Robert C. Seamans Jr. ScD ’51
Robert C. Seamans Jr. ScD ’51, an MIT alumnus who was a leading NASA administrator during the Apollo program, the ninth secretary of the U.S. Air Force and the dean of MIT’s School of Engineering from 1978–81, died on June 28. He was 89.
Eight buildings were without MIT Cable service from June 23–26. The outage was likely created by power surges related to electrical work that was being done in Next House (W71), according to the Information Services and Technology Web site 3DOWN.
Big Paycheck or Service? Students Are Put to the Test
A prominent education professor at Harvard has begun leading “reflection” seminars at three highly selective colleges, which he hopes will push undergraduates to think more deeply about the connection between their educations and aspirations.
Surge in Overseas Applicants Driven by Weak Dollar
The faltering U.S. dollar, which has steadily lost value against major currencies around the world, has produced a silver lining for foreign students and the American universities that recruit them.
Lawyer: Student in NW16 Basement Was ‘Hacking’
More than four weeks after Michael P. Short G was arrested after being found in an off-limits location in NW16, felony charges are still pending against him. Despite silence from officials at MIT, Short’s lawyer seems optimistic that the charges will eventually be dropped as in previous hacking-related cases.
MIT Grad Jobless, Selling Himself the Old-Fashioned Way
Joshua S. Persky ’81, an out-of-work investment banker, has been hunting for a job on Wall Street for more than six months. Recently he got so frustrated he decided to get a little creative.
Barbara Liskov Named Institute Professor
Associate Provost for Faculty Equity Barbara H. Liskov became an Institute Professor, achieving the highest faculty rank at MIT, on July 1.
EZRide Shuttle will increase its service and implement new stop locations in University Park beginning Monday, July 14. Service on Sidney St. will be relocated to Landsdowne St. to provide better commute service for MIT graduate students, according to the Graduate Student Council. See http://www.charlesrivertma.org/program_ezride_advisories.htm.
A Close Call: Student Groups Escape $27K Network, Phone Bill
Student groups were billed $27,000 in unexpected charges for phones and network in June, covering the fiscal year from July 2007 to June 2008. The MIT administration has agreed to cover the charges this year, but plans for who would pay similar charges next year remain uncertain.
<i>The following incidents were reported to the MIT Police between June 4, 2008 and June 30, 2008. This summary does not include incidents such as false alarms, general service calls, or medical shuttles.</i>
Laura Capone, senior associate dean for the Division of Student Life, passed away on Friday, July 4, at Addison Gilbert Hospital after a battle with cancer. She was 47.
Newly Elected Members of the MIT Corporation
The MIT Corporation elected the above members at its quarterly meeting on Friday, June 6. All memberships were effective beginning July 1. With these new members, the Corporation consists of 73 members, 21 of which are life members and eight of which are ex officio. An additional 34 individuals are life members emeritus, who can participate in meetings but do not having voting privileges.
10-250 Upgrades to Be Completed by Fall With New Seating, Audiovisual Equipment
Lecture hall 10-250, closed for renovations in the spring, will be bigger and brighter when it reopens for the first day of classes in the fall.
Joseph F. Kuchta
Joseph F. Kuchta, who spent almost 40 years with MIT as a safety officer and later golf coach, and who was renowned for his work with Alpha Phi Omega and other charitable organizations, died on Monday, June 23. He was 88.
Jack B. Howard
Jack B. Howard, a professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical Engineering, died on July 7 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 70.
Jane McNabb, a 47-year employee at MIT’s Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography — a precursor to the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences — died on Saturday, May 24. She was 84.
Oil Prices Plunge for Second Consecutive Day Yesterday
Oil prices headed in an unusual direction — down — for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, leaving energy experts to wonder whether the drop is the beginning of a lasting trend or just a brief pause before another surge.
Fed Sees Turmoil Lasting Longer Than Expected
Federal policymakers have concluded that the turmoil plaguing the housing and financial markets is likely to spill deep into 2009, becoming one of the most significant domestic problems to confront the next president when he steps into the Oval Office in January.
A senior Iranian official was quoted Tuesday as threatening that Iran would respond to any military attack by striking Israel and America’s vital interests around the globe.
The suicide bombing on Monday outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul was the latest and most audacious attack in recent months on Indian interests in Afghanistan, where New Delhi, since helping to topple the Taliban in 2001, has staked its largest outside aid package ever.
U.S. and Czechs Sign Accord on Ballistic Missile Shield
The United States and the Czech Republic signed a landmark accord on Tuesday to allow the Pentagon to deploy part of its widely debated anti-ballistic missile shield on territory once occupied by Soviet troops.
Issues Remain for Beijing Games, Says Int’l Olympic Committee
With a month remaining before the Beijing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday praised the city’s preparations but also cited two “open issues” that remain: whether the city can deliver good air quality and fulfill promises to allow television networks to broadcast from non-Olympic sites.
