Said and Done

Communications Digest | March 2010
Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences





Patricia Gercik receives MIT Excellence Award
Pat Gercik, Associate Director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and Managing Director of the MIT-Japan Program, has received an MIT Excellence Award, among the highest honors presented to MIT staff in recognition of their work.  

Mavhunga named Poesis Fellow 
Clapperton Mavhunga, Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and Society (STS), has been selected for the first group of Poesis Fellows, a new initiative based at the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University. The focus for the initial fellowship group is on rethinking cities. 



Music and Theater Arts 
Can computers learn music theory?
Text searches have gotten more and more sophisticated, yet no similar tools exist for examining music. Now an advanced computer framework being developed by Michael Cuthbert in the School's Music Section promises to revolutionize the field. 

Foreign Languages and Literatures 
Visualizing Cultures 

The millions of historic and significant visual artifacts lying unseen in museum storage vaults amount to lost knowledge. "Visualizing Cultures," an initiative of Foreign Languages and Literatures, remedies this situation—bringing powerful historical images to light again, making them available online, along with rich and illuminating scholarly commentary. 

Bookshelf | Current Edition 
New knowledge and analysis from the School's scholars and researchers 
Take a look



How She Danced:  Elena Ruehr's String Quartets
Performed by the Cypress String Quartet 
"I was enchanted with this, my first acquaintance with the music of American composer Elena Ruehr, and I think you will be, too."  — Phil Muse for Sequenza 21

Making Unemployment Work 
With large numbers of Americans out of work, economist Ivan Werning suggests some better ways to make unemployment insurance operate
Peter Dizikes at MIT News

"Small Infinities" produced in Bangalore
The Bangalore Little Theatre has presented "Small Infinities," a play about the life and work of Isaac Newton. Written by Professor Alan Brody, Professor of Theater Arts, and directed by Prakash Belawadi.  


MIT Music Students to Repair Sculpture at Kendall T Station 
MIT music students have formed a group to restore the three sculpture-bells in the Kendall T station, the "Kendall Band," a 1987 work created by Paul Matisse.

David Mindell on Obama’s NASA proposal
In an interview with MIT News, Mindell responds to the Obama administration’s recent budget proposal for NASA. 
Morgan Bettex at MIT News

The Dawn of Green
The controversy in the 1870s over Thirlmere, a beautiful body of water in Britain’s Lake District, created a “template for subsequent environmental struggles,” writes Harriet Ritvo, the Arthur Conner Professor of History at MIT. Ritvo’s new book, The Dawn of Green, explores this episode and its enduring influence on the way we frame environmental discussions and debates.



Democracy Put to the Test 
"Developing countries that free themselves from authoritarian governments are often called 'experiments in democracy.' But what happens when a researcher runs an actual field experiment in democracy? A novel study by MIT economist Benjamin Olken has provided surprising insights about the impact of democratic government in the developing world."
Peter Dizikes at MIT News

Understanding anti immigrant sentiment
"Immigration is a long-simmering issue in the politics of many countries, including the United States. A 2007 Pew poll found that three-quarters of all U.S. citizens want to further restrict immigration. But what’s behind such strongly held views?" A new public-opinion research experiment by MIT political scientist Jens Hainmueller and his Harvard colleague Michael Hiscox reveals some surprises.  
Peter Dizikes at MIT News



Going Greener
Soundings Magazine gets greener as the Spring edition becomes an online publication. School faculty and staff are automatically subscribed. All others sign up to stay in touch with leading MIT research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Sign up for Soundings Online




Nobel laureate Paul Krugman
Former MIT Professor of Economics, Paul Krugman PhD '77, spoke to a standing-room only audience in the Stata Center about learning from our own history to help fix the economy. Watch

Diderot's Encyclopédie
A recently opened MIT Libraries' exhibit explores one of the most important and controversial publications of the eighteenth century, Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers. Jeff Ravel, Associate Professor of History and Kristel Smentek, Assistant Professor of Art History, provide illumination.  Watch



Great Performances Music Sampler
Visit the Music Section website for a listening sample of great musical performances by MIT's student musicians. 



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