MIT will not divest, announces climate change 'action plan' with key role for industry partners
MIT said Wednesday it would not divest from fossil fuels, instead announcing efforts to strengthen collaboration with industry — seeking $300 million in new energy research at MIT over five years — as part of a much-awaited “plan for action on climate change.”
Standing firmly by industry ties, MIT climate action plan has everything but divestment
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MIT says it removed Lewin videos for fear of continued harassment
When MIT removed Walter Lewin’s physics lectures from OpenCourseWare and edX last month, it was seeking to prevent future sexual harassment, MIT officials said in an interview on Monday.
MIT cuts ties with Walter Lewin after online harassment probe
MIT is cutting ties with retired professor Walter Lewin after determining that the physicist, whose lectures had made him a beloved teacher and minor Internet star, had sexually harassed at least one student online.
East campus plans seem to ease worries about grad housing
Some graduate student leaders say they are optimistic about big plans to revamp east campus now that MIT has signalled that it will make up for the beds that will be lost in Kendall Square after the Eastgate graduate family housing building is demolished.
After 19% investment return, endowment climbs to $12.4 billion
MIT’s primary investment pool generated a return of 19.2 percent in the 2014 fiscal year, during which the Institute’s endowment rose to $12.4 billion, the MIT Investment Management Company announced last Friday.
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.
Alumna named in Islamic State email to Foleys
Islamic State militants told the family of journalist James Foley, whom the group beheaded last week, that they had previously offered to return captured Americans in exchange for the release of Aafia Siddiqui ’95, an MIT alumna and alleged al-Qaida operative.
Financial aid tune-up targets upper-middle-class applicants
Tired of losing students to schools like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, this year MIT tweaked its financial aid formula to sweeten the deal for undergraduates from families making $100,000 to $150,000.
Professor Seth Teller, roboticist, dies at 50
Professor Seth Teller, who made robots that work with people, died on Tuesday, MIT has announced. He was 50.
Graduate student Kaitlin Goldstein dies after falling off cliff in India
The fourth-year architecture student had traveled to India to participate in an energy workshop and install solar panels at a Buddhist monastery.
MIT’s board elects its next chairman
The MIT Corporation named its next chairman, Robert B. Millard ’73, at last Friday’s elections. He will assume his new role as the head of MIT’s board of trustees in October.
After divestment debate, GSC reps also dispute vote count
Confusion over how votes should be counted has left a Graduate Student Council resolution, which urges MIT to divest its endowment from big fossil fuel companies, in limbo.
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.
Still no word on causes of 2 grad student deaths
MIT announced the death of Eliana F. Hechter, a first-year medical student at Harvard and MIT’s joint Health Sciences and Technology program, last Friday.
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.
Delta Upsilon chapter suspended for 'inappropriate behavior'
Delta Upsilon International has suspended its MIT chapter until spring 2016, according to MIT, which has also withdrawn recognition of the fraternity’s chapter as an independent living group.
New GSC executives to take office in May
The Graduate Student Council elected a new set of executive officers last Wednesday, including President-elect John Kendall Nowocin G. They will assume office in May.
Group urges checks on online learning at MIT
Concerned about the pace of change brought about by online learning, an Institute subcommittee is now preparing to recommend a “face-time” degree requirement, strong oversight of on-campus MITx experiments, and a “conservative initial approach” to awarding credit for edX classes.
Cause of death of Sidney Pacific resident remains undetermined
The cause of the death of Hadi Kasab, the 23-year-old graduate student who was found dead in his room last Thursday evening, had not yet been released at press time Monday.
SAT changes set to take effect in 2016
The College Board announced significant changes Wednesday to the SAT test, which is commonly used in college admissions. The news prompted a flurry of discussion across the country as students and educators alike debated the merits of the major redesign.
Open letter calls on MIT to do more in Tidbit's legal battle
An open letter circulated online Thursday urged MIT to take a stand on a pending court case involving Jeremy L. Rubin ‘16, who was served a subpoena by New Jersey for documents, correspondence, and code associated with a Bitcoin-related project called Tidbit.
Martin Schmidt named MIT provost
President L. Rafael Reif on Monday announced the appointment of Martin A. Schmidt PhD ’88 as provost, the most senior academic position in the administration.
