William Nordhaus PhD ’67 wins Nobel + nuclear fusion + free food, quantified

October 13, 2018
Greetings! Here’s a roundup of the latest from the MIT community.
Nobel Laureate
Economist William Nordhaus PhD ’67 won this year’s Nobel Prize in economic sciences for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” He shares the prize with Paul Romer, who also did graduate work at MIT.
Top Headlines
A new path to solving a longstanding fusion challenge
A novel design could help shed excess heat in next-generation nuclear fusion power plants.
MIT Heat Island
Helping small science make big changes
Farnaz Niroui is helping to usher in research at MIT.nano, with inspiration from Mildred Dresselhaus’ former office.
MIT Heat Island
Self-healing material can build itself from carbon in the air
Taking a page from green plants, new polymer “grows” through a chemical reaction with carbon dioxide.
Gaining confidence on a journey toward engineering
The Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program helped Catalina Romero understand that she wasn’t alone on her MIT journey.
MIT Heat Island
Tweet via @BostonDotCom 
In the Media
MIT to start work on a “new front door” // The Boston Globe
At a groundbreaking ceremony for 314 Main Street, MIT’s Steve Marsh explains that the Institute’s Kendall Square Initiative aims “to create an environment where people solve problems.”
‘Crowdlaw’ could save our democracy // The Washington Post
An op-ed hails RiskMap, an open-source platform developed by researchers at MIT’s Urban Risk Lab, as a collective intelligence tool that can be used to improve governance.
Making clothes that can communicate // BBC Click
Professor Yoel Fink has developed a fabric embedded with light-emitting diodes that can detect lights from an oncoming vehicle and establish an “affirmative link between the car and pedestrian.”
Use big data to improve the big city, say scientists // Reuters
Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab aim to use big data to improve public infrastructure and living spaces to “make the metropolis fit for future generations.”
Inside the Box
Five students were recently challenged to live and work in a glass cube on MIT’s North Court for four days as part of InCube, a global startup competition. Tasked with reimagining the ambulance of the future, the students designed a solution they think can help paramedics more accurately identify patients who are in critical condition. “It was so much fun,” says junior Samuel Salomon. “I don’t think we would have had such a good experience if we weren’t living together in the cube. It was an intellectual campground.”
Number of free cups of coffee served to students at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship in academic year 2017-18 ☕
Cairene Portraits
For “Cairo Stories,” Professor Judith Barry, director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, interviewed more than 200 women of varying social and economic classes in Cairo between 2003 and 2011. Working with actors to preserve the women’s privacy, the project resulted in a series of 11 diptychs (photos plus text) and four videos. Currently on view in New York City, the work addresses the importance of speaking one’s history.
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