in more than just the corporate sector. Pedestrian and bike safety Sufficient housing Improved nightlife, including longer businesses hours Larry Ward Working with young adults ages 18–24: Provide training and employment opportunities. Focus on good governance: Better communication between residents, including MIT students, and the city. Keep Cambridge family-friendly: Affordable housing, effective education. Former Chairperson of City of Cambridge’s University Relations Committee. Has experience working with MIT and students. Has lived in Cambridge for 25 years. Hopes to bridge gap between students and the city. Aims to help students utilize the city better: MIT students have a lot to offer and can, for example, be mentors for younger students. Improved nightlife Pedestrian and bike safety Tom Stohlman ’76 Zoning and development of Kendall Square: Work with MIT Investment Management Company, which owns a large part of the last undeveloped zones. City Manager’s contract: Expires in 2012 and currently under automatic renewal; Stohlman hopes to spur discussion about new options for the contract. Pedestrian safety: Sidewalk/street repair. Attended MIT in ’70s (Courses 4 and 10) and has since seen the progression of the Institute. Returned to Cambridge 11 years ago. Consults/advises several fraternities and sororities; sees undergraduates a lot. Believes that councillors perceive MIT and Harvard too negatively. He thinks the councilors should be more positive about what MIT does for Cambridge, including the commercially strong tax base that the MIT Investment Management Company generates. Keeping neighborhoods and bicycle paths safe. Charles Marquardt Preparing Cambridge for next generation of administrative leadership: City manager might retire after his 30 year term; assure all transitions are concise and well thought-out, and knowledge is retained in transitions. Sustainable and strategic development: While much innovation is occurring, keep Cambridge’s “small-town” feeling. Opportunities for working middle-class: Cambridge is slowly becoming a community of the very wealthy and the very poor. Diverse background, worked in private sector for many differently-sized companies. Grew up working in Cambridge. Dealt with different levels of Cambridge Board as community member and business owner. Believes the interaction between the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) and Cambridge City Council hasn’t been stable. He believes MITIMCo hasn’t done a good job of making Kendall and Central Squares publicly appealing. Increase in on-campus housing, especially for grad students Pedestrian and bike safety Matt Nelson Preserving economic diversity: Improve education and housing policies so Cambridge doesn’t become a city of the rich and the poor. Cambridge youth: Emphasize learning and increase educational opportunities outside of the classroom. Driver, pedestrian, and especially biker safety: There is no good system for bikes to get around the city. Cambridge native Appreciates Cambridge’s history and vision for future State coordinator of Massachusetts Environmental Voters Education Fund Believes that Cambridge has been lucky to have MIT and the technical innovation it has brought to the city. Wants to see students get more involved, especially as mentors for younger students in the city. Improve Cambridge to be a safer and more comfortable city. Affordable housing. James Williamson Pedestrian Safety: Improve and sustain real enforcement by the CPD of the largely unknown Cambridge Bicycle Ordinance and the Mass. General Laws. Major improvement of public transportation in Cambridge: Will insist on better and more timely and accurate information from the T. Participatory budgeting: Cambridge citizens have say in part of the budget; shift the government so it is more “bottom-up”, versus “top-down.” Greater community consultation over important decisions. Has lived in Cambridge for forty years. Long-time Council activist. Committed to protecting integrity and human diversity in the city. Believes that the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) is too commercially oriented. Thinks that MITIMCo should better reflect academic and residential needs of the students. Make MIT resources more widely and publicly available. “I’m not going to tell them what they want — they should tell me!” Leland Cheung G City Manager: Contract renewal in March 2012. Activism: Ensure that progressive legislation is being passed. Council transparency: Online tools to understand government services, voting items, and ways to interact with the Council. Served one term on Council. Current student at Harvard Kennedy School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Wants to increase student involvement in the city, including student internships, because the local government directly affects them. Increased housing and retail options More open space A voice to speak for their interests
Freshman Satto Tonegawa’s cause of death was ruled self-inflicted asphyxiation, according to his death certificate filed with the Cambridge City Clerk’s office. Tonegawa, son of MIT Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa, was found dead in his MacGregor dormitory room last Tuesday. He was 18.
