Young, ambitious, and undocumented at MIT
Jose A. Gomez ’17 recalled sitting down his junior year of high school to contemplate his post-graduation plans. Like many now-undergraduates at the Institute, he had dreamed of applying to MIT for years but felt his chances of actually being able to attend were slim.
UA president resigns amid parliamentary pablum
“And let’s get to work!” announced Matthew J. Davis ’16 at the conclusion of his first speech as president of the Undergraduate Association. The rare half-second pauses in his delivery would have likely been polished out had he had an extra month to prepare for the moment, but no such luck — embattled former president Shruti Sharma ’15 resigned a month early during Wednesday’s UA Council meeting, sweeping him and vice president-elect Sophia Liu ’17 into office within a week of their election. Davis said he learned of the pending transfer Monday at 11 p.m.
Lewin complainant tells of harassment
A 32-year-old woman living in France has provided Inside Higher Ed with records of sexually explicit messages from former professor Walter Lewin — the same materials that she had sent to MIT and which had served as the basis for a sexual harassment investigation that led to the revocation of Lewin’s emeritus title and the removal of his popular online physics lecture videos.
Lewin Twitter contained sexual comments to fans
Walter Lewin, the former MIT professor with whom the Institute severed ties last month over a sexual harassment probe, appears to have publicly tweeted sexually suggestive and explicit comments to fans of his popular online physics lecture videos.
U.S. CTO Smith to be 2015 speaker
Megan Smith ’86, chief technology officer of the United States and a former Google executive, will be MIT’s commencement speaker for the Class of 2015.
Two Seamless members say hackathon misattribution was unintentional
Since the publiation of an article in The Tech about allegations of plagiarism against HackMIT contestants on the Seamless team, HackMIT organizers and two members of Seamless have stated that the videos they presented as output of their own code in the hackathon’s final presentation were actually published by Microsoft Research. Both these two contestants and the organizers said that the misattribution was unintentional, while a third member of the Seamless team has sought to publicly distance himself from the project.
LCA banned five years, brothers move out Sunday
The national organization of Lambda Chi Alpha announced Thursday that it had suspended the MIT chapter of LCA for at least five years. The MIT News Office said that the brothers of the fraternity would be required to move out by Sunday and that the building would close.
Can fraternities be feminist?
The Tech received an email from William A. Frezza ’76 a bit over a week ago containing a submission to our opinion section asserting, “Drunk coeds represent the gravest threat to fraternities.” Identifying himself as the “president of the alumni house corporation” of MIT Chi Phi, he portrayed female undergraduates as the true cause of accidents at fraternities, universally hapless beings unable to consume alcohol responsibly, and a steady source of “false rape accusations.”
All-FSILG ban is for rush fairness
When Boston decided to impose a 49-person limit on gatherings at MIT fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups in the city last week, MIT extended the restriction to those in Cambridge and Brookline to “maintain equity among the FSILGs during new member recruitment,” according to Matthew D. Bauer, a spokesman for the Division of Student Life.
Austin Travis, grad student in chemistry, dead at age 26
President L. Rafael Reif emailed the MIT community last Friday afternoon to announce that chemistry graduate student Austin L. Travis, 26, had died Wednesday, Sept. 3.
Graduate student Austin Travis dead
President L. Rafael Reif emailed the MIT community Friday afternoon to announce that chemistry graduate student Austin Travis, 26, had died Wednesday.
Party ban expanded to all fraternities, sororities, and ILGs as Boston, MIT seem at odds
Large parties and gatherings are once again effectively banned at MIT fraternities, campus officials announced Wednesday afternoon, three days after a woman was injured in a fall from a window at the now suspended Lambda Chi Alpha.
Greek events banned again, now restricting all FSILGs in wake of 'intoxicated' fall
Parties and large gatherings are once again effectively banned at MIT fraternities, campus officials announced Wednesday afternoon, just days after a woman fell from a window at Lambda Chi Alpha. The student, who survived, was reportedly intoxicated, according to MIT Police logs, which listed the incident as alcohol-related. MIT prohibits alcohol at fraternity events during rush, which began last Saturday. The MIT chapter of LCA is now under suspension by both its international organization and MIT.
Drug, alcohol, hazing policies undergo major modifications
On Aug. 26, Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo emailed all MIT students to announce changes to the Mind and Hand Book, a set of guidelines and rules that apply to undergraduates and graduates. The alcohol and drugs and hazing policies were updated significantly, while minor changes were made to other policies, including those on sexual misconduct.
