Said and Done

November 2011 Edition
Published by the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences






               “Things seem to be happening both much faster and much slower now,
                because the density of human presence on the planet speeds up
                environmental change, and slows down political change—creating a
                viscosity that makes history work differently.”

                               — Rosalind Williams, Bern Dibner Professor
                                   of the History of Science and Technology




Japanese Government awards Richard J. Samuels the Order of the Rising Sun
On November 3, 2011, the Japanese government announced that the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, will be conferred upon Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, in recognition of his significant contributions to scholarship about Japan and for promoting friendly relations between Japan and the United States. 


Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star; Richard J. Samuels; Imperial Palace, Tokyo 



Economist Lucas Papademos PhD ’78 named prime minister of Greece 
Lucas Papademos, a three-time alumnus of MIT, has been named the prime minister of Greece, where he will head an interim coalition government aiming to save the country from bankruptcy. Papademos received his SB in physics from MIT in 1970, an SM in electrical engineering in 1972 and a PhD in economics in 1978. 
Full story

BBC News Profile: Lucas Papademos
"As a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, the 64-year-old Lucas Papademos (an MIT alum) is well known in Europe's capitals."
More at BBC News

Bloomberg: Papademos aims to secure Greek euro membership
"MIT alum Lucas Papademos, named today to be interim prime minister of Greece, steered the country into the euro region as central bank governor more than a decade ago. Now the former European Central Bank vice president will have to secure the country’s euro membership for a second time."
Read More at Bloomberg

Economist Lucas Papademos, PhD'78, Prime Minister of Greece 

National Public Radio: Visiting political scientist Andra Gillespie on the politics of race
Visiting professor at MIT Andra Gillespie discusses how issues of race inform the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Herman Cain, a contender for the Republican nomination.  
More at National Public Radio | Andra Gillespie, Visitor, MIT Political Science 

Educating young women, rebuilding Cambodia
Author and physicist Alan Lightman discusses his social entrepreneurial work in building the first college dormitories for women in Cambodia.
Story by Lori Shridhare

Students at the Harpswell Academy, Cambodia

Wealth disparity in Boston
Bostinnovation | November, 2011
MIT professors and Occupy Boston protesters discuss the growing wealth disparity in America and why schools and government agencies are failing to close this gap. MIT Professor of Political Economy Michael Piore said "The issues are real and they will, in the end, force us to renew the foundations of the American Dream."
More at Bostinnovation

3 Questions: Economist Michael Piore on collective bargaining rights
Piore sizes up the impact and meaning of the high-profile Ohio referendum to restore collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Story by Peter Dizikes

L and R: collective bargaining rights in US; middle; Michael Piore, MIT Professor of Political Economy


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, the School's research helps alleviate poverty, safeguard elections, steer economies, understand the past and present, improve health policy, articulate morality, plan space policy, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language, and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio

Historian William Broadhead rethinks the fall of Rome’s republic
Using both ancient texts and innovative forms of archaeological evidence, Broadhead's hypothesis gives a new picture of ancient Italy and how the Roman Republic fell. In a forthcoming book, Hegemony and Mobility in Roman Italy, Broadhead details his hypothesis about the transient nature of Italy’s population and its effects on the republican army. 
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News

Game research puts artificial intelligence in the mind of the beholder
What if developing certain kinds of AI didn’t have to be so laborious? What if an algorithm, extrapolating from a few decisions made by players, could figure things out for itself—and then reuse those lessons from one game to the next? ”Robotany,” a game prototype from the CMS Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, is designed to answer those questions.
Story by Andrew Whitacre

The research of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books and publications, as well as 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

images from "Robotany," AI game prototype from the Gambit Game Lab


Summer study in the Hague | Palitz Fellowship for the Study of Dutch Art and Culture
Applications due by December 9, 2011
An opportunity for one exceptional MIT student. Spring semester in preparation with a faculty supervisor, followed by summer in The Hague, Netherlands. Areas of study can include any aspect of culture, art, or history in the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age, for example: history of science, horticulture, or cartography; the art market; economic history; or the technologies of print making and book production.
More + how to apply


L and R: Map of the Dutch Republic, 1658; Middle, Mauritshuis, The Hague

The 2012 Burchard Scholars program
The School's Burchard Scholars program brings together distinguished members of the MIT faculty and sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated excellence in some aspect of the humanities, arts, or social sciences. The format is a series of dinner-seminars with discussions on current research topics. All MIT sophomores and juniors in good standing are eligible to apply. Faculty are encouraged to nominate students; students are encouraged to apply.
More + how to nominate and apply

Burchard Scholars, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences




Is history working differently now?
At this Communications Forum, MIT historian Rosalind Williams makes the case that it is—that the density of human presence on the planet is both speeding up environmental change, and slowing down political change. 

Common Threads
This three-minute clip from the exciting "Common Threads" video, produced for the MIT 150th anniversary celebration, presents a great, distilled story about the rise of the sciences, humanities, arts, and social sciences at MIT. Sir Winston Churchill makes an appearance.  
Watch 3-minute video clip


Winter Performances

The School's Music and Theater Arts program provides MIT students the opportunity to experience the language and process of the arts, to learn artistic rigor, risk-taking, and discipline, and to develop discernment about the standards of excellence in the arts. Each year, a great roster of events organized by the Concert Office plays a major role in the life of the campus, and in the creative development of MIT students. 
Winter Concerts and Performances


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Great Ideas Exhibit 
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MIT Anthropology

"Culture is not quaint or exotic tradition, nor produced only by artists.
Culture is a system of signs and practices through which humans
interact and communicate."

— Susan Silbey, Goldberg Professor of Humanities,
Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Head, MIT Anthropology