The first snowfall came early this year with an accumulation of 1 inch in Boston and 1–2 inches in Cambridge this past Saturday in a rare October blizzard. The snowstorm dumped over a foot of snow in some parts of western Massachusetts, leaving over 620,000 people without power, mostly in the western part of the state. The outage is ongoing; as of 8 p.m. last night, 450,000 people are still without power in Massachusetts.
Yesterday was a bad day for MIT at The IBM Watson Challenge held at Harvard’s Burden Auditorium. Teams of students from the MIT Sloan School of Business and Harvard Business School competed against Watson, IBM’s champion Jeopardy! robot. Representing MIT were Sloan students Ari M. Oxman G, Raymond J. Andrews G, and Gautham V. Iyer G. Harvard Business School was represented by Genevieve Sheehan, Jonas P. Akins, and Jayanth Iyengar. Watson emerged victorious, with a final score of $53,601, trailed by Harvard with $42,399, and MIT with $100.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — The people of this strategically important Central Asian nation voted in a presidential election Sunday, seeking an end to years of political turmoil, though some fear the vote could expose the regional and ethnic divisions that nearly tore the country apart last year.
TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya’s provisional leaders named an engineer as the new prime minister Monday, taking the first step toward assembling a new transitional government after the killing of Moammar Gadhafi and the formal end to the uprising that ended his nearly 42 years in power.
BEIJING — For at least some candidates seeking parliamentary seats in local Chinese elections this year, the winning formula is the very antithesis of what works in the United States.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other senior administration officials visited Pakistan in October to demand that Pakistan’s spy agency either deliver the Haqqani network, a virulent part of the insurgency fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan, to the negotiating table or help fight them in their stronghold in Pakistan’s rugged tribal areas.
PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials on Monday announced the breakup of a massive drug-smuggling ring that used lookouts on hilltops in southern Arizona to move huge quantities of marijuana and other drugs across the Mexican border to users throughout the United States.
ATHENS, Greece — In a surprise move that jolted Europe and put his political future in play, Prime Minister George Papandreou announced Monday that his government would hold a referendum on a new aid package for Greece, putting austerity measures — and potentially membership in the eurozone — to a popular vote for the first time.
It was a storm of record consequence, disrupting large swaths of the Northeast in ways large and small: Towns were buried in dense snowfalls, closing down streets, schools, and even, in some cases, Halloween celebrations.
A historic winterlike storm over the weekend brought massive amounts of precipitation and high winds across the Northeast. Some parts of western Massachusetts received the most snow, with totals reaching just above 30 inches! In addition, out of all records at the National Weather Service, New York’s Central Park received 2.9 inches of snow, its highest amount ever recorded in October. The low pressure system that brought the wild weather moved up along the coast over the weekend. It exited very quickly by Sunday, allowing for high pressure to take over the region. Maybe a Santa Claus costume would have worked for trick-or-treating in the Northeast yesterday.
Let’s start with something obvious: Greece is insolvent. What this means is that it is no longer financially capable of paying off its debts. Insolvency usually occurs in one of two ways: you are either incapable of paying your debts as they are due or you own net negative assets, meaning your liabilities exceed your assets. The former is true in the case of the Hellenic Republic, where the government simply no longer has the financial power to pay off its many debts.
War is never a clean affair. The recent action in Libya is no exception — in victory, the rebels have taken to killing pro-Gaddafi forces in retribution, including, it appears, Gaddafi himself, who was captured while fleeing his final holdout in Sirte. But the final outcome is as pure and as cheap a victory as the United States can hope to force on the modern battlefield. The Department of Defense estimates that from March to September, the Libyan intervention cost the DOD a mere $1.1 billion, with no U.S. casualties.
Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in an afternoon section of an 18.03 (Differential Equations) class. Your professor is explaining how to solve a differential equation, and is interrupted midsentence by two surprise guests who walk into the classroom: armed men wearing military uniforms. In the tense silence that follows, one of them whispers into the professor’s ear, and then the professor points at you. The men lead you out to another empty classroom and begin interrogating you. The topic of questioning turns to your religion, and you answer the questions truthfully. You are then told that you are being expelled from MIT and barred from ever attending any institution of higher learning in the country.
Jorge Cham’s Piled Higher and Deeper — Life (or the lack thereof) in Academia, aka PhD Comics have been capturing the grad student life in a humorous but always accurate way. The original newspaper and web comic strip started in 1997 when Jorge himself was a grad student at Stanford University. The comic deals with the topics that govern grad student life like struggles in research, the relationship between students and their supervisors, and most importantly, the constant quest for free food. Much material was built up over the years, and it almost seems that the movie version was long over due. Filming started in March 2011 and was a colaboration with a theater group at Caltech.
Justin R. Wallace ’15 ran for a career-high 190 yards and three scores to lead MIT to a 23-0 win over Nichols College in a New England Football Conference game at Steinbrenner Stadium on Saturday. Not the rain or the snow that was falling at various times during the game was going to keep the Engineers from their task for the night as they picked up their first win since the beginning of the season.
The MIT Triathlon club recently ended its racing season after an impressive 2011 outing. The team won a local race series, qualified the female and male teams for the 2012 Collegiate Nationals Championships, and fielded a number of MIT triathletes in races across New England.
This weekend the rifle team broke the MIT school record score in air rifle, setting a new high with 2251 points out of a possible 2400. To give an idea of what this event involves, consider that in order to get the highest possible score on each of 60 targets, competitors have to hit a dot the size of a period from 10 meters away, while standing and supporting the rifle for two hours. The team also scored 2184 in smallbore, a season best so far. The Naval Academy won with 2203 in air rifle and 2273 in smallbore.
At night, the lights outside the Stata Center bounce off the scales on the metallic walls to create oceanic reflections on the orange brick ground. The watery patterns on the bricks, in addition to the odd angle of Stata’s wall, make this picture appear abstract at first sight. Unfortunately, without a tripod, high ISO was necessary.
Ever wondered what MIT students do on their Friday nights? Well, now you can find out. Whether they’re debating global warming or discussing the best way to top a waffle, MIT students find a way to put away their psets for a night and have some fun … most of the time. We journey from the dark, cold recesses of dorm row to the foreboding inner sanctuary of the Student Center’s study room to determine what exactly it is that these students do on the best night of the week. So strap on your hats and get ready for a crazy ride filled with optimistic prefrosh and fly-infested donuts! Watch the video at .
Events Nov. 1 – Nov. 7 Tuesday (8:00 p.m.) Breaking the Lightspeed Barrier — Fact or Fiction? A Lecture with Alan H. Guth ’69, Edward Farhi, and Peter Fisher — 26-100 Wednesday (12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Organ concerts — MIT Chapel (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) MacVicar Faculty Fellows Lecture Series: Thoughts on the Future of Engineering Education at MIT – Speaker: Professor Ian A. Waltz — Killian Hall Thursday (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) The PhD Movie film screening with Jorge Cham — 26-100 (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) Cambodian Dream: Rebuilding Cambodia by Empowering Its Women — Lecture by Professor Alan Lightman — 32-123 Friday (7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) Between the Folds, an origami documentary — 6-120 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) The Rogers Plan directed by Susan Wilson, developed and produced by Dramashop and MIT Theater Arts — Kresge Auditorium Little Theater Saturday (7:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.) LSC shows Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — 26-100 (8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.) MIT Shakespeare Ensemble presents Macbeth — W20-202 Sunday (8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.) MIT CSC and MIT ACF presents: Tim Be Told Concert — new Media Lab sixth floor MPR Monday (5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) Starr Forum: The Republican Party and American Foreign Policy — E14-674 (7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) Society of Biological Engineers presents: how to successfully navigate MIT as a premed — 66-110 Send your campus events to firstname.lastname@example.org.