Mens et Manus America launched to address social, political, economic challenges
Vivek Bald wins Levitan Prize in the Humanities
Malick Ghachem on history and problem-solving
Meet theater director Charlotte Brathwaite
Resolving public health crises requires astute political leadership and an informed public as well as the best medical science. The MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative, led by Erica James is bringing together expertise in political, economic, social, and cultural realms.
Part of the "Common Threads" video, produced for MIT's 150th anniversary celebration, this three-minute clip traces the rise of the humanities, arts, sciences, and social science disciplines at MIT.
Watch for the appearance of Winston Churchill!
In a recent book, political scientist Andrea Campbell gives a firsthand perspective on how America’s means-tested social insurance programs inadvertently keep the people they are intended to help in a state of perpetual financial distress. Campbell also proposes more sensible social policy.
Bravo! Bengt Holmstrom, the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics in MIT SHASS, has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to contract theory. He shares the prize wtih Oliver Hart, of Harvard University.
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Stories, Nobel Lecture, Ceremony
Today, unprecedented numbers of incoming students—80 percent—arrive at MIT with deep experience in the arts, especially in music.
Using computational tools and methods, humanities scholars are opening new lines of research and asking questions never before possible.
Noting that all undergraduates at MIT take a minimum of eight classes in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, Nobles said, "The world’s problems are so complex they’re not only science and technological problems. They are as much human and moral problems.”
Shigeru Miyagawa, MIT Professor of Linguistics, says the balance of evidence suggests human language is a grafting of two communication forms found elsewhere in the animal kingdom: the elaborate songs of birds, and information-bearing expression seen in various other animals.
“Why, despite the steady growth of scientific knowledge, policy initiatives at every level, and an active civil society, have we failed to act effectively? What's gone wrong here?”
In Keeril Makan's most recent Introduction to Composition class, students were asked to design a musical instrument. Some made flutes, chimes, and homemade drums. Sergheyev, Lopez, and Liu decided to make musical textures from nuclear radiation — gamma sonification.
In Making in America, Suzanne Berger, Starbuck Professor of Poltical Science, describes ways to strengthen American manufacturing, including public-private collaborations, manufacturing innovation institutes, and industry-community college projects.
Consistently ranked among the top philosophy departments in the nation, MIT Philosophy recently also drew attention for extraordinary success in placing its PhD graduates in tenure-track positions. What's the secret?
Can science describe everything there is to know about the world? Do humans have free will? What is it for a sentence to be "true"? Dig into these and other questions at Wi-Phi — an online, interactive toolkit for building a better mind.
Story + Wi-Phi
“Higher education, and public education, is America’s best idea,” says MIT economist David Autor. “Our decision to send our entire public through high school over the first 30 years of the 20th century was probably the single most important factor in U.S. economic predominance for that century.”
Research, News, and Kudos
from the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities,
Arts, and Social Sciences
"Humanity faces urgent challenges — challenges whose solutions depend on marrying advanced technical and scientific capabilities with a deep understanding of the world's political, cultural, and economic complexities." — L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT
Join us in building a better world
“MIT SHASS is important because all the rest of the endeavors at which the Institute so excels — science, engineering, business, and architecture — exist within social, political, cultural, and economic contexts, and those are the realms that the SHASS faculty research and explore." — Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean
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My Sister's Keeper, a program founded in 2016 by Professor Helen Elaine Lee, supports black women students at MIT, with social, professional, and mentoring relationships.
"Even when people agree about whether wildness is good or bad," Ritvo tells MIT SHASS, "they have often disagreed about exactly what it is, and about whether an individual organism or group of organisms or even an environment should be described as wild.