Looking Ahead to 2020
Real-world practitioners of systems engineering/engineering systems describe how the young discipline has shaped their very large enterprises.
For the past 10 years, David Lehman has been incorporating key systems engineering ideas within MITRE Corporation. Successes include getting project leaders to think
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Why Chemomechanical Design of Materials is Critical to Sustainable
Our conversations on sustainable transportation typically begin with a review of vehicle efficiencies, and end with the characteristics of fuel, energy sources, and life cycle. In a remarkably novel approach to sustainable transportation, Krystyn Van Vliet discusses how other things matter too- namely the materials
This Unit studies 'proteins'. Starting with a simple analysis of the molecular make up, the Unit moves on to look at the importance of protein and how they are digested and absorbed
New Media, Civic Media
As old media die, new forms are emerging, but it’s not clear they will serve such vital civic functions as “helping people form publics,” as Pat Aufderheide puts it. These panelists point to promising experiments in “Public Media 2.0,” but caution that new media are not guaranteed to shore up democracy or invigorate
Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy for Movement Disorders
New tools are enabling neuroscientists to break therapeutic ground against daunting disorders like Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Andres Lozano is one “of a small group of heroes,” in Ann Graybiel’s estimate, whose work is yielding astonishing advances on a variety of fronts.
Treatments for PD, a progressiv
Neural Basis of Drug Addiction
How does someone move from recreational drug use to addiction? Barry Everitt’s group at the University of Cambridge has been trying to break down the stages and neural circuitry of addiction with great precision.
Everitt’s research attempts to operationalize a progression in animals from the voluntary taking o
Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons
Joseph Cirincione delivers an energetic and at times impassioned primer on the standoff with Iran on its nuclear program, drawn in part from his latest book, The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press, Spring 2007).
He offers a succinct ‘equation’ to describe what drives nat
Human Rights and Politics in Israel-Palestine
Human rights are central to the fraught politics between Israelis and Palestinians, these two panelists argue. Any conceivable solution to such an endless conflict must begin by acknowledging the current bleak realities of Palestinian life under Israeli rule, they say.
Anat Biletzki and the group B'T
The War in Afghanistan: How to End It
[from the MIT News Office]
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urges the Afghanistan government to consider bringing Taliban supporters into its political system, telling an MIT audience that the prompt pursuit of a political deal among Afghanistan’s warring factions is necessary to build a lasting p
The Road from Copenhagen
Following the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, a five-member panel reviews the pros and cons of the events that took place. Moderated by Ernest Moniz, the panel includes Rob Stavins, Michael Greenstone, Stephen Ansolabehere (filling in for William Bonvillian)
Denialism: Media in the Age of Disinformation
A few hundred years after the Enlightenment, western civilization is rushing back to the Dark Ages. The causes are debatable, but, argue these science journalists, the public increasingly rejects the findings of science, from climate change to evolution, and is turning away from rationality and reason in general.
Humanistic Approaches to the Graphical Expression of Interpretation
The session begins with brief introductory remarks by moderator Kurt Fendt. He points out the need for new tools that will examine data in meaningful ways through aspects of interpretation and visualization. Dean Deborah Fitzgerald emphasizes the importance of support for digital humanities and visualization interpretati
Iraq and North Korea: A Former Insider Assesses U.S. Policy
Ambassador Gallucci focuses most of this talk on North Korea, and discusses the following questions:
Do we have a crisis in North Korea?
Why do we have one, if we do have one now?
How did we get to where we are with North Korea?
Where do we go from here?
This event is chaired by Stephen W. Van Evera, MIT Po
The End of Saddam and the Future of Iraq
Saddam Hussein left a very visible legacy from 30 bloody years in power: countless victims and a broken nation. But there is also a more obscure inheritance, literally mountains of documents left by the Ba’ath Party and security groups. Kanan Makiya’s mission is to retrieve and index these materials, and make public the comprehensive c
U.S. Planning and Realities of Post-War Iraq
Judging from these panelists, the more intimate your experience of Iraq, the more optimistic you are likely to be. David J. Nash was fully immersed. He organized the multi-billion dollar reconstruction effort of Iraq’s infrastructure in 45 days. His 2800 projects ran the gamut from new power plants and water compani
Discourses on Iraq and the Middle East
U.S. actions in Iraq get a thorough thrashing in this final chapter of the Reconstructing Iraq series. First, Yosef Jabareen sprints through editorial page cartoons from Arab print media, which represent the U.S. as immoral, abusive, greedy and above all, hegemonic. The drawings depict George Bush burning th
Beyond the Bench: Preparing MIT Students for the Challenges of Global Leadership
MIT produces students who are “deep, entrepreneurial, passionate, diverse and active,” says Phillip Clay, the kind of talented individuals who should play major parts on the world stage. MIT has begun a drive to ensure that its students fulfill their promise. Central to this mission, Richard Samuels says, is
Blended Learning Revisited
Even when children are high achievers and facile with new technology, many seem gradually to lose their sense of wonder and curiosity, notes John Seely Brown. Traditional educational methods may be smothering their innate drive to explore the world. Brown and like-minded colleagues are developing the underpinnings for a new 21st
Creativity and Collaboration in the Digital Age
In a panel moderated by James Paradis, five former Comparative Media Studies (CMS) students discuss their personal experiences within the CMS program and the impact it has had on their understanding, interpretation, and implementation of creativity in the digital age.
Creativity may be perceived, traditionally, as
The Next Giant Leaps in Space Exploration
From satellite-enabled radio and TV to climate tracking, space has become a “ubiquitous capability in our lifetime,” as Edward Crawley puts it. But he also notes there is uncertainty about the future of U.S. spaceflight, which closely follows the “cadence” of political elections. AeroAstro symposium panelists bot