Activists from Fossil Free MIT have acquired signatures from various personalities, including actor Mark Ruffalo and professors Noam Chomsky and Junot Díaz, on an open letter addressed to President L. Rafael Reif calling on MIT to divest.
Just in time for the autumnal equinox, the first hints of fall have arrived in the form of cooler weather. After last week’s unseasonably warm weather, a cold front passed through the Boston area on Sunday morning, bringing with it a cool northwesterly breeze. This breeze has ushered in a colder Canadian air mass that has brought temperatures down to around their normal levels. For this time of year, the normal high temperature is 70°F (21°C), while the normal low is 55°F (13°C). Indeed, the highs and lows for the next few days will be very close to those marks, as a strong high pressure system settles in over the northern East Coast.
There is no such thing as bad science — or at least that’s the general theme of the Ig Nobels. Every year, Nobel laureates convene at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre to award ten lucky groups Ig Nobel awards, consisting of “ten trillion Zimbabwean dollars” and a potted plant. And all they had to do was come up with some of the strangest scientific results.
MIT Faculty Talks, a series of chats intended to build a closer relationship between students and faculty, launched last Wednesday, Sept. 16. The joint effort between the chancellor’s office and Lorna Gibson, a professor of materials science and engineering, opened with a presentation on “teaching, scholarship, and the imposter syndrome” by Arthur Bahr, a medieval literature professor.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker toured MIT’s campus and delivered a speech on Sept. 18 at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Her address was followed by a Q&A session with President L. Rafael Reif, in which they discussed the challenges in academic research when long-term projects are only backed by short-term investments.
The MIT Press mourns the loss of Frank Urbanowski, who served as director of the press for an unprecedented 27 years, building it into one of the largest and most successful scholarly publishers in the world. Urbanowski passed away after a long illness on Sept. 19 in Essex Junction, Vt. He was 79.
This past Saturday, students and visitors filled MIT’s Kresge Auditorium for the third annual Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses. Created by Zachary Weinersmith, author of the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic, BAHFest featured the outlandish theories of six speakers who competed to give the best argued, most nonsensical scientific presentation.
The fall installment of this year’s Boston Calling Music Festival will occur on Sept. 25-27, filling City Hall Plaza with live concert performances all through the weekend. Although Boston Calling has only been around since 2013, it has already gained an impressive following, received national acclaim, and has attracted prominent artists such as Bastille, Lorde, Tove Lo, and Marina and the Diamonds. The Tech recently interviewed Mike Snow, one of the co-founders of Boston Calling, to talk about the festival’s conception and successes.
Fans awaiting the arrival of the ninth season of Doctor Who were subjected to quite the emotional roller coaster despite the fact that the season only just premiered this past Saturday. Before we even get to the episode we have the rumors and speculation. There has been speculation about impending regenerations (when The Doctor dies and regenerates into a “new” Doctor, and is consequently played by a new actor) and rumors about companion departures. Changing between Doctors and/or Companions is always a traumatic experience for fans.
There are few genres as enduring in American cinema as the gangster film (see The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Casino, for starters). These films collectively explore our cultural fascination with violent, charismatic criminals — self-made figures who operate outside the system to great personal gain and at the expense of law, order, and often many lives. Generally, these films portray the gangster’s world as governed by highly intricate systems of hierarchy, fealty, and unwritten yet brutally enforced codes of behavior (no snitching!).
Playing on the road for a second time in the 2015-16 season, the MIT women’s tennis team remained undefeated, recording an impressive 9-0 victory over Mount Holyoke College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. Junior Elysa Kohrs ’17 was a winner at both the No. 1 singles and doubles to help the Engineers to their fourth straight win.