Cynthia Barnhart named MIT chancellor
MIT’s new chancellor, and the first woman to hold the post, is Cynthia Barnhart PhD ‘88, President L. Rafael Reif announced on Monday. As chancellor, Barnhart oversees student life and education.
Hurdle cleared for Kendall portal to MIT
Will the most innovation square mile on the planet get a mini-golf course?
DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman is 2014 Commencement speaker
Ellen Kullman, the CEO and chairwoman of DuPont, will deliver the keynote Commencement speech in June 2014, MIT is expected to announce today. She will be the fourth speaker in five years at the helm of a science or technology company.
Coders forsake sleep at weekend hackathon
It was 4 a.m., and amid the empty food wrappers and power cables, still hundreds in Johnson Ice Rink were awake, their bloodshot eyes glued to laptop screens.
President L. Rafael Reif announced Friday a new Innovation Initiative at MIT for research and education focused on the role of manufacturing in “accelerating” innovation, which he called the “signature competitive advantage” of the United States.
Of toothpaste, and the arc of the moral universe
Sometime in June, a discovery in Senior House threw me briefly into a personal crisis. Someone had used my toothpaste.
Firms vie to design an east MIT gateway
A campus planning group at MIT will work with an urban-design firm this fall to plan the future of MIT's chunk of Kendall Square. The firm will be selected by a group of urban planning professors and executives of MIT and MITIMCo.
In Swartz case, MIT ‘hands-off,’ report says
A report released by MIT on July 30 found that the Institute maintained “neutrality” during the federal prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz, missing a chance to show “leadership” in the two years before his suicide in January.
No more exams in Fall 3.091 class
Rather than take midterms and a final, freshmen in 3.091 this fall will earn their grades by answering a series of around 40 online questions spread out over the semester.
Affirmative action to continue
On June 24, the Supreme Court sent an affirmative action case back to a lower appeals court in a 7-1 ruling that is unlikely to affect most colleges, including MIT, at least for now.
Bexley Hall closing due to structural problems
Bexley Hall, home to 116 undergraduates, will be closed for renovations for up to three years beginning this summer, Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo announced at a meeting with residents on Tuesday.
Survey: few meals missed despite plan inflexibility
“It’s a big scam,” one student wrote of MIT dining in response to a survey The Tech sent out to undergraduates. Is it?
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.
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.
City passes MIT plans for Kendall
The Cambridge City Council voted 7-2 last night to pass MIT’s Kendall rezoning petition, permitting taller, denser development on the east side of MIT’s campus. The rezoning is the first step toward realizing plans to bring new retail to Kendall Square and to replace parking lots along Main Street with three new commercial buildings and a residential tower called “Innovation Landing.”
Faculty meeting focuses on gunman disruption response
MIT “failed abysmally” in promptly notifying the community after receiving a false Feb. 23 report of a gunman on campus, MIT Chief of Police John DiFava said at the last faculty meeting, following an internal review of the events on the day of the scare. But the police response on the scene was “superb,” DiFava said.
Deadline for MIT Kendall plan looms
MIT’s Kendall upzoning petition to Cambridge, which would allow for the construction of new commercial and residential towers on the east side of campus, expires on April 15. As that deadline nears, executives of MIT and the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) have been eager to see the City Council approve the petition, even as the conversation within MIT has exposed a rift between the proposal’s supporters and opponents.
Random needs repairs
Loose bricks on Random Hall’s exterior were discovered in a recent inspection of the dormitory, raising safety concerns.
Obama nominates Moniz
On Monday, President Obama nominated MIT’s Ernest J. Moniz as the next secretary of energy. He will replace Steven Chu, who announced last month that he would resign. Only in the past decade have scientists occupied the position. If confirmed by the Senate, Moniz, a physicist, would continue that pattern.
Change on the horizon in east campus region
Mixed-use towers rivaling the Green Building in height may be on the horizon for MIT’s east campus after members of the Cambridge Planning Board commended MIT’s Kendall rezoning petition at a meeting Tuesday evening. The board is expected to formally recommend the petition to the City Council early next month.
MIT Kendall plans spark debate
MIT’s latest rezoning petition, which would bring commercial and residential developments as well as new academic buildings to east campus, prompted concern from students and drew criticism from faculty and staff at a forum about Kendall Square plans on Wednesday. The topics discussed included the future of graduate housing and the broader question of how the petition would serve MIT’s interests.
