REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: 2.009 Product Engineering final projects
On Monday, students in 2.009, Product Engineering Processes, presented their final projects related to the theme “outdoors.” The students, all seniors in Mechanical Engineering, worked for three months in eight color-coded teams of 15-19 students each to research markets, choose a focus, design a product, and produce a working prototype with a $6500 budget.
Central Square properties for sale
Several parcels of land spanning a wide area of Central Square, including several prominent locations along Massachusetts Avenue, were recently listed for sale. Speculation surrounds MIT’s potential interest in purchasing the properties, which include several parking lots and the Quest Diagnostics building.
Two more partners for edX in the past week
As many of edX’s first courses come to a close, the online learning initiative continues to grow. EdX spokesman Dan O’Connell told The Tech last week that edX had reached half a million unique registrants. Yesterday edX announced its newest partner, Georgetown University, which joins just on the heels of Wellesley College, whose own addition to the list of “X Universities” was announced last week. Wellesley is the first liberal arts college to join edX.
Why have printed annual reports not been issued since 2005?
Like any major company, every year MIT produces a detailed annual report summarizing the past year’s work, accomplishments, and aspirations, with a detailed section from every department, lab, center, school, or other unit — or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.
MIT revises bylaws: Corp. chair to lead Executive Committee
At the quarterly meeting of MIT’s board of trustees — the MIT Corporation — on Friday, hundreds of changes to MIT’s bylaws were enacted, both big and small.
Barker renovation is the beginning
If you think the Barker Reading Room is the last you’ll see of changes in the MIT Libraries, think again. The renovation of the Barker Reading Room is the first step of a longer process to better serve students’ study needs.
Three anonymous reports of sexual assault at Lambda Chi Alpha
On December 5, MIT police released a police bulletin stating that they had received three anonymous reports of sexual assaults that occurred on November 2012 at 99 Bay State Road, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house. The bulletin stated that there is no ongoing criminal investigation as a result of the reports. When contacted, MIT Chief of Police John DiFava confirmed that there was no ongoing investigation and declined to comment further.
New exec board takes IFC reins
A month after they were elected, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) is being run by a completely new group. Headed by Andrew L. Dorne ’14 from Phi Sigma Kappa as president, the new executive board of MIT’s IFC was inaugurated on Dec. 5.
Corp. Executive Committee oversight responsibilities
Corp. Executive Committee oversight responsibilities
Health insurance marketplace approved in six states
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to health insurance marketplaces being set up by six states led by Democratic governors eager to carry out President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
WASHINGTON — The United States has formally designated the Al Nusra Front, the militant Syrian rebel group, as a foreign terrorist organization.
Technical glitch delays rocket launching, North Korea says
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Monday that a technical glitch had been found in the rocket it had planned to launch as early as this week to put a satellite in orbit, but that it still planned to try the launching by the end of the month.
Seasonable temperatures and clear skies will be returning this week
Breezy conditions today will allow cool air to push through New England. A low pressure system, responsible for the rainy weather yesterday, will continue moving northeastward through southern Quebec. The same system brought a cold front through our region last night. The front shifted the winds from southerly to northwesterly, transporting much cooler air into our region. This overall pattern will continue through the week, with winds easing up as a high pressure center anchors itself over the eastern U.S. Dry conditions will prevail under the high, and overall temperatures will be at normal December levels. Lighter winds and clear skies will keep the cool air mass firmly in place through Friday. Any unsettled weather should hold off until next weekend, when the high departs into the Atlantic and a new storm emerges in the Midwest.
Taxpayers will soon shed their last holdings in the American International Group, more than four years after a rescue by the federal government during the most chaotic days of the financial crisis.
Chinese police detain Tibetans in self-immolation protests
BEIJING — Chinese police officials have detained a Tibetan monk and his nephew and accused them of playing a role in a series of self-immolations, according to Xinhua, the state news agency. The move appeared to be part of a campaign to prosecute Tibetans who are accused of aiding others who set fire to themselves in protest of Chinese rule.
US forecast as No. 2 economy, but energy independent
WASHINGTON — A new intelligence assessment of global trends projects that China will outstrip the United States as the leading economic power before 2030, but that America will remain an indispensable world leader, bolstered in part by an era of energy independence.
Before looking at ‘gay marriage’, let’s examine marriage itself
The definition of marriage has changed drastically over time. While I obviously do not have space to write the entire history of the institution of marriage (you can read plenty of books that do, though), I’ll try to provide a brief summary.
