News Archive 2018

School news from 2018.

The MIT Campaign for a Better World

Announcing the new comprehensive campaign, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said, "Humanity faces urgent challenges — challenges whose solutions depend on marrying advanced technical and scientific capabilities with a deep understanding of the world's political, cultural, and economic complexities."

Discover the role of MIT's Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences fields in solving the economic, cultural, and political dimensions of global issues, and in problem-solving in collaboration with our STEM colleagues.  More


William Rodriguez: Helping others broaden their horizons

MIT senior and Model UN leader William Rodriguez works to encourage the global exchange of ideas More

Professor Devin Caughey demonstrates states' people power

State-level policy in the U.S. is responsive to public opinion, study shows. More

MIT and The Legacy of Slavery | Community Dialogues
The Task of History

MIT historians discuss the power of historical knowledge to help make a better world. More


Two SHASS professors show that for food-aid recipients, information is power

Profs. Olken and Banerjee describe how a simple card explaining a government aid program leads to more rice for poor villagers in Indonesia. More


Amy Finkelstein elected to National Academy of Sciences

Economist Finkelstein and three others from MIT — Kardar, Wen, and Zhang — are honored for research achievements. More


3 Questions: Alan Lightman on science and the life of the spirit

Lightman's new book, “Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine,” examines the tensions between belief and knowing. More


Economist Dave Donaldson asks: How much does infrastructure boost an economy?

Donaldson's historical study details how railroads helped India trade and grow. More


Parag Pathak wins John Bates Clark Medal

MIT economist lauded for work on education, market-design mechanisms  More

MIT economists Parag Pathak and Nancy Rose elected to AAAS

Honor society announces 213 new members, eight from MIT. More


Jasmin Joseph: "I love the idea of making an impact on global health"

MIT senior and varsity softball co-captain brings positivity and determination to life-saving biology research. More

Professor Craig Steven Wilder and Dean Melissa Nobles

3 Questions: Nobles and Wilder on the MIT and Legacy of Slavery project

"The MIT community has the opportunity to be involved in this endeavor in real time, learning from the emerging findings. and making informed suggestions to the leadership about potential responses." — Dean Melissa Nobles More

2018 SHASS Levitan Teaching Awards announced

Dean Nobles has announced the recipients of the 2018 James A. and Ruth Levitan Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Warmest congratulations to these six educators and colleagues, who represent the very best academic leadership in the School.  More

fake new emblem

At spring events, MMA explores fake news and real gender issues

MIT’s Mens et Manus America (MMA) initiative shed light on two major issues on the political landscape — fake news and gender politics — during back-to-back events on April 17 and 18.

CS+HASS SuperUROP debuts with nine research projects

In yearlong program MIT undergraduates apply computer science to research in humanities, arts, and social science fields. More

MIT and the Legacy of Slavery Project
Stories, Videos, Community Dialogue

“I believe the work of this class is important to the present — and to the future. Something I have always loved about the MIT community is that we seek, and we face, facts. What can history teach us now, as we work to invent the future? How can we make sure that the technologies we invent will contribute to making a better world for all?"   — L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT More

Caley Horan, MIT historian


Historian Caley Horan on the rise of private insurance in the U.S.

Assistant Professor Caley Horan is an historian of the U.S. interested in the cultural and intellectual transformations of the post-WWII era. SHASS Communications spoke with her about her book manuscript, Actuarial Age, which explores the cultural life of insurance and the role of risk-based thinking in shaping American institutions and daily life during the second half of the twentieth century. More

Media and Resource Collection | MIT and the Legacy of Slavery

Collected stories, videos, media, websites, and other resources about the MIT and Legacy of Slavery project More

Ryan Robinson '17

From blank verse to blockchain

The founder of a startup at the cutting edge of computer science, Ryan Robinson ’17 says that his MIT background in the humanities and engineering has helped him understand the human dimensions of the world’s greatest challenges. More

Is democracy dying?

At a recent Starr Forum, scholars and journalists examined the current pressures on democratic systems of rule and suggested some measures to protect them. Held in the Stata Center, the event drew a standing-room only crowd of more than 300. More

Mens et Manus America analyzes US immigration policy

Experts cite immigration as an engine of U.S. success; lament the human damage being done by current policies, and see signs of hope. More


How often do medical problems lead to bankruptcy?

A new study, co-authored by MIT economist Amy Finkelstein, finds that poor health is a less common cause of bankruptcy than commonly thought, but that it brings other economic woes. More

MIT SHASS and De Florez Fund welcome comedian Vanessa Bayer

MIT SHASS and the De Florez Fund for Humor welcome Vanessa Bayer with Mikey Day and Chris Redd for a free performance on Sunday, April 8 at 7:00 pm More

3Q: T.L. Taylor on diversity in e-sports

MIT sociologist’s “AnyKey” initiative aims to level the playing field of online sports. More

The writing on the wall

Did humans speak through cave art? New paper by MIT linguist links ancient drawings and language’s origins. More

Ouch: Study reveals financial pain after hospitalization

A study co-authored by an MIT economist reveals that hospitalization and the health problems that cause it lead to a 20 percent drop in earnings and an 11 percent drop in employment for adults between ages 50 and 59, among other negative effects. More

MIT launches Task Force on the Work of the Future

Institute-wide effort will study the evolution of jobs in an age of technological advancement. Members represent fields from engineering and cognitive science to economics, management, political science, anthropology, education innovation, and the history of technology. More

Institute community explores initial findings from “MIT and Slavery” class.

Students in an undergraduate research course bring the Institute into national conversation about universities and the legacy of slavery. “I believe the work of this class is important to the present — and to the future,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “What can history teach us now, as we work to invent the future? How can we make sure that the technologies we invent will indeed contribute to making a better world for all?" More

Detail, Shepard Fairey Mural in Paris

Outstanding MIT students of French explore "Paris et la rue"

With Professor Bruno Perreau and local expert guides, MIT students discover behind-the-scenes Paris and the city’s storied streets during the 2018 January Scholars in France program.   More

Facing new facts from MIT's past

Letter from President L. Rafael Reif on MIT and the legacy of slavery More

Economist Christina Romer ’85 to give 2018 Muh Award lecture

Economist Christina Romer PhD ’85 has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Robert A. Muh Alumni Award in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in recognition for her contributions to the field of economics. More

Anthropologist Stephan Helmreich conducts fieldwork aboard the FLIP ship

As part of his ongoing research on how scientists think about the world, Helmreich wanted to know: What are the changing theories, models, and technologies that physical oceanographers use to apprehend and understand waves? More

Q&A: Jay Scheib on theater, daring, and love

MIT theater professor directs award-winning rock musical; in December 2017, his "Bat out of Hell" won the London Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical. More

MIT Philosopher Justin Khoo

Applying philosophy for a better democracy

In a new philosophy class, MIT students explore how language affects censorship, dissent, lies, and propaganda. More


3Q: Nick Montfort on shaping the future

“Whether you’re an entrepreneur or in an established business, an activist, writer, or artist: How have people productively engaged the future?” More


Innovation, meet organization

Economist John Van Reenen studies the creation and use of technology, from the R&D lab to the workplace. More

SHASS selects 36 MIT students as 2018 Burchard Scholars

The award honors sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and engineering. More


Seth Mnookin on the fallacy of “both sides” journalism

"American journalism is based on the principle of objectivity: journalists are supposed to be dispassionate about the subjects they cover. We’ve seen too many journalists confuse not taking sides with not calling out liars and frauds or giving too much credence to fringe or extreme views." More