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AI Challenges
Jan/05 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/12 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/19 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM

This will be a project-based IAP course that aims to develop new AI for a series of problems. Students will work closely with MIT faculty/staff in small teams and will be provided with data, project ideas, and computing resources. There will be numerous opportunities for successful and interested students to continue their research with ongoing research projects after the IAP course through UROPs, theses projects, etc.

email vijayg@ll.mit.edu if you are interested in attending this course.

AI challenges such as ImageNet, CIFAR, Graph Challenge, Moments in Time have resulted in major advances in image recognition, graph processing, and video action recognition. These and many other challenge problems are characterized by: 1) open datasets, 2) clear problem statements and 3) baseline implementations. Inspired by these challenges, through the USAF-MIT AI Accelerator, we are developing challenge problems to bring AI innovations to domains such as:

1) Datacenter Monitoring: Develop AI that can detect failures and workload characteristics in an operational datacenter
2) Reinforcement Learning Applications: Develop AI for aerial vehicles for games and novel environments
3) Magnetic Navigation: Develop AI for aerial vehicles for navigation in GPS denied environments by leveraging novel ML techniques alongside physical modelling.
4) Flight Maneuvers: Develop AI to detect good and bad flight paths from a flight simulator.

This will be a project-based IAP course and our team will provide significant guidance to students in developing AI capabilities for the above domains. Students will work closely with MIT faculty/staff in small teams and will be provided with data, project ideas, and computing resources. There will be numerous opportunities for successful and interested students to continue their research with ongoing research projects after the IAP course through UROPs, theses projects, etc.


AI and Our Human Future: IAP Discussion Seminars with Dean Dan Huttenlocher and Eric Schmidt
Jan/25 Tue 01:30PM–03:00PM

EVENT LIMITED TO MIT STUDENTS.  Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, and Eric Schmidt, Co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO and Chairman of Google/Alphabet, will be holding discussion seminars with small groups of undergraduate and graduate students.

Following a fireside chat on January 24, these seminars aim to explore in more depth how the on-going development and adoption of AI not only has impacted our society but even how we experience reality.  (The podcast Hidden Forces provides an overview of Huttenlocher and Schmidt’s perspective on this topic.)

Students: To be eligible for participation in these discussion sessions, you must register your interest by Friday, January 14, by sending the following to our_ai_future@mit.edu:

  • your name
  • your department/program and what degree you are pursuing
  • a one-page essay on your thoughts on the discussion and/or issues you would be interested in exploring

Selected participants will be notified by Tuesday, January 18.

AI in Finance - NLP, Graphs & Personalization
Jan/19 Wed 04:00PM–05:00PM

MIT - Capital One Tech Talk
Register in advance for this meeting:

Speakers: Abhijit Bose, Aamer Charania & Giri Iyengar

Join us to hear how AI is transforming the financial services industry with firsthand views from Capital One.

A few years ago, Abhijit Bose was leading Facebook’s East Coast AI Research, leading computer vision models to spot sunglasses on people’s faces. Now he is heading Capital One Machine Learning! Hear what attracted him to Capital One and how he envisions AI transforming the financial services industry. Abhijit will be joined by two MIT alumni - Aamer Charania and Giri Iyenga. Aamer, who leads development of machine learning services at Capital One, will talk about NLP/Conversational AI and Graphs. Giri, who leads enterprise marketing technology, will share his views on Personalization at scale.

The talk will be beneficial for folks interested in AI applications for finance in general, or like to hear about NLP/Conversational AI, Graphs or Personalization at scale.

Speaker Bios:

Abhijit Bose (https://www.linkedin.com/in/abose/)

Abhijit Bose is the Managing Vice President for Capital One’s Center for Machine Learning (C4ML). Prior to joining Capital One, Abhijit served as Facebook’s Head of Engineering (Montreal, NYC, Pittsburg) for Facebook AI Research.

With over 20+ years of data science expertise, Abhijit encompasses an impressive technical and academic career history. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, received his dual-Masters in Mechanical Engineering as well as Computer Science, and received his dual-Ph.D in Computer Science and Engineering Mechanics.

Before joining Facebook, Abhihit was the Managing Director of Data Science for JP Morgan's Digital Organization. He’s also worked for IBM, Google, and American Express. Abhijit and his wife live in New Jersey with their 6-year-old twins. When he’s not working, Abhijit
enjoys spending time volunteering with his family at their local animal shelter, as well as hiking and touring state parks.

Aamer Charania (https://www.linkedin.com/in/aamercharania/)

Aamer Charania leads the development of enterprise Machine Learning products and services at Capital One. Before joining Capital One, he led AI initiatives at Humana and Verizon. Prior to that, he was a research assistant at MIT.

Aamer enjoys giving back to the community. He is the founder of Dallas AI (http://www.dallas-ai.org/), the largest nonprofit AI meetup group in North Texas, with over 3,700 members. Aamer is also a board member of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Big Data Advisory. In addition, he is an MIT Alumni Career Advisor, MIT Educational Counselor and former President of the MIT Alumni Club of Dallas & Fort Worth.