The purpose of the theater is to present themes, not to teach lessons to the audience
Thank you for your response to our production of The Taming of the Shrew. Indeed, the text of The Taming of the Shrew can be challenging to audiences, sometimes troubling. It is a hilarious farce in places where it seems like it shouldn’t be. In response to your article, many members of the show have written responses. Below are anonymous excerpts. There are two common themes:
MIT’s growing relevance in a shrinking world
I’m sitting 11,000 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, hurtling at 800 kilometers per hour towards Boston after an exhilarating week at a conference focused on smart cities in Barcelona, Spain. After spending the past three days engaging in discussions with policymakers, researchers, and businesspeople about the future of technology in cities, it has become highly apparent to me that MIT’s recent efforts to expand our global education and outreach programs have truly paid off. At conferences, workshops, and business meetings around the world, MIT is globally regarded as a leader in innovative thought across a wide variety of disciplines. Faculty and graduate students are spending more time traveling than perhaps ever before, a testament to the growing international relevance of MIT in an increasingly complex and globalized world. Presenting novel ideas at conferences, teaching children in developing nations, and participating in internships in foreign countries are just samples of activities that the MIT community engage in on a daily basis to maintain our global prominence. But we must not take this reputation for granted, as it has resulted from the continued commitment of students, staff, and faculty to make MIT a truly global university. Nor can we rest on our laurels, as this dedication must continue with renewed vigor to keep MIT’s researchers and alumni competitive in a shrinking world.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
A win for the gay and lesbian community
IN DEFENSE OF DOMA :
This week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case seeking to force states to permit gay marriage. Many expect the Court to force nationwide gay marriage, and in most of the US, gay marriage is indeed popularly supported. While many laud gay marriage as the natural consequence of homosexuality being normal, and many college students have a homosexual experience at some point, homosexual behavior and homosexual commitment are very different. Before encouraging gay marriage, we should examine the effects of homosexual commitments: even pro-gay-marriage scientific studies show that long-term homosexual commitment is very unusual, and strongly correlated with depression and suicidal tendencies, even with societal support.
A shrew tamed is no comedy
The Taming of the Shrew is a rape story. Barring discussion of its historical significance in a time when misogynistic thought was yet undifferentiated as an academic job, not an opining one, we need to ask how to react to the play today.
Problem-based education; changing the model
MIT loves hands-on learning. We see it everywhere, in lab classes, in the UROP programs, even in the motto itself, Mens et Manus. Many of the best classes at the Institute are centered around the union of hands-on learning and lecture-style learning, encouraging students to take the concepts and equations from lectures and apply them to different real world hands-on applications. This model has been tremendously successful and has helped propel MIT and its students to the place it is today.
Bring DOMA down
In 1996, Bill Clinton enacted the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DoMA), which federally denies the recognition of legal marriages between same-sex partners. But currently, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, District of Columbia, Maryland, Washington, and Maine, recognize gay marriage, directly contradicting DoMA, and challenging its constitutionality. Since 1996, state-by-state, a social injustice is being corrected; gay people and their allies everywhere are fighting for the legalization of gay marriage, and the 1,138 rights that come with them. With the coming event of the Supreme Court’s hearing of DoMA, gay people may finally marry their partners, and claim first-class status in a country that prides itself in allowing life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
The caption to the front page photo in last Tuesday’s issue stated that the MIT cogeneration plant supplies “only a fraction” of the electricity used on campus. While it typically does not supply all of the electricity used on campus, it usually supplies the majority of it. Just prior to the outage last week, it supplied 22 MW out of a total 27 MW.
Manziel makes history with Heisman honor
Johnny Manziel, a freshman at Texas A&M, is breaking all precedents during his first season playing college football. The quarterback is the first freshman in history to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, college football’s highest individual honor.
Fig. 3 versus the editor
“May I suggest you consult the senior authors of your paper who should know how to label a scientific graph properly so that our readers can understand them even if they are non-specialists” read the e-mail from an unnamed scientific journal’s editor in chief (EIC). With my eyes and mouth wide open, I read it again: “…There is still not enough clarity about the labeling of the figures. …May I suggest …”
Events Dec. 11 - Dec. 17
Events dec. 11 – dec. 17 Tuesday (4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) The White House and Regulation: Myths and Realities talk sponsored by MIT Energy Initiative — 66-110 (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) MIT Snowriders Holiday Party — Muddy Charles Pub Wednesday (5:15 p.m.) Advent Service of Lessons and Carols — MIT Chapel (8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.) Roadkill Buffet Presents: Finals Are For Mayans — W16-035 Thursday (4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) A New Class of Industrial Robot — 34-101 (6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) Urban Films: Play Time movie showing — 3-133 Friday (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) Safe Skies and Little Black Boxes — MIT Museum (7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.) Anime Brain Reset — 3-133 Send your campus events to email@example.com.
Institute Double Take
A barred owl was spotted in the East Campus courtyard last week. Residents report having seen it and another barred owl hunting mice at night. Another barred owl (perhaps the same one!) was also spotted near the Student Center and near Simmons Hall recently.