Student injured in fall from window at MIT Lambda Chi Alpha Student is not affiliated with MIT
A student not affiliated with MIT fell from a window at the MIT chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday and sustained injuries of unspecified severity according to Kimberly Allen of the MIT News Office.
FSILG leaders approve of new social gathering policy
Interfraternity Council president Haldun Anil ’15 emailed MIT fraternity members late Thursday to announce that fraternity presidents had approved a new FSILG social events policy to address the assembly limits imposed by the Boston Licensing Board in October 2013, which had prevented fraternities in the city from holding parties. The announcement came shortly over a day before the scheduled start of fraternity Rush, during which many houses host parties for freshmen.
Prayer expunged from graduation after op-ed
Religious prayer, a part of the commencement invocation in previous years, will no longer be included in the ceremony, according to a message from members of MIT’s Commencement Committee sent to undergraduates in May.
Institute announces new environmental initiative
MIT announced Thursday a new initiative on the environment meant to “promote transformative, cross-disciplinary research,” according to a press release.
No. 6 rejoins IFC after years away
MIT’s fourth oldest fraternity, The Number Six Club (No. 6), has rejoined the Interfraternity Council after being an Independent Living Group for almost six years. No. 6, MIT’s chapter of Delta Psi, had left the IFC in 2008 due to disagreements over the Clearinghouse system used during Rush.
‘Major gift’ endows new food, water lab
MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel ’78 has provided a “major gift” to establish the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) according to an MIT press release.
Pair raises $500K, preparing to rain bitcoins on undergrads
Donors have committed to give $100 in bitcoin to each of MIT's about 4,500 undergraduates this fall. Jeremy L. Rubin '16 and Daniel B. Elitzer, a first-year Sloan MBA student, are spearheading the project, which they hope will sow the seeds of an innovative bitcoin 'ecosystem' at MIT.
MIT Delta Upsilon suspended until 2016
The Delta Upsilon International Fraternity has suspended its MIT chapter until spring 2016, MIT announced Wednesday. MIT has also withdrawn recognition of the fraternity’s chapter as an independent living group.
Late-night T service starts strong
The MBTA’s extended late night hours of service, which began March 28, mean that the T and certain bus routes will now run for nearly 90 minutes longer on Friday and Saturday nights. The final trains from downtown stations will leave at about 2:30 a.m. during extended hours, according to the MBTA’s website.
Student plans cover new surgery benefit
The MIT Medical Transgender Health FAQ website now lists a “Surgery” benefit of up to $50,000 per year as part of coverage available to transgender patients under the MIT Student Extended Insurance Plan. The added coverage is for gender affirmation surgery (GAS), also known as gender reassignment surgery, in which some transgender individuals undergo procedures to modify their physical sex characteristics to match those traditionally associated with their transitioning identity.
Graduate student Hadi Kasab dead
Kasab was a graduate student in Computation for Design and Optimization and was a resident of the Sidney Pacific graduate residence.
Student innovators may get new legal resource
President L. Rafael Reif sent a letter to the MIT community Saturday evening clarifying the Institute’s support for the student creators of Tidbit, the Bitcoin-harvesting hackathon project, which was the subject of a subpoena from the State Attorney General of New Jersey served to Jeremy L. Rubin ’16. The response, which also includes a proposal for a new “resource for independent legal advice” for students, comes after Professor Hal Abelson PhD ’73; Ethan Zuckerman, director of the MIT Center for Civic Media; and Nathan Matias G released a widely-circulated open letter advocating that MIT take an official stance on the matter.
Terror strikes, four are slain, Boston prevails, and MIT remembers
Tragedy struck Boston, Cambridge, and MIT this year with the bombing at the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday Apr. 15 and the shooting death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier that Friday. The events that unfolded halted Boston’s daily operations and thrust the city and Institute into the national spotlight.
John Mikhael awarded Rhodes
John G. Mikhael ’13 has received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University next year, the Rhodes Trust announced Saturday. Mikhael is one of 32 U.S. students and the only MIT student this year to receive the prestigious scholarship.
Bexlians modify illustrations in new community space
Former residents of Bexley Hall had to modify illustrations in the Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial last week that were deemed offensive by the Campus Activities Complex (CAC). In August, the former Bexley residents were given use of the room in Walker Memorial, meant to serve as a community space, following the closure of Bexley in May.