Aamer has been awarded over 10 patents. He holds a Masters in Engineering from MIT, a Masters in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Giri Iyengar (https://www.linkedin.com/in/giyengar/)

Giri Iyengar leads the Enterprise Marketing Tech teams as part of Enterprise Products and Platforms Technology Organization. He is responsible for the Capital One Site, Messaging, Content Management, and Experimentation Technology Platforms at Capital One.

Prior to Capital One, Giri was the head of Engineering for eBay's Advertising group where he led research and development of several innovative ML driven advertising products for eBay's buyers and sellers. He also created the first ever Computer Vision team at eBay that allows billions of products to be searched using your smartphone pictures. After his PhD from MIT, he started his career as a Machine Learning Researcher at IBM Watson Research Center where he worked on Speech Recognition, Computer Vision and other Machine Learning technologies.

Adventures in Scanning Electron Microscopy
Jan/24 Mon 09:00AM–05:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 09:00AM–05:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 09:00AM–05:00PM

Adventures in Scanning Electron Microscopy is an activity offered by Donald Galler. The activity offers training and introduction to electron microscopy. No prerequisities. Advanced signup required; signup deadline January 2, 2022. Signup link.

Applying a Systems Thinking Approach to Food Sustainability on MIT Campus
Jan/24 Mon 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 01:00PM–05:00PM

Acquire professional systems engineering skills while you help make MIT campus more sustainable!

In this two-day virtual workshop (IAP, not for credit), open to MIT undergraduate students in any year and any major, you will tackle real-world challenges in food sustainability that are relevant to you as a student at MIT. Student teams will apply a systems thinking approach using OPCloud, a state-of-the-art system modeling tool used by professional system engineers.

At the start of Day 1, Professor Edward Crawley from MIT AeroAstro will introduce Professor James W. Jones, a world-renowned expert in food security from the University of Florida. Prof. Jones will present the challenge for the workshop.

Working in small teams, you will create a conceptual model of the challenge and learn how to identify points of leverage (high impact-to-cost ratio) in your model. There is no need to have a team before joining the workshop.

At the end of Day 2, your team will present their suggestions to Prof. Jones and to Susy Jones from MIT Office of Sustainability. Lastly, you will hear about opportunities to (a) develop and implement your suggestions on MIT campus and (b) have your work featured in professional publications.

The workshop will be led by systems thinking educator Dr. Rea Lavi, Lecturer and Curriculum Designer for the NEET undergraduate program at MIT School of Engineering.

You do not need to register to the workshop - just join via zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/98867122163

To receive an email reminder 24hrs before the event and a calendar invite, click here.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Prof. Jones and Dr. Lavi

Arcadia Science: A New Institutional Model for the Research and Translation of Biological Discovery
Jan/20 Thu 12:00PM–01:30PM

Dr. Prachee Avasthi, PhD, Arcadia Science, Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and Director of Cell Biology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Arcadia Science is a new for-profit research institute distinct from traditional academic and biotech environments. Their mission is to uncover novel biology of non-model organisms and to directly commercialize impactful discoveries. Composed of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, Arcadia Science is creating a unique environment to empower curiosity-driven discoveries that are also financially self-sustaining. Join us for this moderated Q&A with their Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Prachee Avasthi, to learn more about Arcadia Science.

Session organizers: Chris Giuliano and Alex Chan

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96281958467

Password: MITBiology

Jan/05 Wed 03:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/12 Wed 03:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/19 Wed 03:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 03:00PM–04:00PM

***Registration for this activity is now closed***


Reading short works of speculative and science fiction, especially by authors writing from outside the US, participants in this activity will consider how worlds are imagined and textually rendered. Particular emphasis will be placed on thinking about how this fiction might help us remake our own worlds in the face of planetary climate change and persisting structural inequalities on bases of race, ethnicity, class, caste, gender, and sexuality.

This 4-session virtual activity will meet on the four Wednesdays in January (5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th) from 3:00-4:00pm EDT. It will be facilitated by History, Anthropology, & STS PhD students Hina Walajahi and Zach La Rock. Participants will receive electronic copies of all readings in advance. Those who register for the activity may attend individual sessions but are warmly invited to all of them.


Sponsored by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the Department of Anthropology.


Limited enrollment: advance sign up required, sign-up deadline is 03 January 2022.

Participants are welcome to attend individual sessions


Big Data and Machine Learning in Investing
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–05:00PM

Abstract: We outline how we use Big Data and Machine Learning in our everyday investing process at BlackRock. On the Data side, we strive to incorporate a vast amount of granular information – while making the availability of this information fast and scalable for downstream models. We will give a few examples of what challenges we encounter in our data process and how we address them. On the Machine Learning side, we will discuss what makes the financial domain so special when applying ML, and which situations are more favorable for applying machine learning models. We will also present a few live applications of Machine Learning in investing, including liquidity and trading modelling, managing risk, as well as extracting alpha insights.



