SAID AND DONE
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
"In this pivotal AI moment, society has never needed the liberal arts — the path to wise, responsible citizenship — more than it does now. It is time to educate a new generation of technologists in the public interest."
— L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT, announcing MIT's new Schwarzman College of Computing
SHAPING COMPUTING AND AI FOR A BETTER WORLD
MIT founds the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing
The goals of the new college include: fostering breakthroughs in computing and artificial intelligence—actively informed by the wisdom of other disciplines; delivering the power of AI tools to researchers in every field; and advancing pioneering work on AI’s ethical use and societal impact.
Story at MIT News | Story at The New York Times
“I see exciting possibilities in this new structure. Faculty in a range of departments have a great deal to gain from new kinds of algorithmic tools — and a great deal of insight to offer their makers.”
– Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Stephen Yablo receives Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement
Awarded by the American Philosophical Association and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Lebowitz Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in philosophy. Yablo, Skinner Professor of Philosophy at MIT, is known for his work in logic, the philosophy of language, and metaphysics.
Press Release | Profile | A Philosopher's Dozen
HEALTH ECONOMICS | COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Amy Finkelstein and Lisa Parks win MacArthur Fellowships
Finkelstein, a health care economist, and Parks, a media studies scholar, have each been awarded the prestigious MacArthur award, colloquially known as the “genius grant,” which comes in the form of a $625K fellowship.
Story at MIT News | Finkelstein at MacArthur | Parks at MacArthur
Alumnus William D. Nordhaus PhD '67 wins Nobel Prize for climate economics
The award recognizes how economic forces can help curb climate change.
A premise of Nordhaus's research: the environment is a public good, shared by all and yet not paid for in any adequate way. By perfecting integrated assessment models, Nordhaus has shown the impact of carbon pricing on curbing climate change. Paul M. Romer of New York University also received a 2018 Nobel for climate-related economics research.
Commentary at The Conversation | Story at MIT News | Nobel website for Economic Sciences
The capacities gained in liberal arts study are "power skills" | Anant Agarwal
Commentary by Argawal, MIT Professor of EECS and the CEO of edXOnline, on why the critical thinking, communication skills, and historical/cultural perspectives gained in the liberal arts fields are hard-won, rigorously maintained power skills, vital for innovation and success.
Commentary at Forbes
"The next generation of workers, executives, and leadership will need to have a hybrid skill set balancing an understanding of hard skills, like programming and analytics, with the power skills gained by studies in the liberal arts fields."
— Anant Agarwal, MIT Professor of EECS and CEO of edX
RESEARCH AND NEW WORKS
Getting serious about food safety | Deborah Blum
In The Poison Squad, Blum explores the origins of food and drink regulation in the U.S. "I'm interested in scientists who drive paradigm shifts,” says Blum.
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Exploring the Twitch landscape | T.L. Taylor
In Watch Me Play, Taylor delves into the inner workings of the Twitch platform. As gaming is being reinvented through social media, a growing audience is transforming user-generated content.
About Watch Me Play
What do we make of Bach? | John Harbison
In What Do We Make of Bach? Harbison reflects on the master's works, including how his music sheds light on social issues of our time. A Harbison symphony of the same title also premieres this month.
About the book | About the symphony
What makes a good educational video game? | Klopfer, Osterwell, Rosenheck, Haas
Drawing on more than a decade of research, the authors of Resonant Games detail their philosophy and discuss core principles for successful educational game design.
Story at MIT News | About Resonant Games
New recording by acclaimed MIT pianist | David Deveau
The latest recording by MIT senior lecturer David Deveau features intimate chamber versions of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14, Beethoven’s lyrical Piano Concerto No. 4, and John Harbison's Anniversary Waltz.
Interview at MIT News
Democratic Vistas | Mark Harvey and the Aardvark Jazz Band
Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1875 essay of the same name, "Democratic Vistas" is a jazz Jeremiad on political corruption.
Listen | Attend the Nov 3 release concert
For all recent publications and recordings, visit our Online Bookshelf.
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
An assault on American intelligence
In an MIT visit, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director, analyzed current difficulties faced by society and the U.S. intelligence services due to the erosion of a basic adherence to facts and truth in the current administration.
Story at MIT News
KSJ@MIT celebrates 35 years and launches prize for local SciComm reporting
Knight Science Journalism at MIT celebrates its 35th anniversary and launches the Victor K.McElheny Award which honors excellent coverage of sci/tech/health/eco issues at the local and regional levels.
McElheny remarks | Story
J-PAL NORTH AMERICA
Helping teens navigate the college application process
J-PAL North America outlines evidence-based approaches to help low-income teens in the U.S. bridge the gap between high school and college.
About the project
What are some obstacles for low-income students to college enrollment, and what can policymakers do to help?
IN THE MEDIA + MORE AWARDS
For all recent media, visit In the Media.
Agustín Rayo elected to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Of the honor, Rayo, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of MIT SHASS said: "It was totally unexpected, and I was delighted to hear the news."
News at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters | Profile of Agustín Rayo
Joshua Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke awarded the Fama Prize
Angrist (MIT) and Pischke (London School of Economics) will share the $250K prize for their book Mostly Harmless Econometrics (Princeton University Press, 2009).
Story | Angrist website | School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative
MUSIC AND THEATER STUDIES
Assistant Professor Charlotte Brathwaite awarded Magic Grant
Grantees Charlotte Braithwaite, a theater director, and June Cross, a documentary filmmaker, will explore how foreign interference, gerrymandering, and domestic tactics combined to suppress the black vote in 2016.
Report at Columbia University | 3Q Interview with Brathwaite
Idleness as flourishing | Book reviews by Kieran Setiya
"This year brings three new books in praise of wasting time: a manifesto by MIT professor Alan Lightman; a critical history by philosopher Brian O’Connor; and a memoir by essayist Patricia Hampl. Each author finds a way to write in the spirit of idleness."
Commentary at Public Books | Setiya website
Detail, "The Large Bathers," Paul Cezanne, via the Google Art Project
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Said and Done is published by SHASS Communications
Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Editor and Designer: Emily Hiestand
Publication Associate: Alison Lanier
Published 16 October 2018