Said and Done

February 2020
MIT SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

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"To endure. to be powerful and effective — to be a 'rule of law' — a legal system must be located securely in everyday life. It must be experienced in property relations, in market exchanges, in contracts … and in chairs, holding parking spots in newly shoveled, snowy streets.”

— Susan Silbey, Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Sociology, and Anthropology; and a Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences 


RESEARCH NEWS

 


Illustration: Christine Daniloff, MIT News


ECONOMICS AND COLONIALISM
The complex effects of colonial rule in Indonesia | Ben Olken
Evidence links Dutch-era sugar production and greater economic activity today. But "the empirical conclusions of the study do not represent validation of colonial rule," says Professor Ben Olken, a co-author of the study. 
Story by Peter Dizikes, MIT News  |  Paper
 

HEALTH CARE ECONOMICS
Hospital rankings hold up | Doyle, Graves, and Gruber
Some basic metrics do effectively diagnose care quality, say MIT economists, who found a 37 percent difference in one-year mortality, between highly-rated and lower-rated hospitals. The data is relevant to policy-making, as some health policy experts advocate a hospital payment system based on reimbursement for quality and oucomes, rather than treatment. 
Story by Peter Dizikes, MIT News  |  Paper


INTERNATIONAL STUDIES | HUMAN RIGHTS
3 Questions with Shola Lawal on human rights and social justics
The Nigerian journalist is the recipient of a prestigious fellowship that provides residencies at MIT, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times
Interview by CIS
 

WORK OF THE FUTURE
Experts join J-PAL North America to advance equitable work of the future
Academic, government, and advocacy leaders gathered to promote collaborative research partnerships to identify effective, evidence-based strategies to increase opportunities and dignity, reduce disparities, and help all workers navigate and thrive in the labor markets of the future. 
Story by J-PAL
 


FEATURE | THE RULE OF LAW IN EVERYDAY LIFE
 


Photo of a place-saving chair; courtesy of Susan Silbey
 

ANTHROPOLOGY + SOCIOLOGY
Understanding the law in everyday life | 2019-20 Killian Award Lecture, Susan Silbey
Silbey’s scholarship has helped establish a groundbreaking framework for thinking about the interaction of legal codes and civic attitudes. Recipient of MIT's highest faculty honor, Sibley discussed her influential ideas in the 2019-20 Killian Lecture.
Story by Peter Dizikes, MIT News  |  Website  Book: The Common Place of Law
 


FEATURE | NEW WORKS 
 


Dwai Banerjee, Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society; photo by Jon Sachs
 

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
Blood and politics in India  | Dwai Banerjee
In Hematologies, Banerjee and co-author Jacob Copeman explore the use of blood in political rhetoric, imagery, and activism, and even the politics of blood drives, using the topic to explore the many divisions in Indian politics and society.”
Story at MIT News
 


 

KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM PROGRAM
The story behind a viral deepfake video | Former KSJ Fellows
"There's a lot of curiosity about the machine learning methods that under-gird deepfakes, and a lot of fear and ignorance. This is a great moment to report deeply on the subject." Former KSJ fellows Pakinam Amer, Magnus Bjerg, and Jeff DelViscio tell the story of how their team used AI to conjure an alternate history of the Apollo 11 moon mission.
Story at Undark magazine

 


 

MEDIA + AWARDS DIGEST

ONLINE BOOKSHELF
 


UPDATE | A COLLEGE FOR THE COMPUTING AGE
 

MIT SCHWARZMAN COLLEGE OF COMPUTING
New college aims to align technology with core human values
With the initial organizational structure in place, the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC) moves forward with implementation, including
new cross-cutting educational and research programs.
Story by Terri Park at MIT News  |  Ethics, Computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT

 


The SCC leadership team, L to R: David Kaiser, Daniela Rus, Dan Huttenlocher, Julie Shah, and Asu Ozdaglar Photo: Sarah Bastille

The cross-cutting programs of the MIT SCC include "the social and ethical responsibilities of computing, which will facilitate the development of responsible habits of mind and action for those who create and deploy computing technologies, and the creation of technologies in the public interest."


INSIDE THE CLASSROOM
 




MUSIC TECHNOLOGY + COMPUTER SCIENCE
Making: Live-streaming app for music program notes | Juan Carlos Garcia ’20
Garcia is in the Music Technology Lab working with others on ConcertCue, an application that streams program notes to audience members during concerts. “I’m super happy to be incorporating computer science and music in a way that can help society develop a deeper understanding,” say Garcia, a double major in music (Course 21M) and computer science (Course 6). 
Video  |  Story at MIT Spectrum  |  Music Technology at MIT
 

ECONOMICS
Masters in Data, Economics & Development Policy is led by Nobel laureates
The first DEDP cohort of 22 students (from 14 countries!) share a common ambition:harnessing data to help others. The program was created by the MIT Dept of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, both based in MIT-SHASS.
Meet the DEDP students
 

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
3 Questions: Kang Zhou on the lessons of Chinese calligraphy
As MIT students develop skills in calligraphy, they also learn about Chinese culture, and practice vital principles of the artform, including: concentration, balance, observation, and reflection.
Story by Global Languages
 


Photo: Lisa Hickler, MIT Global Languages


COMMUNITY NEWS
 


GLOBAL LANGUAGES
3 Questions: Isabelle de Courtivron on the shock of aging
A legendary MIT professor emerita talks about her new memoir L'Eté Où Je Suis Devenue Vieille — aging in a patriarchal society, and the enduring rewards of teaching MIT students. 
Interview  |  MIT Global Languages

 

PHILOSOPHY
MIT Philosophy launches a new website.
Think Better. Better World.
Homepage  |  Ethics and AI Section
 



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Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Editor and Designer: Emily Hiestand
Publication Associate: Alison Lanier
Published 19 February 2020