Ganeshapillai Gartheeban, PhD, Director, is a member of the Global Equity Research team within BlackRock's Systematic Active Equity group where he focuses on extracting patterns from large scale heterogeneous datasets.

Prior to joining the firm in October 2014, he was doing in his PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked on developing machine learning algorithms for various problems in medicine, systemic risk in financial systems, and sports. Primary motivation of his research is to discover novel approaches to automatically recognize patterns in large datasets and develop tools to answer questions that affect people. His PhD thesis was on learning cross-sectional connections in financial time series, and was supervised by Professor John Guttag and Professor Andrew Lo.


Stefano Pasquali, Managing Director, is the Head of Liquidity Research Group at BlackRock Solutions. As Head of Liquidity Research, Mr. Pasquali is responsible for market liquidity modelling both at the security and portfolio level, as well as estimating portfolio liquidity risk profiles. His responsibilities include defining cross asset class models, leveraging available trade data and developing innovative machine learning based approaches to better estimate market liquidity. Mr. Pasquali is heavily involved in developing methodologies to estimate funding liquidity and better estimate funds flows. These models include: the cost of position or portfolio liquidation, time to liquidation, redemption estimation, and investor behavior modelling utilizing a big data approach.

Previous to Blackrock, Mr. Pasquali oversaw research and product development for Bloomberg's liquidity solution, introducing a big data approach to their financial analytics. His team designed and implemented models to estimate liquidity and risk across different asset classes with a particular focus on OTC markets. Before this he led business development and research for fixed income evaluated pricing.

Mr. Pasquali has more than 15 years of experience examining and implementing innovative approaches to calculating risk and market impact. He regularly speaks at industry events about the complexity and challenges of liquidity evaluation? particularly in the OTC marketplace. His approach to risk and liquidity evaluation is strongly influenced by over 20 years of experience working with big data, data mining, machine learning and data base management.

Prior to moving to New York in 2010, Mr. Pasquali held senior positions at several European banks and asset management firms where he oversaw risk management, portfolio risk analysis, model development and risk management committees. These accomplishments include the construction of a risk management process for a global asset management firm with over 100 Billion AUM. This involved driving projects from data acquisition and normalization to model development and portfolio management support.

Mr. Pasquali, a strong believer in academic contribution to the industry, has engaged in various conversations and collaborations with universities from the US, UK, and Italy. He also participates as a supervisor in the Experiential Learning Program and Master of Quantitative Finance Program based at Rutgers University, along with tutoring students in research activities.

Before his career in finance, Mr. Pasquali was a researcher in Theoretical and Computational Physics (in particular Monte Carlo Simulation, Solid State physics, Environment Science, Acoustic Optimization). Originally from Carrara (Tuscany, Italy), he grew up in Parma. Mr. Pasquali is a graduate of Parma University and holds a master’s degree in Theoretical Physics, as well as research fellowships in Computational Physics at Parma University and Reading University (UK).

Stefano lives in New York since 2010. In his spare time, he tries to devote to his passions which are music, traveling and spending more time as possible to the sea and sailing boat.

Alex Remorov, PhD, is a Vice President at BlackRock's Systematic Active Equities (SAE). In this role, Alex builds systematic alpha strategies for hedge funds and long-only portfolios by leveraging machine learning, alternative data, and investment intuition.

Alex earned a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Operations Research from MIT. He has carried out academic research on systematic trading strategies, behavioural biases, and investor decision-making. During this time Alex also did short stints at Manulife Investment Management in Toronto, as well as at Goldman Sachs in New York and London.

Jan/03 Mon 02:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/04 Tue 01:30PM–03:30PM
Jan/05 Wed 01:30PM–03:30PM
Jan/06 Thu 01:30PM–03:30PM
Jan/18 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/19 Wed 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/21 Fri 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/24 Mon 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM

Offered by Mike Tarkanian. Students will learn basic blacksmithing techniques using traditional tools to hand forge mild steel. Drawing a taper, forming a scroll, twisting, and finishing techniques will be incorporated into simple projects. Limited to participants with no prior blacksmithing experience. Advanced signup required.

Cancelled -- Gene Regulation and Expression Talk Series: "Single-cell Epigenomics: Gene Regulation at Unprecedented Resolution"
Jan/18 Tue 12:00PM

Dr. Jason Buenrostro, Assistant Professor at Harvard University

Computational modeling tools for promoting low-carbon electricity
Jan/24 Mon 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/28 Fri 09:00AM–01:00PM

Monday, January 24-Friday, January 28, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm ET each day (5 classes)
Location: E51-376
Register by January 19. Email Pablo Duenas (pduenas@mit.edu) and Karen Tapia-Ahumada (katapia@mit.edu)
More information

