Tag Archives: DSpace@MIT

OA research in the news: Searching for the oldest stars

Frebel and bookIn a new book published this month, MIT astronomer Anna Frebel chronicles her work as a stellar archaeologist, scanning the skies with telescopes and spectroscopes to study ancient stars and their chemical composition. Frebel and her colleagues have identified some of the oldest known stars, which help researchers learn about what the universe looked like in its first billion years.

“Why is that interesting? Because stars in general make all the chemical elements we know from the periodic table, inside their cores,” said Frebel in an interview with MIT News. “So everything we know and love, all the matter we’re made of today, had to be cooked up in stars and supernova explosions for billions of years.”

In her book Frebel highlights contributions to astronomy made by women, including the “Harvard Computers,” dozens of women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who catalogued stars, classified spectra, and did their own research in the Harvard College Observatory. “My work kind of goes back to many of the things they did,” said Frebel. “And I find it really important to remember what has been done before, and what the contributions of women were in science. In my book, it comes through here and there, that I’m just one of those sisters, and that we keep doing what we’re doing, and so will many others after me, I’m sure.”

Explore Professor Frebel’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 that links news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Downloads of open access articles hit new monthly peak

dspace screen shot de weck article heavy downloadsIn October 2015, downloads of the 18,000 articles deposited in DSpace@MIT in accordance with the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy topped 180,000. This was a new record, leaping beyond the prior bar of 123,000 set in September.

Among the top 10 most downloaded articles for the month of October 2015 were:

Readers downloading these papers come from many walks of life. One recent reader wrote:

I am a ‘semi-retired’ physicist who is attempting to keep up with the literature in the wild west ( Idaho Falls, Idaho ) It is very difficult to obtain original journal access and inter-library access is very slow ( usually ).

Other readers’ comments are available through the oastories.mit.edu web service, where you can click on a map and see what readers from a particular country are saying.

To view download statistics, visit the Open Access Article Statistics site.

To have your article appear in these statistics, MIT authors may deposit a manuscript to the collection by logging in to DSpace@MIT.

This news is part of a series of regular reports on activity related to the Open Access Articles Collection in DSpace@MIT, which was launched in October 2009 to house articles deposited in association with the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy.

Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright & Licensing, MIT Libraries

OA research in the news: MIT faculty win Breakthrough Prizes

Photo by PopTech https://flic.kr/p/zUiWKk Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Ed Boyden – PopTech 2015. Photo by PopTech. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike.

Three MIT researchers were honored this week in a star-studded, televised ceremony for the Breakthrough Prizes, which go to “important, primarily recent, achievements” in fundamental physics, life sciences, and math. The 2016 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences, worth $3 million each, went to five scientists including Edward Boyden, associate professor of media arts and sciences, biological engineering, and brain and cognitive sciences. Boyden received the award for his work developing optogenetics.

Mathematician Larry Guth and physicist Liang Fu each won a New Horizons prize, worth $100,000. Guth (whose father Alan won a Breakthrough Prize in 2012, the inaugural year) was honored for his “ingenious and surprising solutions to long standing open problems in symplectic geometry, Riemannian geometry, harmonic analysis, and combinatorial geometry.” Fu and two other physicists won for their “outstanding contributions to condensed matter physics, especially involving the use of topology to understand new states of matter.”

The prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. This year’s ceremony, which aired on the National Geographic Channel (and will rerun on Fox later this month), was hosted by Seth McFarlane and featured appearances by Pharrell Williams, Russell Crowe, and Hilary Swank, among others.

Explore Professor Boyden’s research, Professor Guth’s research, and Professor Fu’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Innovators over 70

MIT Technology Review has long celebrated innovators under 35 in an annual issue. This year, in addition to the young honorees, the magazine features Seven over 70. “Older people are, of course, just as capable of new thinking as the young,” writes editor Jason Pontin. Two of the seven innovators are MIT Institute Professors emeriti: philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson, and nuclear engineer Sidney Yip. Having authored hundreds of papers, Yip continues to publish. A recent article he co-wrote offers a new approach to making strong concrete that produces fewer carbon emissions than current methods.

