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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Said and Done

October 2013 Edition
Published by the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

 




 
QUOTABLE

 

                        "Our goal is to empower MIT students — 
                         to help them serve the world well, 
                         with innovations, and lives, that are
                         rich in meaning and wisdom."

                             — Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean,
                                       MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

  



FEATURE 

 

MIT students discover new possibilities at the inaugural TOUR de SHASS expo 

Several hundred students, along with SHASS faculty and staff, gathered in September for the inaugural TOUR de SHASS — a lively academic expo showcasing MIT's wide range of classes in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Story + Photographs | Take the TOUR de SHASS online  

 

 

           

 

Explore and Discover
Take the TOUR de SHASS online  

 


 

FEATURE


MIT Alumnus Robert J. Shiller wins the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Shiller (SM'68, PhD'72), who is known for his work on the long-term fluctuations of asset prices in markets, will share the award with Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, of the Univ. of Chicago. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the award was being given to the three economists “for their empirical analysis of asset prices." 
Story at MIT News


             
L and R: front, Medal for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Center: Robert J. Shiller, (SM'68, PhD'72), Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University




RESEARCH FEATURE 

  

PRODUCTION IN THE INNOVATION ECONOMY (PIE)
MIT PIE Report released | Making in America by Suzanne Berger published 

The PIE commission found that potentially valuable innovations occur throughout the advanced manufacturing sector—from academic labs to shop floors—and in companies of all sizes, from multinational conglomerates to specialized “Main Street” firms. However, there are holes in the “ecosystem” of advanced manufacturing in the United States—gaps that particularly inhibit innovative smaller firms. The report suggests that new policies, partnerships and programs can help create innovation-based growth and jobs. Many of the results are detailed in a new book, Making in America (MIT Press, 2013), written by Suzanne Berger, with the PIE Task Force. Berger is the Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science, and a co-chair of the MIT PIE Commission.  

Story at MIT News  |  Making in America (MIT Press, 2013) |  3Q with Suzanne Berger |  Slice of MIT  


          

 
 

                           “There doesn’t seem to be anything inexorable
                      about the rundown of the U.S. manufacturing economy.  
                      There is a great deal of optimism in our group.”

                                  — Suzanne Berger, Starbuck Professor of Political Science,
                                      and Co-chair of the MIT PIE Commission
 
 


 

Research Portfolio 
Research is the engine for the School's capacity to help meet the world's great challenges. To name just a few areas of impact, MIT SHASS research helps alleviate poverty, safeguard elections, steer economies, understand the past and present, inform health policy, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language, and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio 



HISTORY
Ebony and Ivy | Craig Wilder 
In Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities (Bloomsbury, 2013), Wilder, Professor of American History, and Head of MIT History, documents the manifold links between universities and the slave economy in colonial America. Kirkus Review writes: "A groundbreaking history that will contribute to a reappraisal of some deep-rooted founding myths.”
NPR Interview with Craig Wilder  |  Story at MIT News

 

DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS
Study on factory auditing practices leads to pollution reduction | Greenstone and Duflo 
A two-year experiment involving roughly 500 industrial plants in the Gujarat state of India found that auditors were under-reporting pollution violations. Acting on the research data, the Indian state designed new auditing practices. Only six months later, pollution from the plants receiving the new form of audit was already significantly lower than at plants assessed using the traditional method. 
Story



ECONOMICS
Arnaud Costinot puts venerable Theory of Comparative Advantage to new uses 
With the growth of China and Latin American economies, among others—many dissimilar countries, with wildly varying institutions, are trading with each other. “The comeback of Ricardian theory today is, in part, as a response to those trends,” Costinot says. Trade between developed and less-developed economies “is on the rise and it seems to be quite different. We may need new theories, or old theories and their extensions may be better suited to it.”
Story

  

            
 
L to R: Craig Wilder, Professor of History, and Head, MIT History; Factory in Gujarat, India; Arnaud Costinot, Associate Professor of Economics 


 

Bookshelf
The research of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books and publications, and music and theater productions. These gems of the School provide new knowledge and analysis, innovation and insight, guidance for policy, and nourishment for lives.
Take a look    

 

            

 
L to R: The Triumph of Human Empire: Verne, Morris, and Stevenson at the End of the World, (University of Chicago Press, 2013), by Rosalind WilliamsEbony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities (Bloomsbury Press, 2013), by Craig Wilder; Fighting for the Speakership: The House and the Rise of Party Government, by Charles Stewart III and Jeffrey Jenkins (Princeton University Press, 2012)



HONORS AND AWARDS  

 