This 5-session intensive activity presents power system analysis techniques that will help in modeling and understanding the role of electric power systems in a carbon-constrained economy. The massive deployment of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES), the anticipated surge of active demand response or the development of smart grids are among the challenges that must be faced by the mathematical models for optimization, analysis and simulation of the complex decision-making processes in power systems. Apart from a theoretical description of the models, the instructors will provide the students with a collection of prototypes that will allow them to run study cases and to understand the effect of the different mathematical formulations on the outcomes. The use of these models in some real-world applications will also be presented.
Part I: Economic dispatch
      1. Economic dispatch and unit commitment with RES
      2. Stochastic unit commitment with RES
Part II: Operation planning
      3. Mid-term hydro-thermal coordination
      4. Deterministic and stochastic model
Part III: Microgrids
      5. Microgrid design
      6. Resiliency through multi-microgrid 
Part IV: Generation expansion planning 
      7. Generation expansion planning
      8. GenX model
Part V: Transmission expansion planning 
      9. Transmission expansion planning
    10. openTEPES model
Prerequisites: None (some GAMS/Python familiarity is helpful)
Limited enrollment: 30 participants


Cybersecurity: 5th Generation of Security
Jan/28 Fri 01:00PM–03:00PM

Cybersecurity mechanisms to date are inadequate.   Moving Target Defenses ─ the Fourth Generation of Security - while beneficial, is incomplete. Third Generation ─ Tolerance and Survivability - solutions have been characterized as Hope and Pray.  

Data Security grapples with distributed networks for Supply Chains, Remote Work Environments, International Trade, Ransomware, and the Insider Threats.  

Can the next generation of security address cyber challenges of Misaligned Incentives, Information Asymmetry, and Externalities? Is Cybersecurity still a TECHNOLOGY discussion? Will vulnerabilities impose new compliance and monitoring requirements, or drive new information sharing partnerships?  The presentation highlights critical infrastructures, as well as commercial and government perspectives.

Leading the discussion will be:

Everardo Ruiz, Ph.D, SDM ’00 and 
COL (Ret) Robert Banks, Ph.D.

This event is in-person and space is limited. Registration is available via Eventbrite.

Gene Regulation and Expression Talk Series: "Fundamental Principles During the Egg-to-embryo Transition"
Jan/11 Tue 12:00PM–01:00PM

Dr. Andrea Pauli, Group Leader at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna

Generative Art Workshop
Jan/25 Tue 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/26 Wed 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/27 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/28 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM

Offered by George Varnavides.
Generative art is a type of audiovisual art generated using an algorithm. It often lies at the intersection of mathematical patterns and aesthetic appeal and its results can be stunning and refreshing. In this four-day workshop we will explore some of the aspects of generative art, starting with traditional examples such as mathematical fractals and chaotic attractors, and extending it to discrete and continuous physical systems such as diffusion limited aggregation and microstructural evolution. We will also be exploring multiple media such as visual and audio. The instructors will be using both Jupyter and Wolfram notebooks to illustrate concepts and examples, but participants can choose to use any appropriate language of their choice. No prerequisites. Advanced signup required; signup deadline Jan. 3, 2022. Signup here.

Genetown: Biotech's History in Kendall Square
Jan/25 Tue 01:30PM–03:30PM

Biotechnology and science are often thought of as abstract ideas, but where they take place has long lasting consequences for how innovation and invention occur. In the last forty years Kendall Square has become the epicenter of Boston's booming biotechnology sector. However, in 1978 conditions looked far less auspicious-- Kendall Square was in industrial decline and the development of biotechnology faced strenuous local opposition. The rise of the biotechnology industry required not only new ideas but new ways of financing companies, recruiting scientists, and developing real estate. By moving through Kendall Square and MIT, we will view some of the sites where biotech history was made, explore the ingredients of Kendall Square's success, and whether it can continue. Time includes an outdoor Q&A around a fire.


Sponsored by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society


Limited enrollment: advance sign up required

Sign-up deadline: January 21; maximum number of participants: 20


Please use the below form to sign up

Genetown IAP Form


How Birds Work
Jan/24 Mon 11:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 11:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/28 Fri 11:00AM–12:00PM

Offered by Prof. Lorna Gibson. Birds are amazing. In this series of talks, we’ll look at the materials science of feathers; the mechanics of bird bones; the versatility of bird bills; as well as bird flight and migration. There will be 5, one-hour talks from Monday through Friday 11AM-12PM. Participants are welcome at individual sessions. No prerequisites. First come first served. Signup here.

How to Carve Your Path in the Biopharmaceutical Industry
Jan/10 Mon 03:00PM–05:00PM

Tamara Reyes-Robles, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Chemical Biology, Exploratory Science, Center, Merck

Nina Leksa, PhD, Distinguished Scientist, Lab Head, Hemophilia and Musculoskeletal Disease Research Center, Sanofi

Amaris Torres Delgado, PhD, Senior Scientist, Process Development, Amgen

Cynthia Barber, PhD, Senior Director, Program Management, Vertex

Amgen, Merck, Vertex and Sanofi are multinational biopharmaceutical companies with 20,000-100,000 employees generating numerous commercially available drugs. In this session, we will chat with scientists working in each of these companies to learn about their company culture, structure, and different career paths. Join us for an engaging discussion on what it takes to succeed in biopharma and learn about the challenges and benefits of working in such well established companies.