Hurricane Season Underway
Although the Atlantic Ocean sees the lion’s share of its hurricanes August through October, hurricanes have been observed to form in July. Last week, a strong and consolidated area of thunderstorms emerged off Africa and quickly developed into Tropical Storm Bertha. On Monday, Bertha strengthened into a hurricane and underwent a period of rapid intensification becoming a category 3 storm with winds of 120 mph (190 kph). While hurricanes in July aren’t remarkable, the location of Bertha is. Bertha has set records for the farthest east a tropical storm, hurricane, and major hurricane have formed so early in the hurricane season (though reliable records date back to only the early ’70s).
Richest Nations Pledge To Halve Greenhouse Gas
President Bush and leaders of the world’s richest nations pledged Tuesday to “move toward a low-carbon society” by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, the latest step in a long evolution by a president who for years played down the threat of global warming.
The June 13, 2008 article about a graduate student facing charges for breaking and entering gave misleading information about the prison term he may face. Though a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison is allowed under Massachusetts General Law, the Massachusetts Sentencing Guidelines make it difficult to impose more than a one year sentence for a first-time offender.
Exploration Doesn’t Merit Incarceration
MIT has not yet issued a summons charging as felons two graduate students who were found in NW16 on the night of Saturday, June 7.
BOOK REVIEW Re: Scamming the Scammers
I have to admit, I’m somewhat partial to spam e-mail. Everyone says it’s a pain in the ass and they all spend money on programs to prevent it from entering their precious inboxes. But I say bring the spam on! It’s usually funny, sometimes poetic, and apparently, you can have a pretty good time responding to it. As far as responding to these e-mails goes, I’ve thought about it before and decided I probably have better things to do with my time. Luckily, author Neil Forsyth doesn’t, and he’s written an entire book about scamming the scammers.
MOVIE REVIEW ★★★ Living Passionately After Tiananmen
Ye Lou’s <i>Summer Palace</i> chronicles the collective rise and fall of a generation of Chinese youth: it lumbers through its nearly two-and-a-half hours on the back of a young woman, Yu Hong (played by Lei Hao), from her dense, passionate college years to the bleak, depleted years of adulthood that follow.
MOVIE REVIEW ★★★ ‘WALL-E’ a Winner for Kids, Adults, and Robots
For Pixar, selling their next movie is as easy as putting the phrase “From the makers of __” on a poster with the implicit promise that it’s going to entertain as much as <i>Finding Nemo</i> or <i>The Incredibles</i>. Like clockwork, it invariably does, and it’s hard to stress enough the fact that these people never simply coast by on the reputation of their brand. Since I’m prone to exaggeration, I could compare the firsthand enjoyment of Pixar’s decade-long hit parade to what it must’ve felt like to listen to each of the Beatles’ albums as they were being released. If you think of <i>WALL-E</i> in that context, it’s more Magical Mystery Tour than Sgt. Pepper. It may not hang with the best of its peers, but it’s more than worthy of induction into the Pixar canon.
‘Baseball’ Exhibit Shows That Baseball Mirrors Everyday Life
Sport and society are often linked, whether by a fan’s comparison between a game-winning goal and real-life heroics or a journalist’s association between performance-enhancing drugs and rampant dishonesty in American politics. Such comparisons are primed for aggrandizement: caught up in the moment, we often forget that the realm of sports does not always equal the realm of the real world. Based on its name alone, the traveling Baseball as America exhibit seems likely to fall under this category of distorted reality.
MIT Theater on Ice Ends Season at International Competition in Vermont
MIT’s Theater on Ice team competed at the Thirteenth Annual International Theater on Ice competition, held at the Gordon H. Paquette Arena in Burlington, Vt. on June 28. The team placed fifth out of five teams in the Adult Choreographic Exercise category in its first season of existence.
MIT Student-Athletes Receive Academic All- America Recognition
Praveen Pamidimukkala ’08, Doria M. Holbrook ’08, and Julia C. Zimmerman ’09 earned College Sports Information Directors Association/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America accolades in the competitive at-large division to give the Engineers eight national plaudits for the 2007–08 academic year. Pamidimukkala received the first honor in the history of the men’s volleyball program, while Holbrook collected her third straight award as a member of the women’s swimming and diving team. Zimmerman was also a repeat selection for the women’s gymnastics team.
Bob, Eveline Roberts Pledge $2 Million To Upgrade Steinbrenner Stadium Turf
A gift from the parents of an MIT student-athlete will change the landscape for outdoor competition in the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation. Bob and Eveline Roberts, whose daughter, Julia N. Roberts ’10, is a midfielder on the women’s soccer team, have pledged $2 million for the installation of synthetic grass turf in Henry G. Steinbrenner ’27 Stadium.
Squid vs. Whale
Hello, everyone, and thank you for coming to the MVP Award Ceremony for last weekend’s Lake House Getaway 2008. The weekend was a total success and I’m glad everyone could make it. I think we all deserve a pat on the back for navigating those hazy waters of lounging and relaxation without a hitch. It could have been worse. There was a lot of passive aggressive tension brewing and I’m just glad we didn’t have it out on the patio by the grill. Kudos to my main men — you know who you are — for deflating the situation with well-timed belches and hilarious quoting of lines from Judd Apatow movies.
Talk Nerdy to Me
Ramblings From Hell
When was the last time you felt like a stranger in a strange land? And an unwanted stranger at that?