DUE News - 2014

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  • A classroom of 4th and 5th graders chatter excitedly, hunched over long tables to hunt for tiny resistors in clear electronics kits. They’re building a simple circuit to attach to the back of a cardboard box that is decorated with multiple-choice questions. The objective? When touched by a clip, the thumbtack next to the correct answers causes a bright green LED to light up; the tacks next to the incorrect choices won’t.

  • On Oct. 1, the MIT D-Lab officially began work with Guatemalan social enterprise Soluciones Comunitarias (SolCom) to develop scalable, market-based, local community innovations intended to alleviate some of the causes of endemic poverty in rural areas of Guatemala where there is a strong indigenous presence.

    "The cooperation between SolCom and D-Lab creates an opportunity for the people of Nebaj [Guatemala] to develop the kind of useful technologies and knowledge that can save time, reduce workload, and improve the welfare of families," comments Miguel Brito, SolCom’s president.


    ESG Alum Sofia Essayan-Perez is inspired by those around her to teach in Nicaragua, conduct neuroscience research.

    MIT senior Sofia Essayan-Perez, majoring in brain and cognitive sciences with a minor in applied international studies, has founded an educational nonprofit, conducted neuroscience research, and tutored MIT students. The common thread that binds these disparate interests: They all stem from hardships that those around her have faced.

  • Access and affordability are two concepts that have become inseparable. Google them as a single term and there is no end to the mention of access and affordability in housing, food, energy, health care, and higher education. Access: the ability to reach, approach, or enter. Affordability: the ability to purchase. Together, they form the A2 problem.

    Within higher education, access and affordability refer to removing the financial barriers to achieving one’s educational aspirations, with access most often associated with students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and affordability with middle-class students. Together access and affordability are a weighty term that becomes a lightning rod for the ever-growing public concern that undergraduate higher education in the U.S. is out of reach for ordinary citizens.

    MIT graduateAccess and affordability are as much about perception as reality, if not more so. Often, changing the belief that something is not possible is the major obstacle to overcome. So to put this all in perspective, our core question becomes, “Is MIT affordable for all families?” The simple answer is yes, but proving that is more complicated...

  • Last week 24 soldering irons were producing a lot of heat up in MIT’s Edgerton Center. Their operators? 24 rising ninth grade girls donning goggles and melting wires to make miniature traffic lights and flashlights as part of a lesson in electrical circuitry. “Today we got rid of a lot of fear,” said Amy Fitzgerald, the instructor of You Go Girl! a four-day crash course in all things science for girls.

  • We are pleased to announce the addition of an annual listing of DUE promotions. We would like to publicly congratulate all the DUE employees who have been promoted over the past year. As an organization, DUE is committed to a culture of employee growth and development.

    July 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014

    • Brenna Heintz

    • Margaret Eysenbach

    • Chris Peterson

    • Deolinda Rodrigues

  • Buidling E39

  • Through the Edgerton Center’s clubs and teams program, students apply themselves to challenging projects, for competition and for their own edification and satisfaction. This year there were 13 student-led teams, with over 200 MIT students participating. Over the summer, the N51 shop–adjacent to the MIT Museum–was a hub of activity with students fine-tuning their projects for upcoming challenges. Here are some of the highlights of this summer's projects:

    • In June, the MIT Robotics team placed second in NASA’s Robo-Ops Competition at the Rock Yard at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Teams in the event are challenged to build a planetary rover and demonstrate its capabilities to perform a series of tasks.Formula SAE team race car
    • The Formula SAE team (also known as MIT Motorsports) constructed their first electric car and placed seventh, in a field of 20, at the Society of Automotive Engineers Race in Lincoln, NE. The team is now building their second Formula-style electric car.
    • The Solar Electric Vehicle Team built their twelfth car, “Valkyrie,” and while they were not able to participate in the American Solar Challenge due to mechanical issues, they have set their sights on entering the 2015 World Solar Challenge with a new four-wheeled iteration of the solar car...
  • Freshmen are asked to choose a major at the end of the spring semester.  Comparing the choices of the Class of 2007 with those of the Class of 2017 shows some interesting changes. Data drawn from the initial choices made in April of their respective freshman years (2004 and 2014) showed an increase in the percentage of freshmen who chose School of Engineering majors, along with a decrease in the percentage who chose School of Science, School of Management, and SHASS majors.

    Percent of majors chosen by all freshmen:

      Engineering Science Other
    2004 56.2% 28.6% 15.3%
    2014 73.7% 21.5% 4.8%
    Change +17.5% -7.1% -10.5%


    Percent of majors chosen by women:

  • This summer UROP staff offered a new Freshman Pre-Orientation Program (FPOP), Discover UROP. The four-day FPOP was created to help expose freshmen to key aspects of undergraduate research at MIT. The program’s goal is to help introduce freshmen to research early in their undergraduate careers, and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in rewarding UROP experiences throughout their undergraduate years.