News From SHASS

Sophia Chen, pictured here in Madagascar on an MIT D-Lab project to test a water vapor condensing chamber, says: “It is no understatement to say that D-Lab has played a central role in helping me discover what I'm passionate about and what my purpose is in life.”

Sophia Chen: It’s our duty to make the world better through empathy, patience, and respect

Nancy Adams | MIT D-Lab

May 28, 2024

Honing her values and career path through her D-Lab classes, the MIT senior sets her sights on leveling inequalities in global health.

Kate Brown is the Thomas M. Siebel Distinguished Professor in History of Science in the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Q&A: The power of tiny gardens and their role in addressing climate change

Leda Zimmerman | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

May 28, 2024

Kate Brown, MIT professor of history, discusses how ordinary people taking action in their communities can offer hope for the future.

A set of research surveys by MIT political scientists shows that the public, and policymakers, take threats from world leaders equally seriously, whether those warnings are issued on social media, or through traditional government statements.

In international relations, it’s the message, not the medium

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

May 28, 2024

Research surveys show warnings issued by world leaders are taken equally seriously whether issued on social media or through formal statements.

A modest amount of logistical assistance dramatically increases the likelihood that low-income families will move into neighborhoods providing better economic opportunity, according to a new study.

A modest intervention that helps low-income families beat the poverty trap

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

May 28, 2024

Letting people work with a “navigator” dramatically increases how often they move to higher-opportunity neighborhoods.

Top row, left to right: Stephen Bates, Abigail Bodner, Andreea Bobu, Suraj Cheema, and Samantha Coday. Middle row, left to right: Mitchell Gordon, Kaiming He, Anna Huang, Yael Kalai, and Sendhil Mullainathan. Bottom row, left to right: Alex Rives, Sungho Shin, Jessica Stark, Thomas John "T.J." Wallin, and Gioele Zardini.

School of Engineering welcomes new faculty

Zach Goodale | School of Engineering

May 23, 2024

Fifteen new faculty members join six of the school’s academic departments.

The 6-3 Computer Science and Engineering major, who graduates this spring, reflects on his experience at MIT, what he'll miss, and the new interests he developed as a result of his time in Cambridge.

Q&A: A graduating student looks back on his MIT experience

Jane Halpern | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

May 20, 2024

Christopher Wang, a senior in EECS, shares his favorite study spaces, how he discovered theater at the Institute, and what he'll miss most.

Top row, l-r: April Cheng, Grace McMillan, Ryan McTigue, and Keith Murray. Middle row, l-r: Maaya Prasad, Anusha Puri, Olivia Rosenstein, and Jennifer Schug. Bottom row, l-r: Vaibhavi Shah, Charvi Sharma, and Isabella Witham.

Eleven from MIT awarded 2024 Fulbright fellowships

Julia Mongo | Office of Distinguished Fellowships

May 20, 2024

The Fulbright US Student Program funds research, study, and teaching opportunities abroad.

Ben Ross Schneider is the author of a new book, “Routes to Reform: Education Politics in Latin America,” published by Oxford University Press.

Trying to make the grade

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

May 20, 2024

Political scientist Ben Ross Schneider’s new book examines why improving public education has been so difficult in Latin America.

MIT professor of political science Evan Lieberman discusses his research at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana.

Q&A: Exploring ethnic dynamics and climate change in Africa

Leda Zimmerman | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

May 15, 2024

Professor of political science Evan Lieberman discusses his research into perceptions among African and American citizens about the climate crisis and how their governments are responding.

Students in the 2023 DEDP master’s cohort gather on MIT’s campus.

MIT’s Master of Applied Science in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy program adds a public policy track

Brynn Fieldhouse | Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

May 14, 2024

Students have new avenues for learning and research on the most effective approaches to fighting poverty in the US and other high-income countries.

Clockwise from top left: Vittorio Colicci, Owen Dugan, Carine You, and Carina Letong Hong.

Four from MIT named 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Julia Mongo | Office of Distinguished Fellowships

May 13, 2024

The fellowship funds graduate studies at Stanford University.

Senior Grace McMillan pursued a degree in 21E: Humanities and Engineering, a joint degree program offered through SHASS. “Engineers need communication skills. You can be the smartest person in the room, but no one will care if you can’t convey your ideas effectively," she says.

Discovering community and cultural connections

Danna Lorch | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

May 9, 2024

A joint humanities and engineering major, senior Grace McMillan is setting her sights on a legal career focused on education policy reform.

MIT President Sally Kornbluth and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman chatted during a wide-ranging discussion at Kresge Auditorium on May 2.