HarvardX & MITx merge under edX
They’re called MOOCs, and it was the M for Massive that really started turning heads.
First humanities classes on edX
“In what sense, if any, did you deserve to be admitted to Harvard College?”
Two more partners for edX in the past week
As many of edX’s first courses come to a close, the online learning initiative continues to grow. EdX spokesman Dan O’Connell told The Tech last week that edX had reached half a million unique registrants. Yesterday edX announced its newest partner, Georgetown University, which joins just on the heels of Wellesley College, whose own addition to the list of “X Universities” was announced last week. Wellesley is the first liberal arts college to join edX.
MIT chooses new digital learning lead
Last week, President Reif announced the appointment of the first director of digital learning — Sanjay Sarma, Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Sarma will oversee efforts to enhance education with online tools, including OpenCourseWare and MITx (MIT’s contributions to edX, the venture started with Harvard).
Houston for Commencement
Drew W. Houston ’05, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, the online file storage service, will be the keynote speaker for the graduating class of 2013 at MIT’s 147th Commencement on June 7, 2013. While Khan Academy founder and 2012 speaker Salman A. Khan ’98 was MIT’s youngest commencement speaker in at least 30 years, Houston is even younger at 29 years of age. He won’t be more than a couple of years older than many of the addressees receiving graduate degrees.
Is MIT red or blue?
Have you ever wondered whether your professor leaned right or left politically? This election season, MIT faculty and staff have given more than $300,000 in direct financial contributions to the presidential campaigns since April 2011, according to public data provided by the Federal Election Commission.
EdX platform integrates into classes
Nearly six months ago, Harvard and MIT announced the launch of edX, billed as a new online learning platform that would revolutionize education for students around the world seeking. But the universities associated with the nonprofit venture — which now include the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas system schools — are also in it to improve their residential classes. This fall, several courses that MIT students are taking on campus — including freshman General Institute Requirement 8.01 (Physics I) — are also making use of edX software.
EdX announces partnership with Cengage
On Wednesday edX announced a new collaboration with Cengage Learning, a large Connecticut-based provider of educational content and software. The company will both supply content to edX and work with edX to improve pedagogy.
Fisher v. UT affirmative action case oral arguments heard
Last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the oral arguments from both sides of Fisher v. University of Texas, the affirmative action case for which MIT and 13 other universities, including the eight Ivy League schools, filed an amicus curiae brief defending the right of a university to consider the race of an applicant, among other factors, in its admissions process.
Endowment at $10 bil
In the past few months, several of the richest universities in the U.S. have announced their endowment performances for the 12 months ending on June 30. MIT’s endowment grew to $10.1 billion, the highest value achieved in its history. MIT’s primary investment pool, produced a return of 8 percent, topping returns at other schools, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, the four private universities with deeper pockets than MIT.
MIT & Cambridge statistics on crime
How has crime at MIT changed in the past two years? In 2011, the MIT Police received six reports of rape and 22 reports of liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action on MIT’s campus, according to the 2012 MIT Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, released on Friday by the MIT Police. These are the highest numbers since 2007. In 2010, there were three reports of rape and 38 reports of liquor law violations on campus at MIT.
Higher prices, new LaVerde’s
Over the summer, LaVerde’s Market reset its shelves, switched up the grill’s sandwich menu, and installed a shiny new beverage section. But along with those changes, the convenience store has upped its prices.
Alcator C-Mod may lose funds
President Obama’s budget request to Congress for fiscal year (FY) 2013, announced in February, proposed to shut down MIT’s federally-funded Alcator C-Mod, a tokamak (toroidal magnetic confinement device). To give itself six more months to agree on a formal appropriations bill, Congress will pass a continuing resolution this month. The resolution will likely sustain funding for Alcator C-Mod at current levels until the final budget for FY 2013 is out. If the final budget passed by Congress is in line with the president’s request, technical, engineering, and administrative staff would be laid off, and some 30 PhD students in Nuclear Science & Engineering (Course 22) would be forced to graduate by October 2013.
Intro to Solid State Chemistry (3.091) new on EdX
The first seven courses to be offered under edX — set to open to at various dates in September and October — will probably reach thousands of students around the globe. But both MIT and UC Berkeley, who joined the online learning initiative in July, say they also plan to use the edX platform to enhance education for their own students. How are the edX schools progressing towards this goal?