HISTORY
Ritvo's Animal Estate named one of most significant books from Harvard University Press 
Harvard University Press celebrating its centennial year, recently selected MIT Professor Harriet Ritvo’s book, The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age, as one of its 100 most significant publications.  “The Animal Estate became a foundational text for the new field of animal studies," said Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
Story  
 

             
 L and R: details, "Windsor Castle in Modern Times: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert," Sir Edwin Landseer, 1840-43, The Royal Collection; Center: Harriet Ritvo, Professor of History


 

ECONOMICS
Angrist selected as a 2013 Citation Laureate in Economics 
An annual list that uses Thomson Reuters citation data to predict researchers whose achievements and esteem in the scientific community (as measured by citations) make them potential candidates for the Nobel prize in their field. Angrist, Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, takes a rigorous empirical approach to labor market and education questions. Citations for his papers reflect significant interdisciplinary influence. 
Overview + Interview

  

ANTHROPOLOGY
Natasha Schüll honored for Addition by Design | research on technology and gambling   
Associate Professor Natasha Schüll of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) has received the Sharon Stephens Prize from the American Ethnological Society (AES) for her book, Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton 2012). 
Story


HISTORY 
Emma Teng named one of Ten Outstanding Faculty 
Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity has selected MIT Professor Emma Teng as one of Ten Outstanding Faculty honored nationwide for her "passion for inspiring her students, as well as her dedication to her own personal values." Teng, the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations, and an Associate Professor of China Studies was also named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow earlier this year.  
Story 
 

                
L to R: Joshua Angrist, Ford Professor of Economics; Natasha Schull, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society; Emma Teng, 
T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations



NEWS 

 

MIT SHASS 
Karina Arnaez named Diversity Manager for MIT SHASS
Dean Deborah Fitzgerald is pleased to announce that Karina Arnaez has joined the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in the newly created role of Diversity Manager. Arnaez, MIT's first school-level, full-time Diversity Manager, has worked in diversity and recruitment at Boston College, Cardinal Health, and EMC2. 
Meet Karina Arnaez


ECONOMICS 
MIT's Jameel Poverty Action Lab launches a regional office for North America
Established in 2013, J-PAL North America is based at MIT in the Department of Economics, and works to improve the effectiveness of social programs in the U.S. and Canada through J-PAL's three core activities: research, policy outreach, and capacity building. 
Story

ECONOMICS 
Technology, Jobs, and the Middle Class  | David Autor and David Dorn 
"Computerization is not reducing the quantity of jobs, but rather degrading the quality of jobs for a significant subset of workers....This bifurcation of job opportunities has contributed to the historic rise in income inequality. The good news is that middle-wage jobs are not slated to disappear completely.... How can we help workers ride the wave of technological change rather than be swamped by it?" 
Commentary in the New York Times

 

          

 L to R: Karina Arnaez, Diversity Manager for SHASS; J-PAL NA territory; Steel mill, California


 

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
In search of transparency | Daniel Ellsberg
Former military analyst and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg spoke recently at MIT on the need for more open public discussion of vital issues.
Story


CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Starr Forum | The unknowns surrounding Syria
At an MIT forum, foreign-policy experts discuss the complications of another potential military intervention in the Middle East. 
Video of forum  |  Story


SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY 
Digital slot machines are designed to addict | Natasha Schüll
"The particular addictiveness of modern slots has to do with the solitary, continuous, rapid wagering they enable...Some machine gamblers become so caught up in the rhythm of play that it dampens their awareness of space, time and monetary value."
Commentary in The New York Times

 



FEATURE 

 

MUSIC
Jazz at MIT interactive timeline launched 
The Jazz at MIT timeline — which includes audio recordings, images, videos, and text  — represents major activities, awards and honors celebrated by the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and other MIT jazz groups over the past five+ decades. 

Jazz at MIT Timeline  |  Listen to jazz online at the MIT Listening Room


Everett Longstreth, Director of the MIT Concert Jazz Band, 1968 - 1995


 
PROFILES
 

 

COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES / WRITING
Interview with Edward Schiappa
Schiappa, Professor of Comparative Media Studies, and interim head of CMS/W, brings a background in both classical rhetoric and contemporary media studies. In Schiappa's book Defining Reality: Definitions and the Politics of Meaning, Socrates rubs elbows with Justice John Paul Stevens, B.F. Skinner, and Benedict Spinoza.
Interview

 

COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES / WRITING
Profile | Heather Hendershot 
MIT professor Heather Hendershot studies the conservative movement’s strategic use of television through the decades. "In unmatched detail, she has traced right-wing media from some of its overtly partisan founders in the 1950s and 1960s to the more refined, professional content developed by groups...in the 1990s."
Story

 

             

L: Edward Schiappa, Professor of Comparative Media Studies; R: Heather Hendershot, Professor of Comparative Media Studies


 

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