• Imagine a solar wall that lights up, that could detect change in its environment and respond. Then imagine that this wall is really composed of living cells — a hybrid of bacterial biofilms incorporated with nonliving materials such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. Tim Lu, assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering has led a team that has reported this work in the March 23 issue of Nature Materials. Read more.
  • In a paper to be presented at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Annual Symposium on the Theory of Computing in May, Nir Shavit, professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has teamed with Dan Alistarh, a former student at Microsoft Research and Keren Censor-Hillel of the Technion to demonstrate a new analytic technique that, in a wide range of real-world cases, suggests lock-free algorithms actually give wait-free performance, i.e., parallel programming may be better than estimated.
  • Dennis Freeman, professor of electrical engineering, and a team of researchers in MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics has reported findings in the Biophysical Journal that our selective ability to distinguish sounds depends on the size and distribution of pores just a few nanometers wide in the inner ear's tectorial membrane. The work may ultimately lead to biochemical manipulation or other means to aid in improving hearing. Read more.
  • Today, the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program announced five new MacVicar Fellows -- selected as exceptional undergraduate teachers, educational innovators, and mentors. Tomás Lozano-Pérez, the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is among the five 2014 MacVicar Fellows selected. Read more.
  • Soft robots are in! Among the advantages for developing soft robots, that are soft inside and out, is the fact that high priority to plan for damaging collisions is no longer a requirement, notes Prof. Daniela Rus, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, CSAIL, where she directs this research in the Distributed Robotics Lab. Rus is working on a robotic fish with EECS graduate student Andrew Marchese, lead author on a paper about this work, and with EECS postdoc Cagdas D. Onal. Read more.
  • Today, March 12, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee's proposal for managing general information about accelerators and experiments at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research based in Geneva where Berners-Lee worked at the time as a software engineer. He proposed building a distributed (global) hypertext system which he initially called "Mesh" updating it a year later to the "World Wide Web" as he wrote the code. Read more.
  • CSAIL's Big Data Initiative recently worked with city officials in Boston to highlight transportation issues by enlisting students in a competition. Read about this in the March 5, 2014 article "BIG DATA FOR BOSTON: TO IMPROVE TRANSPORT, CITY ENLISTS MIT STUDENTS TO CRUNCH NUMBERS" by CSAIL writer Adam Conner-Simons.
  • What is the role of big data? How should individual rights be protected in the face of big data? Big Data's challenges were presented and discussed by speakers including John Podesta, White House Counselor, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, and Cynthia Dwork, a distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research and a pioneer of “differential privacy.” Read more.
  • Electrical engineering and computer science students at MIT are accustomed to designing the circuitry or control algorithms for, say, a robot. But they have largely been left out of building the robot itself. Now, a teaching laboratory called the Engineering Design Studio enables them to fabricate entire electronics-based systems. Read more.
  • Charles E. Leiserson has been named recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's 2014 Taylor L. Booth Award for his contributions to computer science education. Noted for coauthoring the textbook “Introduction to Algorithms,” one of computer science’s most cited publications, Prof. Leiserson is recognized by the IEEE Computer Society “for worldwide computer science education impact through writing a best-selling algorithms textbook and developing courses on algorithms and parallel programming.” Read more.