Tag Archives: DSpace@MIT

OA research in the news: Volkswagen emissions may increase mortality rates in Europe

In 2015, Volkswagen admitted to doctoring software in its diesel cars so they would pass emissions tests. The company had sold 11 million of the defective cars, which released more than four times the amount of air pollutants permitted under European law.

A recent study, coauthored by MIT researchers including Professor Steven Barrett, estimates that 1,200 people in Europe will die prematurely because of excess emissions from the 2.6 million cars sold in Germany alone.

“A natural next step for us is to focus on excess emissions by all manufacturers,” the study’s lead author, MIT AeroAstro graduate student Guillame Chossière told the New York Times. “Europe has very severe air quality issues, and enforcing standards in diesel cars should be considered as a first step toward cleaner air.”

Explore Professor Barrett’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Mass voters say no to charter school increase

Vote yes, vote no on 2 signsOne of the most contentious issues facing Massachusetts voters on November 8 was in ballot question 2: whether to approve an annual increase of the number of charter schools in the state. Money raised by both sides was more than the amount raised for any ballot question in Massachusetts history, according to the New York Times.

“If the voters reject more urban charters here, then it’s not clear what more the charter movement can do to convince opponents and skeptics,” MIT economics professor Parag Pathak told the Times a few days before the election. Pathak has written extensively on education and charter schools.

The initiative did not pass: 62% voted against raising the cap.

Explore Professor Pathak’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Using MRIs for fetal scans

Doctors usually check fetal development with ultrasound imaging, which can monitor a baby’s growth and show blood flow through the placenta, the organ that gives nutrients to the fetus. Researchers from MIT are collaborating with colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to more directly gauge the health of the placenta and other organs.

At a conference this month, the researchers presented a paper that shows a method of using MRI scans to measure chemical changes over time in organs like the placenta; an algorithm helps identify and track organs on a fetal scan, accounting for the fact that a fetus cannot sit still for MRI imaging.

Elfar Adalsteinsson, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is working on new MRI technologies for fetal imaging, and Polina Golland, also an EECS professor, is working with her group to develop software for interpreting the images.

Explore Professor Adalsteinsson’s research and Professor Golland’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: MIT scientists ain’t afraid of no ghost

Ghostbusters lab

Photo: Sony Pictures

Several MIT researchers had a hand in boosting the “geek cred” of characters in this summer’s Ghostbusters reboot. Physics faculty members Janet Conrad and Lindley Winslow, along with former postdoc James Maxwell, lent expertise and props to the set — including actual books, posters, and models from Conrad’s office and “a mess of wires and magnets and lasers” from Maxwell’s lab. Winslow, who told MIT News she “probably put in too much time” working on the film, wrote a series of physics equations that appear in a classroom scene with Kristin Wiig’s character.

“They wanted it to be authentic,” Winslow told Wired magazine, “right up to the point when the ghosts show up.”

Explore Professor Conrad’s research and Professor Winslow’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Why women leave engineering

Engineer

photo by Candace. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND

Studies show that engineering is the most gender-segregated of all science and technology fields, from college classes to the workplace. Explanations for this tend to focus on a lack of women mentors and career demands that are in conflict with family life.

MIT sociologist and anthropologist Susan Silbey and colleagues offer some additional explanations in a recently published study: Women engineering students can feel marginalized because of “everyday sexism” encountered during internships or team-based educational activities. In turn, women “develop less confidence that they will ‘fit’ into the culture of engineering,” the researchers write in their paper.

The researchers asked more than 40 undergraduate engineering students from four schools (including MIT) to keep monthly diaries over four years of study, and they and also conducted interviews.

Explore Professor Silbey’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: A cheap, fast test for the Zika virus

Paper-based Zika test

Image: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Researchers at MIT and other universities have developed a cheap, fast test to diagnose the Zika virus, which is spread by infected mosquitoes and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women. The test involves sensors embedded in paper that can detect a particular genetic sequence found in Zika. If the sequence is present in a person’s blood, urine, or saliva, the paper changes color within hours.

“We have a system that could be widely distributed and used in the field with low cost and very few resources,” said lead researcher James Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), in a story by MIT News. Other MIT researchers involved include Lee Gehrke, the Hermann L.F. von Helmholtz Professor in IMES.

A Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in 2015; most people have mild or few symptoms, so they may not realize they’ve been infected. But the virus can cause serious birth defects.

The new test could soon be used in the field. “More work and additional testing would be needed to ensure safety and efficacy before actual deployment,” said Collins. “We’re not far off.”

Explore Professor Collins’ research and Professor Gehrke’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: New website turns data into knowledge

Data USAIn 2013, federal, state, and local governments were required to make their data openly available. More than 195,000 datasets on property values, family incomes, and many other topics are now free for reuse. But how to sift through and understand it all?

A new project announced this week by the MIT Media Lab promises to turn “data into knowledge.” The project, a visualization website called Data USA, was led by Cesar Hidalgo, an associate professor in the Media Lab, who worked for over a year with the consulting firm Deloitte and programmers, economists, designers, and researchers to develop the site.

Type “Massachusetts” into the Data USA  search box and the page displays options for exploring the economy, demographics, housing, and health. Under “education,” for example, you can find the percentage of degrees awarded by MIT in the state (2.6%) and see a colorful visualization of the data.

“The goal was organize and visualize data in a way that a lot of people think about it,” said Patricia Buckley, director of economic policy and analysis at Deloitte, in the New York Times.

 Explore Professor Hidalgo’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009, they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Why Only Us?

Chomsky and Berwick: Why only us?Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist and co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, once said he was confused about language because humans didn’t need it. People, he said, could get by with a brain the size of an ape. So why do we have it?

How and why humans acquired a distinctive language, unlike that of any other species, is a “special puzzle,” as MIT computer scientist Robert Berwick calls it. Berwick and MIT linguist Noam Chomsky explore this puzzle in their new book, Why Only Us: Language and Evolution, published this month by the MIT Press. The book looks at what language is, how and where it arose, and what purpose it may have played — why is it a useful trait?

Explore Professor Chomsky’ research and Professor Berwick’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Dean Ortiz to leave MIT, start new university

Christine Ortiz

Photo: Justin Knight

MIT’s dean for graduate education is leaving the Institute to start a new nonprofit university focused on projects over lectures and large, open labs over classrooms. Christine Ortiz, who is also a professor of materials science and engineering, told the Chronicle of Higher Education this week that she’s eager to reshape what a university can be by focusing on modern needs and using today’s technology.

“We’ll have a core that’s project-based learning, but where students can have a really deep, integrative longer-term project rather than shorter projects. And then all of the knowledge acquisition would be moved virtually,” she said in the interview.

Ortiz has assembled a team and will start fundraising soon. She steps down from MIT in July.

Explore Professor Ortiz’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.