Session organizer: Fiona Aguilar

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/94822544788

Password: MITBiology

How to Navigate the Biotech Startup Network
Jan/28 Fri 03:00PM–05:00PM

Ohad Yosefson, PhD, Associate Director of Protein Sciences, Repertoire Immune Medicines

Nathan Young, PhD, Associate Director of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Ikena Oncology

Megan Warner, PhD, Senior Scientist, Protein Sciences, CRISPR Therapeutics

The Boston biotech sector is booming with scientific innovation, investments, and company creation. In this session, we will chat with scientists from three different biotech companies to learn how to navigate a career in a constantly evolving company while managing expectations and responsibilities. Learn about their previous experiences and job roles and inquire about their thoughts on the biotech landscape.

Repertoire Immune Medicines is a series B funded Flagship Pioneering company seeking to rationally engineer T cell receptor (TCR)-antigen interactions. Ikena Oncology is a public company focusing on genetically defined or biomarker-driven cancer targets. CRISPR Therapeutics is a public gene editing company developing treatments for hemoglobinopathies, cancer, and diabetes. All three are clinical-stage companies at the frontline of innovation.

Session organizer: Fiona Aguilar

Tentative: hybrid mode 68-181

Otherwise, Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/95349775648

Password: MITBiology

Jan/20 Thu 03:30PM–05:30PM

The En-ROADS Climate Workshop helps build support for strategies to address climate change via interactive testing of the cutting-edge simulation model En-ROADS. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.

The workshop has been run for the U.S. Congress, Stattnet in Norway, a community group in Atlanta, the Energy Transition Forum in London, HSBC bank, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the UN Secretary-General’s Office, and many others. Participants at GreenBiz 2020 rated it the best session of the conference.

Due to increases in Covid rates, this event will now be on Zoom.  

Please sign up for the workshop in the form below and include your email so that we can send you a Zoom link:


IAP - Introduction to Total Scattering
Jan/27 Thu 10:00AM–12:00PM

Total scattering or pair distribution function analysis (PDF) is an analytical technique that provides structural information from disordered materials by using the complete powder XRD pattern (Bragg scattering from long-range order and diffuse scattering from local structure).  Typical materials can be amorphous, poorly crystalline, nano-crystalline or nano-structured. Examples of samples are:

Pharmaceutical ingredients

The Materials Research Laboratory has recently acquired a Mo X-ray source Panalytical Empyrean X-ray diffratometer capable of performing X-ray total scattering measurements. The new Empyrean has a 3kW Mo X-ray source with focusing optic, transmission capillary spinner stage with alignment camera, and Galipix 3D CdTe area detector (100% efficient for Mo radiation) that is optimized for rapid PDF measurements.

If you're interested in learning advanced X-ray scattering technqiues to get the most structural information from your non-ideal material system, feel free to attend the in-person session!

IAP Course - nanoStories: Workshop on science communication at the nanoscale
Jan/04 Tue 02:30PM
Jan/06 Thu 02:30PM
Jan/11 Tue 02:30PM
Jan/13 Thu 02:30PM
Jan/18 Tue 02:30PM
Jan/20 Thu 02:30PM

Designed for students with an interest in science communication and STEAM outreach. Guided by instructors, in each two-hour class students will explore a new topic, jointly developing an instructional narrative to be told in text, video, and/or interactive multimedia. Outside of MIT labs, nanoscience and nanotechnology appear mysterious. Help us demystify them! The content of the classes will reflect research/exploratory interests of participants.

Instructors: Prof. Vladimir Bulovic, Director of MIT.nano; Dr. Annie Wang, Research Scientist; and Samantha Farrell, Administrative Assistant; and special guest speakers from MIT.nano, the MIT News Office, PBS Nova and TedX Boston. 

Tuesday & Thursday starting January 4 and ending January 20 (Jan. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20).

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Register for this course.

Registration deadline: January 3, 2022. Open to MIT community, limited to 60 participants. To receive course credit (optional), register for 6.S090 (U, 6-units).


IAP Course- Hands-on Fabrication on Zoom
Jan/24 Mon 04:00PM

Learn about micro-fabrication techniques, and join us via Zoom for a live fabrication demo inside the MIT.nano cleanrooms! Learn about thin-film deposition, lithography, and etching processes at the micro- and nano-scale—and how to combine these techniques to build a semiconductor device (such as you might find in your computers or phones). For our demo, we’ll start by taking a screenshot in Zoom and then use the MIT.nano tools to turn it into a diffraction grating on a silicon wafer! At the end of the session, we’ll place the wafer inside the window of the fab, so you can come by and see it (safely from outside the building), whenever you’re back on campus!

Instructor: Jorg Scholvin, Assistant Director of User Services, Fab.nano

Monday, January 24, 2021
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST

Register for this course

No enrollment limit, and open to all members of the MIT community.
Interested undergraduates can also check out the 6.152J lab for a hands-on lab using MIT.nano this spring (you’ll be the one actually using the equipment in the lab—to design, build and test your own device ideas). Read about the Fall 2019 course at MIT News.

