DUE News - 2013

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  • This course focuses on the late stages of product design for users in low-income settings. Through relationships with businesses in countries such as India, Tanzania & Nicaragua, students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop previously established technologies toward manufacturing-ready product designs. Lessons are hands-on and case based. The course is taught by instructors from D-Lab with deep field experience, and industry experts from product development consulting and consumer product design.

  • Their theme might have been “in the dark,” but the MIT students who participated in this year’s 2.00b (Toy Design), a first-year elective in mechanical engineering, were anything but: Their creations ran the gamut from innovative board games to puzzles to stuffed animals to a comforter that transformed into a pup tent.

  • Hamsika Chandrasekar '13 is a senior in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She plans to attend Stanford Medical School in the fall. Adam Madlinger '07, SM '08 rides his steam train

  • Professor Michael Yaffe is a member of the MIT ROTC Oversight Committee

    Professor Michael YaffeIt's not often that a systems biologist is also a trauma surgeon, active in the Army Reserve—and even rarer still that he treats the victims of a historic bombing. On 15 April, Michael B. Yaffe, who holds positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, was rehabilitating a broken leg when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Yaffe rushed to the medical center and was soon helping to treat victims. During the last day of the hunt for one of the bombers, he was locked down in the hospital...

    Read the complete Science Careers article

  • Mentor's Take on Mission 2016
    Alfredo Kniazzeh

    Alumni Mentor Alfredo Kniazzeh This year’s class project on strategic elements taught me about mining and about the skills of the students in learning to organize, delegate, negotiate and lead.  They were given the usual support and resources so they quickly came up with a broad understanding of the elements of their ‘solution’.  Observing this process through class and team discussions, lunch meetings and email blizzards impressed me as they got to the final web site, presentation before the world, and resulting congratulations.  Mentors help this by being present, occasionally asking about an exaggerated claim or ambiguous statement, and appreciating the effort put in by the class.

  • Editor's note: The following piece was written by first-year students and members of Terrascope Rin Yunis, Emily Shorin and Judy Pu. The students recently returned from a trip to the American Southwest, where they and their classmates visited active mines to learn about extraction and use of strategic minerals including lithium and the rare earth elements. The Terrascope program sponsors an annual field trip over spring break focused on the year's theme.

  • Amy SmithOn April 23 at the Harvard Club in Boston, D-Lab founder and co-director Amy Smith was honored as one of “Boston’s Most Influential Women” by the Women of the Harvard Club Committee.

  • Current and Future Renovations

    As you may have noticed in walking through the Main Group, extensive classroom renovations are underway in Buildings 2 and 4. Three lecture halls and one seminar room are undergoing major upgrades and will be ready for classes in the spring of 2014. Highlights include converting 4-270 and 4-370 from flat floor rooms to tiered lecture halls. New seating will now offer excellent sightlines, oversized tablets and electrical outlets located in the armrests. Other improvements include air conditioning, lecture capture technology, LCD video projectors, motorized projection screens and window shades.

    Two additional projects in Buildings 2 and E52 will begin this summer, running concurrently with the above projects through completion in 2015. These projects are part of a campus-wide renewal initiative to upgrade entire buildings during one construction cycle. This cost-efficient approach addresses many building deficiencies at the same time, but requires all occupants to be relocated during construction. The classrooms in these projects include lecture hall 2-190 and ten classrooms on the first floor of building 2 and lecture hall E52-175. Both lecture halls will see improvements similar to what is described above for 4-270 and 4-370. Improvements to the ten classrooms in Building 2 include new lighting, improved climate control, Av systems, motorized window shades, and updated room finishes.

    New Classrooms in E17

    As part of a broader plan to provide supplemental classroom space while a large number of classrooms are offline for renovation, a cluster of six new classrooms that has been under construction since last fall was recently completed in E17.

    E17 Classroom

    Former laboratory space on the first floor provided enough square footage for six classrooms, which seat 30-40 students, and two group-study rooms, which accommodate 4-5 students each. The classrooms are outfitted with tables and chairs, sliding chalkboards, LCD video projectors, and motorized projection screens. Reconfiguring the rooms to support varying learning environments is made easy with lightweight chairs and tables equipped with hidden casters.

  • Over the past few months I had the interesting experience of serving on the search committee for the next Dean for Undergraduate Education. As we await news of who will be the next Dean, I want to update you on where we are in the process and what it entailed.

    The search was launched this February when Chancellor Eric Grimson asked that, by early May, we provide him with a list of candidates and a high level perspective on opportunities and challenges facing DUE over the next few years. Graham Walker, Professor of Biology and DUE Search veteran was appointed to lead the process.  Graham also chaired the DUE search that led to Bob Redwine in 2000 and was on the 2005 committee that led to Daniel Hastings’ appointment. Having served on the 2005 committee, I recalled Graham’s steady hand, energy and personal warmth, especially evident when he filled in several times for that committee’s Chair, Eric Grimson, and his knowledge and appreciation of DUE.  I was very pleased that he agreed to chair the current search.

    2013 Search Committee members were primarily faculty from the five schools plus some students. They proved to be wonderful colleagues for this task, who made outstanding efforts. It was clear from the start that Graham wanted to conduct the highest quality search and to do so as expeditiously as possible.  The Search Committee membership:


    DUE Emergency Preparedness Plans

    This fall every DUE office designated a staff member to serve as Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (EPC).  EPCs have been working hard to develop formal plans for their office using a template supplied by the Environmental, Health and Safety Office (EHS).  A recent memo from Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer to the Academic Council reinforcing how critical it is that each department, laboratory and center (DLC) have an emergency coordinator and concrete emergency plan.