Explore Professor Yip’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Study shows new cheating method in online courses

edX screenshotResearchers at MIT and Harvard have discovered a new way to cheat in massive open online courses that “holds the potential to render the MOOC certificate valueless as an academic credential.” With colleagues, Isaac Chuang, a professor of electrical engineering and physics and MIT’s senior associate dean of digital learning, analyzed data from nearly two million course participants in 115 MOOCs from Harvard and MIT. They found that certificate earners in 69 courses used a cheating strategy that involves making multiple profiles, allowing users to acquire course certification in less than an hour. The researchers describe so-called CAMEO cheating (copying answers using multiple existences online) and outline some prevention strategies in a working paper published on arXiv last week.

Explore Professor Chuang’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Comedian Ansari gets insights from MIT

Photo of two people texting

Photo by Jake Stimpson. Licensed under CC-BY 2.0

While researching his book about romance in the digital era, the actor and comedian Aziz Ansari “applied rigor and seriousness” to the subject: With sociologist Eric Klinenberg, Ansari conducted focus groups, set up a discussion forum, and consulted academic studies. One of the experts he interviewed is MIT anthropologist Natasha Dow Schull, who in 2012 published a book on gambling in the digital era and the allure of slot machines. Writes Ansari, “Schull drew an analogy between slot machines and texting, since both generate the expectation of a quick reply. ‘When you’re texting with someone you’re attracted to, someone you don’t really know yet, it’s like playing a slot machine: There’s a lot of uncertainty, anticipation, and anxiety. Your whole system is primed to receive a message back.'”

Explore Professor Schull’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Tackling diversity in philosophy

There has long been a push to increase diversity in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. And for good reason: women and minorities have been underrepresented in these areas for decades. But there are gaps in other disciplines. According to MIT philosophy professor Sally Haslanger, as recently as five years ago less than 30 percent of PhD graduates in philosophy were women. This was lower than the number of women doctorates in math, chemistry, and economics. And the percentage is worse for racial and ethnic minorities.

“The overall philosophical profession, just like society at large, is still very much dominated by straight, white, cisgendered [not transgender], able-bodied, middle-class men,” said Matthias Jenny, a philosophy graduate student at MIT.

Jenny, along with two other grad students, has partnered with the University of Massachusetts-Boston to run a weeklong program in August at MIT called Philosophy in an Inclusive Key (PIKSI-Boston). The goal is to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider an academic career in philosophy. Haslanger has helped the students with funding and other support.

Explore Professor Haslanger’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: MIT places 6th in DARPA robot finals

MIT Atlas robotResearchers from MIT placed sixth out of two dozen teams in the international DARPA Robotics Challenge finals last week. Humanoid challengers in the Defense Department’s “robot Olympics” had to complete eight tasks related to helping people in disaster zones, including walking on rubble, climbing stairs and ladders, driving alone, and using tools. The winners, a team from Daejeon, Korea, took home $2 million.

“This is, without a doubt, the most ambitious project that any of us have ever undertaken,” said Russ Tedrake, an associate professor in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who led MIT’s team. “From perception to motion-planning to manipulation, the breadth and depth of challenges have forced us to think creatively, program nimbly — and sleep sporadically.”

DARPA launched the robotics challenge in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011.

Explore Professor Tedrake’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: MIT students Hack to the Future

Hack to the Future posterEmmett “Doc” Brown was certainly clever: he made the world’s first time machine out of a gull-winged sports car.  But he was also fictional. Thirty years after Brown’s DeLorean traveled to the past in the film Back to the Future, MIT undergraduates showcased their very real engineering skills by battling each other in “Hack to the Future,” an homage to the movies and the theme for this year’s 2.007 Robot Competition. (It’s apt timing; in the movie’s first sequel, Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to 2015, where they find that skateboards hover in the air and sneakers tie themselves.)

Last week, hundreds of spectators cheered on finalists in the robot competition, the culmination of a semester-long class in which mechanical engineering students designed, built, and tested their creations. Robots had to complete tasks involving iconic Back to the Future items like the DeLorean, a clock tower, and a flux capacitor. The winning robot, by sophomore Allison Edwards, was “very steady and reliable,” said mechanical engineering associate professor Sangbae Kim, who instructs the class with colleague Amos Winter. Kim and Winter watched the competition dressed as the films’ protagonists, Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

Explore Professor Kim’s research and Professor Winter’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 blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.