IAP Course: A practical introduction to biomechanics
Jan/25 Tue 10:00AM

Most of us learn to breathe and walk and move at a time that we can’t recall much from and use these skills throughout our lives without really knowing how exactly they work, and how to improve them. Several scientists and artists have spent their lives deciphering how these processes work. Their insights can help you perfect your craft if you are an athlete, martial artist, performance artist, or even interested in improving your health and well-being.

In this course, you will see how motion capture and physiological recordings can be applied to understand more deeply how our body achieves tasks that seem intuitive and easy to us, and how these tools can be used in research, education, and athletic and artistic improvement.

Hosted by the MIT.nano Immersion Lab
Instructor: Dr. Praneeth Namburi, Postdoctoral Associate

January 25, 2022
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

This will be a 1-day virtual course on Tuesday, Jan 25 from 10am to 12pm. (Please note the change from the original listing.)

Register for this course.

This course is sponsored by the MIT.nano Immersion Lab, which provides space, tools, and a platform to connect scientists and engineers with artists, musicians, and performers through creative projects that bridge multiple disciplines. It also showcases the capabilities of the MIT Clinical Research Center, which supports human research and medical innovation.

Registration deadline: January 21, 2022. 

IAP Course: Introduction to Blender: Modeling, materials, and simulations
Jan/19 Wed 12:00AM

Introduction to Blender: Modeling, materials, and simulations is an introductory class that provides a basic overview of the Blender software. During this two-hour session, we will introduce 3D modeling, materials, and simulations in Blender and help you kickstart your own 3D creations. This session is designed to give you the resources and skills to create your own 3D models that can be applied to game design, architecture, simulations, animations, and more. (beginners)

Hosted by the MIT.nano Immersion Lab
Instructor: Talis Reks, AR/VR/Gaming/Big Data IT Technologist

January 19, 2022
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Register for this course.

Registration deadline: January 8, 2022

IAP Workshop: Crafting your Thesis Proposal
Jan/11 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/18 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM

Your Ph.D. thesis proposal is likely your first foray into writing a research or grant proposal.  Different from a research paper or report, it represents an (open-ended) plan of work you hope to do rather than work that you have done.  The thesis proposal process represents an opportunity to critically review the literature and collaborate with your faculty advisor on a proposed project. However, there is no class to teach you how to refine a general idea into a critically thought out plan.  Regardless of the amount of support you receive from your faculty advisor, you can still find the process daunting or intimidating.  Will it be too ambitious? Will it be enough to satisfy a committee?  How do I know it will work?


This workshop will provide you with structure and insight into the nebulous art of writing a thesis proposal.  Designed to help you refine your general idea into a 1-page summary, the workshop uses a combination of instruction and partner/small group discussions.  The collaborative environment will enable you to refine your ideas and strategize navigating the iterative process of thesis proposal writing. 


By the end of the course, you will:

  • Understand what components come together to form a thesis proposal
  • Learn a powerful collaborative brainstorming technique for partner and group discussions
  • Strategize how to solicit feedback on your proposal
  • Create a 1-page summary statement of your thesis proposal
  • Form useful and meaningful connections with peers at a similar stage in their academic journey


Offered by MechE Grad Student Coaching (MEGSC)


Dr. Kelli Hendrickson, Program Lead Coach


All MEGSC programs abide by the four core guidelines of Confidentiality, Presence, Authenticity and Respect. This provides you the space to openly reflect on any challenges you face in refining your proposal ideas while adding structure and strategies to getting your proposal crafted.



Signup Link:


IAP: Planning for Small Cities
Jan/10 Mon 12:30PM–03:00PM
Jan/11 Tue 08:00AM–03:00PM
Jan/24 Mon 12:30PM–03:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 08:00AM–03:00PM

NOTE: THE SITE VISITS WILL BE HELD IN THE SPRING ON DATES TBD. The meetings with municipal officials will be held as scheduled.

The growth of large metropolitan areas, unforeseen 50 years ago, is a major success story. However, that growth has had impacts on quality of life in these large areas. Issues of affordability, lack of sufficient transit and bicycle networks, and physical disparities between where jobs are being created and where workers live, all create challenges for cities like Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

This session will look at an emerging trend in urban development – the rise of the Small City. More than previous generations, Millennials are choosing to locate in these second- and third-tier cities as a way of balancing quality of life, employment opportunities, and the benefits of city amenities. These Small Cities – from larger ones such as Grand Rapids, MI, to smaller ones such as Portsmouth, NH – are faced with new planning opportunities and challenges as a result. How to make sure current residents can stay when new residents inevitably drive up the cost of housing and create competition for employment? What about social services and the opportunity faced by New Americans, who are also relocating to Small Cities? The pandemic and increases in working “wherever” appear to be driving this trend even more quickly.