Tensions rise as students, faculty address BC murals controversy
Tensions have escalated in the controversy over the removal and modification of certain interior wall murals in Burton-Conner and the manner in which students were notified. Last Friday, a variety of posters appeared around campus referring to the controversy, spurring reactions from both students and faculty.
E52 renovations to finish in 2016
Renovations begin this week for E52, the original Sloan Building. The structure, built in 1938, is undergoing interior and exterior upgrades expected to be completed in early 2016.
Grant funds threatened by sequester
With over 70 percent of MIT’s yearly research funding coming from the federal government, the federal budget sequester will have a significant impact on research at the Institute.
Criminal complaint sheds light on violence last week
The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. According to a press release from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, the criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the charges carry a maximum penalty of death.
Haitian Prime Minister visits MIT
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, came to MIT to sign a letter of agreement with the Institute regarding a collaboration to develop STEM teaching materials in Creole, the language spoken by a majority of Haiti’s citizens.
A return to safety after manhunt ends, fallen MIT police officer remembered
Boston Police announced at 9:45 p.m. on Friday that the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, had been taken into custody after an intense manhunt that lasted nearly 24 hours, ending the threat to public safety.
Mixed views on Kendall petition
On Monday, the Cambridge City Council voted in favor of a rezoning petition proposed by MIT to allow development of Kendall Square with tall buildings for residential and commercial use. There were seven votes in favor of the proposal, with Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom voting against and Vice Mayor Denise Simmons abstaining.
MIT in favor of redactions in Swartz case documents
On Friday, March 29, MIT filed a legal memorandum to “partially oppose” the March 15 motion by the Estate of Aaron Swartz to publicly release documents related to Swartz’s criminal prosecution. The documents, originally provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office by MIT for pre-trial discovery, are kept confidential by a Protective Order. According to MIT’s memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office required a Protective Order on the documents beginning November 2011 due to “sensitive information” they contain.
Alacator C-Mod remains operational
MIT’s tokamak, Alcator C-Mod, has faced the threat of losing all of its federal funding throughout 2012. The experimental fusion reactor, which relied on $24 million from the Department of Energy for operation in 2012, was unexpectedly slated to lose all federal support in March in the President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. The loss of these funds, nearly the entire budget of C-Mod, would force the closure of the experiment, one of just three such devices in the U.S.
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: 2.009 Product Engineering final projects
On Monday, students in 2.009, Product Engineering Processes, presented their final projects related to the theme “outdoors.” The students, all seniors in Mechanical Engineering, worked for three months in eight color-coded teams of 15-19 students each to research markets, choose a focus, design a product, and produce a working prototype with a $6500 budget.
Student group attempts to ‘save’ the Institute
Founded in response to the 1997 alcohol-related death of Phi Gamma Delta pledge Scott Krueger, SaveTFP is a fourteen-member MIT student group devoted to reducing stress among students. It was originally closely tied to the MIT administration, and according to current SaveTFP member Lia Bogoev ’14, was meant “to teach people about alcohol safety and show people that you can have fun without alcohol.”
Massie ’93 in U.S. House of Reps.
On Nov. 6, Thomas Massie ’93 was elected as U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s Fourth District. Massie graduated from MIT in 1993 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and also received a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Institute in 1996. Massie, a Republican, won the seat after a seven-way primary and has already been sworn in due to his predecessor’s early retirement.
The Dalai Lama arrives
Tenzin Gyasto, the Dalai Lama and foremost figure in Tibetan Buddhism, recently concluded a visit to MIT, home to the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values. The Center organized several events this week with the Dalai Lama and other prominent spiritual and academic figures.
Do students care about the election?
With just a month to go before the presidential election on November 6, MIT students are all talking politics. Or are they? In light of the first presidential debate, how do students feel about voting, elections, and politics in general this year?
REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Higgs boson developments
This summer I have had the opportunity to work with the MIT physics faculty at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and I am here with a group of MIT professors, postdocs, grad students, and undergrads working on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). And yes, this is at the heart of the search for the Higgs boson. I have witnessed most of the biggest behind-the-scenes events over the past month and will share them here.
Alcator C-Mod’s funding might be cut
Alcator C-Mod — MIT’s tokamak, a toroidal plasma confinement fusion device — is currently facing the possibility of getting all of its federal funding cut.
Students and faculty rack up awards in 2011
MIT students, faculty, and alumni received various awards this year from some of the world’s most prestigious organizations.