MIT in the News: Waves, Work, Spam Art

by Nancy DuVergne Smith on March 2, 2016 · 0 comments

in Alumni Life, Engineering, Health, In the News

The MIT News Office tracks myriad MIT mentions in each week’s news media. Here are five recent highlights for your reading pleasure:

What the Detection Of Gravitational Waves Teaches Us About Patience
Washington Post02/20/2016

This article, written by physicist, novelist, and MIT professor of the practice of the humanities Alan Lightman, recounts the persistence required to make this discovery. “As I watched the Feb. 11 news conference…I was struck by the fact that the leaders of this scientific project are well into their senior years. Caltech’s Kip Thorne is in his mid-70s, and MIT’s Rainer Weiss is in his early 80s….”

03.01.16_hSensors detect wave motion, which can predict rogue waves.

Data from ocean sensors that detect wave motion can predict rogue waves.

MIT Computer Scientists Create Algorithm to Spot Dangerous Waves

The tool, developed by MIT researchers, is intended to give sailors a two-three minute warning of a large, unexpected wave. This warning will give ship personnel the chance to shut down systems, introduce emergency protocols, or maneuver the ship. The tool uses statistical data, collected from buoys in the ocean, to quantify the range of possible waves for any body of water.

Managed by Q’s ‘Good Jobs’ Gamble
New York Times Magazine02/25/2016

In the magazine’s excellent Work Issue, this article profiles a startup company that goes against the conventional wisdom that suggests money ‘wasted’ on employees diminishes profitability. Instead, the piece profiles a startup that offers good wages and benefits as well as innovative services—and is profitable. Where do these radical ideas come from? One place is The Good Jobs Strategy by Zeynep Ton, a professor of operations management at MIT.

This MIT Professor Thinks Wall Street Can Fix High Health Care Costs
A few years ago, financial engineering professor Andrew Lo proposed curbing ever-rising health care costs by bundling drug development expenses into securities that could be bought and sold. Now Lo proposes a new take—creating loans for patients whose insurance policies don’t cover ultra-expensive treatments, like the cure for hepatitis C.

MIT Puts Spam in an Art Gallery with “I Must First Apologize”
Boston magazine – 02/22/2016

Unsolicited messages from strangers, otherwise known as email spam, is the subject of a new exhibit at MIT List Visual Arts Center titled “I Must First Apologize…” The artists, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige who live and work in Beirut and Paris, examine the history of online spam and scamming through film, sculpture, photography, and installation. They explore structures of belief and storytelling and the mingling of intimacy, trust, and greed.

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