We will meet virtually with officials and stakeholders from two sample communities – Salem, MA and Portland, ME – on two different weeks. In the Spring (date TBD) we will follow up with a walking site visit of each city to learn about how planning efforts have contributed to their evolution from failing 20th century cities to thriving 21st century destinations – and what challenges remain as these cities become more attractive places to live and visit.


Jeff Levine, Lecturer

Enrollment: Limited to 10: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/03

This class will consist of four sessions:

1/10 (12:30 to 3 pm.) – Salem virtual discussions with stakeholders

TBD (approximately 8 am. to 3 pm.) – Salem site visit

1/24 (12:30 to 3 pm.) – Portland (ME) virtual discussions with stakeholders

TBD (approximately 8 am. to 5 pm.) – Portland site visit”


Advance sign up required: https://forms.gle/iZzEUERKxqnFLSr3A

Sponsor(s): Urban Studies and Planning
Contact: Jeff Levine, jrlevine@mit.edu

Impact of AI in Drug Discovery
Jan/12 Wed 01:30PM–03:00PM

Dr. Pat Walters, Senior VP of Computation, Relay Therapeutics

Dr. Gevorg Grigoryan, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Generate Biomedicines

Dr. Eric Ma, Principal Data Scientist, Moderna

The impact of artificial intelligence in drug discovery is becoming more apparent as more and more biopharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in it as well as news of its significant roles in new drugs abound. The flexibility of AI has made it applicable in all areas of pharmaceutical research including small molecules, protein and RNA-based therapeutics. This session will explore this impact with three of the fastest growing biotech companies that are pushing the boundaries of AI in Biology. Our speakers are leading scientific leaders from Relay Therapeutics—a leading company in AI-based small molecule drug design, Generate Biomedicines—a company invested in using AI to design protein-based drugs, and Moderna—a nearly household name that has been at the forefront of revolutionizing vaccine research with the help of AI.

Join us for a session where we learn how these three industry leaders are integrating AI and biology for faster and more effective drug discovery. They will each give a 15-minute talk about their specific research areas and the talks will be followed by an engaging panel discussion. Come learn about how you can position yourself to be part of the AI revolution!

Session organizer: Israel Desta

Wednesday, January 12th, 1:30–3:00 PM, 68-181

Hybrid for attendants, speakers are in-person

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/98600056532

Password: MITBiology

Introduction to Defense Contracts
Jan/11 Tue 02:00PM–04:00PM

The Department of Defense is the largest customer in the world, spending approximately $500 billion in contracts every year.  It is also one of the most complex with unique laws, regulations, and policies that can be daunting for companies to navigate.  Learn what the Department of Defense needs, the legal framework in which the military buys technology and services, and important considerations for businesses.  If you are designing your startup's business model, looking to expand your market, curious about government contracts, or fascinated about how a toilet seat can cost $10,000, this class is for you.

This class is offered twice. Please sign up for only one session.

Email abowne@mit.edu to register

To attend go to: https://mit.zoom.us/j/7817098838

Introduction to Defense Contracts
Jan/14 Fri 02:00PM–04:30PM

The Department of Defense is the largest customer in the world, spending approximately $500 billion in contracts every year.  It is also one of the most complex with unique laws, regulations, and policies that can be daunting for companies to navigate.  Learn what the Department of Defense needs, the legal framework in which the military buys technology and services, and important considerations for businesses.  If you are designing your startup's business model, looking to expand your market, curious about government contracts, or fascinated about how a toilet seat can cost $10,000, this class is for you.

This class is offered twice. Please sign up for only one session.

Email abowne@mit.edu to register

To attend go to: https://mit.zoom.us/j/7817098838

Introduction to Metalcasting
Jan/03 Mon 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/04 Tue 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/05 Wed 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/06 Thu 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/07 Fri 09:00AM–11:00AM
Jan/10 Mon 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/11 Tue 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/12 Wed 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/14 Fri 01:00PM–03:00PM
Jan/24 Mon 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/28 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM

Offered by Shaymus Hudson. Students in this class will learn the techniques necessary for lost wax coating of metals. They will first make models of the items to be cast – either by sculpting wax into the desired shape, or by casting wax into a rubber mold of an existing object. They will then build ceramic shells around the models, burn out the wax, and cast molten bronze into the resulting mold. If time permits, the basics of sand casting will also be covered. Class length is 2 hours every day for five days and will be offered three times over IAP. Three sessions conducted over the length of IAP, of two hours each day over one work week (five days). No prerequisites. Advanced signup required; signup deadline Dec. 31, 2021.

Introduction to Microfluidics and Lab on a Chip: Basic Theory, Design, Simulation, and Applications
Jan/27 Thu 09:30AM–12:00PM

This workshop will review the background and fundamental aspects of microfluidics, design and fabrication methods to develop microfluidic devices, simulation of microfluidic systems, and a wide range of applications of microfluidics in different fields of study.

Registration priority given to MIT First Years.

If interested, please send an email to msalek@mit.edu to register.

