Said and Done

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




Because this class in Digital Humanities took place at MIT, many students were adept at computer programming, so they were able not only to conceptualize what kinds of tools might prove useful — they were also able to build them.

— on a new CMS/W class "Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies"


Rosalind Williams receives Leonardo da Vinci Medal for lifetime achievement
Awarded by the Society for the History of Technology, the Leonardo da Vinci Medal is the society's highest honor, presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology, through research, teaching, publications, and other activities. Williams, Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Tehcnology, received the award on October 11, 2013. 

Dower receives Award for Scholarly Distinction, lifetime achievement 
MIT historian John Dower has received the American Historical Association’s (AHA) Award for Scholarly Distinction, one of the highest forms of career recognition in the field. The award is being given for “lifetime achievement in the discipline,” and will be formally announced in January at the association’s 128th annual meeting, in Washington. The AHA described Dower as a “pre-eminent scholar in East Asian history” who has “won acclaim as a teacher, and has been equally engaged with audiences beyond the campus.” 

L: John Dower, Ford International Professor of History emeritus; R: Rosalyn Williams, MIT Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology



MIT Music and Theater Events 
November 2013 | December 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013 | 7:30pm
Ellipsis Trio Concert
Amanda Wang, '03, violin; Patrick Owen, cello;
Tae Kim, piano. Works of Muhly, Piazzolla and Schoenfield

Friday, November 15 | 8pm | Kresge
MIT Symphony Orchestra Concert

Is music a key to success?
"What is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?...Many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously."
Commentary in NYT | Emerson Scholars, MIT's conservatory-level music program 

Long term benefits of musical training
"A new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, reports that older adults who took music lessons at a young age can process the sounds of speech faster than those who did not."
Article in NYT  |  MIT Music Program 




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 

A new path for growth | Ben Ross Schneider
In Hierarchical Capitalism in Latin America, MIT political scientist Ben Ross Schneider sets out an agenda for growth with greater equality in Latin America. Schneider is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT-Brazil program. 

Building culture in digital media | D. Fox Harrell
In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell, Associate Professor of Digital Media, presents a manifesto detailing how computing can create powerful new forms of expression and culture. 



                          Can Latin America create growth with greater equality,
                          more emphasis on education, and more opportunity?   
                          MIT Political Scientist Ben Ross Schneider explores
                          the path forward in his
new book.  


The 'Great Rent Wars' of New York Robert Fogelson 
MIT Historian Robert Fogelson’s new book uncovers the origins of rent control in a World War I-era fight between tenants and landlords for control of New York real estate.


When giants slow down | Acemoglu, Autor, Price 
The most dramatic, and disruptive, period of emerging-market growth the world has ever seen is coming to its close. MIT's Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, Brendan Price, and others argue that the sag in employment growth in America in the 2000s is traceable in large part to the country's unreciprocated taste for Chinese imports.


Annotation Studio translates an ancient literary practice to the digital age 
The Annotation Studio program promises to improve upon traditional techniques for entering marginalia and side notes in books — enabling readers not only to comment on texts for themselves but also to share comments with others and to enhance them with links, images, and video.

Class in digital humanities premieres with tech-savvy approach
First offered in the Spring 2013 term, and taught by Professor James Paradis and Principal Research Associate Kurt Fendt, "Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies" gave MIT students the chance to pair humanities insights with technical know-how on projects with real-world applications — including innovations for two major Boston museums.

Wi-Phi video platform presents "philosophy's greatest hits" 
Damien Rochford, MIT Philosophy Ph.D. ’13 has co-launched Wi-Phi, an online, interactive philosophy website that serves as a "toolkit for building a better mind." The site presents more than a dozen short, video animations to accompany talks by top scholars on some of the enduring philosophical questions in human life. 


                                                             Damien Rochford, PhD '13, co-founder of Wi-Phi


MIT economist Glenn Ellison's Hard Math books inspire young students
Six years ago when Ellison volunteered to coach his daughter Caroline’s middle-school math team, he hardly realized he would soon become a leading authority in the niche market of advanced mathematics textbooks for elementary- and middle-school students. 

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: Phantasmal Media, by MIT Associate Professor of Digital Media, D. Fox Harrell; Hard Math for Elementary School, by MIT Economist Glenn Ellison; The Great Rent Wars, by MIT Historian Robert Fogelson


Story Collider | Alan Lightman tells a rocket story
Lightman, Professor of the Practice of Humanities, author and physicist, is featured on The Story Collider — a podcast series on how science impacts our lives on a personal and at times emotional level. In this short audio clip, Lightman recounts two experiences from his past in which a rocket ship, a lizard passenger, Richard Feynman, and black holes make appearances. 

Ebony and Ivy Craig Wilder 
Television and radio interviews with MIT Professor of History Craig Wilder about his new book, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America's Universities.  
Interview at Democracy Now, Part 1 | Part 2 |  Interview at MSNBC

Can we save Social Security? | Peter Diamond
The MIT Professor emeritus of Economics and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in economics answers the big question of how to fix social security.  
Story at CNN

How the Affordable Care Act pays for insurance subsidies | Jon Gruber 
MIT economist Gruber says about half the costs are offset by projected savings in Medicare payments to insurers and hospitals. Another quarter is offset by added taxes on medical-device makers and drug companies.
Story at NPR Audio

Debating Obamacare | Jon Gruber 
A defender and a critic of Obamacare debate the Affordable Care Act’s coming impact on America. John Gruber, MIT Professor of Economics and key architect of the Massachusetts health care reform plan, speaks on behalf of the ACA.  
Story at On Point




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D'amor languire, ballata a due voci
Edited and reconstructed by Michael Cuthbert
Antonio Zachara da Teramo (ca. 1405), composer
Performed by Ensemble Micrologus


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