President Sally Kornbluth and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman discuss the future of AI

Zach Winn | MIT News

May 6, 2024

The conversation in Kresge Auditorium touched on the promise and perils of the rapidly evolving technology.

MIT students (from left to right) Ben Lou, Srinath Mahankali, and Kenta Suzuki have been selected to receive Barry Goldwater Scholarships for the 2024-25 academic year.

Three from MIT named 2024-25 Goldwater Scholars

Leah Campbell | School of Science

May 2, 2024

Undergraduates Ben Lou, Srinath Mahankali, and Kenta Suzuki, whose research explores math and physics, are honored for their academic excellence.

MIT senior James Simon hopes to quantify the most effective approaches to solutions for the people and groups he works with. “It's always kind of surprising to me how much of an impact you can make on people if you just put in the effort to seek out opportunities,” he says.

Studies in empathy and analytics

Angelina Parrillo | MIT News correspondent

May 1, 2024

Senior James Simon wants to effect change in two ways: by quantifying societal issues and working directly with disadvantaged communities.

Panelists (left to right) Joe Diaz ’11, graduate student Rachael Harkavy, undergraduate Joyce Yuan, graduate student Lancelot Blanchard, and graduate student Grace Song look toward moderator Ian Waitz as they discuss how they use generative AI in school and work.

MIT faculty, instructors, students experiment with generative AI in teaching and learning

Katherine Ouellette | Office of Open Learning

April 29, 2024

At MIT’s Festival of Learning 2024, panelists stressed the importance of developing critical thinking skills while leveraging technologies like generative AI.

Our habit of using numbers to make political arguments has a history, and William Deringer is a leading historian of it. He has carved out a distinctive niche through his scholarship showing how quantitative reasoning has become part of public life.

Exploring the history of data-driven arguments in public life

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

April 28, 2024

William Deringer studies “very old things and very technical things” — that have never been more relevant.

World-renowned cellist and MIT alum Carlos Prieto performs at an event April 9 in the Samberg Conference Center.

A musical life: Carlos Prieto ’59 in conversation and concert

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

April 26, 2024

The acclaimed cellist and writer discussed his new memoir and reflected on a remarkable musical career.

Seven from MIT elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2024

MIT News

April 25, 2024

The prestigious honor society announces more than 250 new members.

“Feedback, advice, and support from faculty were crucial as I grew as a researcher at MIT,” economics PhD student Anna Russo says.

Bringing an investigator’s eye to complex social challenges

Benjamin Daniel | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

April 24, 2024

MIT economics doctoral student Anna Russo studies how to improve the design, function, and outcomes of public policies.

MIT senior Mikayla Britsch sees civil and environmental engineering as a vocation requiring both technical and people skills. “It would be nice to work in a combination of transportation engineering and public policy, using what I’ve learned at MIT and from the people I’ve met to improve transportation,” she says.

“No one can work in civil engineering alone”

Angelina Parrillo | MIT News correspondent

April 23, 2024

For senior Mikayla Britsch, civil and environmental engineering is a vocation that requires both technical and people skills.

Twenty-three MIT faculty honored as “Committed to Caring” for 2023-25

Office of Graduate Education

April 22, 2024

The honor recognizes professors for their outstanding mentorship of graduate students.

Effective July 1, anthropology professor Heather Paxson will begin her new role as associate dean for faculty of SHASS.

Heather Paxson named associate dean for faculty of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Michael Brindley | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

April 19, 2024

In her new role, the professor of anthropology will seek to promote well-being and advancement within the SHASS community.

The Knight Science Journalism Program will welcome 10 fellows, shown in this collage class photo, to Cambridge in June. (Back row, left to right): Sabrina McCrear, Utrurah Whitley, Jonathan Charles, and Jordyn Isaacs. (Front row, left to right): Trinity Polk, Skylar Rowley, Zoe Earle, Mykal Bailey, Steven Matthews Jr., and Christén Davis.

Knight Science Journalism Program launches HBCU Science Journalism Fellowship

Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT

April 17, 2024

The fellowship will incubate early-career science journalists, providing them with a year of skill-building freelance experience and dedicated mentorship.

Collecting study materials from a liquefied petroleum gas depot manager for the evaluation, "Targeting Clean Fuels: Pricing Strategies and the Distribution of Benefits in Periurban Ghana." Kintampo North Municipality, Ghana.

Q&A: Claire Walsh on how J-PAL’s King Climate Action Initiative tackles the twin climate and poverty crises

Leda Zimmerman | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

April 17, 2024

Since 2020, K-CAI has innovated and tested climate policies in more than 35 countries and supported scale-ups that have reached over 15 million people.