Sponsor(s): NEET (New Engineering Education Transformation) Program

Introduction to Welding
Jan/03 Mon 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/04 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/05 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/06 Thu 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/07 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/10 Mon 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/11 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/12 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/14 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/24 Mon 09:30AM–11:30AM
Jan/25 Tue 09:30AM–11:30AM
Jan/26 Wed 09:30AM–11:30AM
Jan/27 Thu 09:30AM–11:30AM
Jan/28 Fri 09:30AM–11:30AM

Offered by Christopher Di Perna
Students will learn basic welding techniques including: oxy acetylene welding, MIG welding, and TIG welding. Students are required to attend all sessions. Please do not sign up for this activity if you cannot attend all sessions. Safety equipment will be provided. However, please do not wear synthetic clothing of any kind, including shoes. No advanced signup; first come first served. No signup deadline.

Launch into IAP with MIT.nano
Jan/03 Mon 08:00AM

Join MIT.nano IAP instructors to learn about MIT.nano's offerings during IAP. Ask questions about the classes and workshops, meet MIT.nano staff and fellow MIT community members, and find out what exciting things MIT.nano will offer in-person and virtually during IAP 2022.

This info session will take place virtually and no pre-registration is required.

Visit the MIT.nano 2022 IAP courses website for the zoom link!


Leading the Energy Transition - IAP non-credit course
Jan/05 Wed 04:00PM–06:00PM
Jan/12 Wed 04:00PM–06:00PM
Jan/19 Wed 04:00PM–06:00PM
Jan/26 Wed 04:00PM–06:00PM

Leading change is never easy but the goal of global decarbonization requires a different approach than the traditional approaches.  Although technical innovations are necessary, they are not sufficient to bring about the global energy transition.  

In the 2022 version of this mini course, we have invited some energy transition leaders from academia/education, industry, government and utilities to inspire us and share their latest strategies in accelerating the energy transition. 

Guest speakers will include:

  • Professor Chris Knittel, Deputy Director, MIT Energy Initiative
  • Professor John Deutch, emeritus Institute Professor in the Chemistry Department
  • Joanna Troy, J.D., Director, Energy Policy and Planning at Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Dr. Robert Ethier, Vice President, System Planning, ISO New England
  • Dr. Lene Hviid, Global Key Accounts Manager, Shell Energy
  • Dr. Emre Gencer, Research Scientist, leader of the Sustainable Energy System Analysis Modelling Environment (SESAME), MIT Energy Initiative
  • Dr. Howard Gruenspecht, Senior Energy Economist at MIT Energy Initiative, with many years of experience at IEA, DOE and the White House

The class will meet Wednesdays, 4-6 pm on January 5, 12, 19 and 26. 

To register for the class, please fill out the survey:


MIT D-Lab Build Your Own Bicycle (EC.S02)
Jan/04 Tue 02:00PM–05:00PM

Manufacture a steel single speed bicycle frame, install parts, and ride it. Students will meet with D-Lab instructors for a required meeting in December to choose geometry. MIG welding training is a prerequisite and will not be taught as part of this course. One complete set of components needed to make the bike rideable will be provided.

For credit, 2 units.  Five undergrad students only.

Interested students will need to be available for December meeting with instructor. Contact Jack Whipple (whipple@) directly to confirm prereq and confirm December meeting date.  Twenty additional hours to be scheduled with Instructor in shared lab space.

Math Integration Bee
Jan/20 Thu 06:00PM

You are cordially invited to the 41st Annual MIT Integration Bee. Watch our top students compete for the chance to win prizes and the prestigious title of Grand Integrator! This tournament to end all tournaments will be held on Thursday, January 20th at 6:00pm in room 32-123. Come watch brilliant minds at work and invite your friends to behold the thrilling finale!  Witness your classmates show off their mad integrating skills at the only Integration Bee of 2022. Bring your friends!

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/10 Mon 01:00PM–02:30PM

The Study of Wave Interactions: Where Beautiful Mathematical Ideas Come Together

Abstract: Phenomena involving interactions of waves happen at different scales and in different media: from gravitational waves to the waves on the surface of the ocean, from our milk and coffee in the morning to infinitesimal particles that behave like wave packets in quantum physics. These phenomena are difficult to study in a rigorous mathematical manner, but maybe because of this challenge mathematicians have developed interdisciplinary approaches that are powerful and beautiful. I will describe some of these approaches and show for example how the need to understand certain multilinear and periodic interactions gave also the tools to prove a famous conjecture in number theory, or how classical tools in probability gave the right framework to still have viable theories behind certain deterministic counterexamples.

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/12 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

What is a random surface?

These constructions have deep roots in mathematics, drawing from classical graph theory (Tutte, Mullin), complex analysis (Gauss, Liouville, Riemann, Loewner), representation theory (Lie, Virasoro, Verma, Kac) and many areas of physics (string theory, Coulomb gas theory, quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, discrete quantum gravity).

We present here an informal, colloquium-level overview of the subject. We aim to answer, as cleanly as possible, the fundamental question. What is a random surface?

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/14 Fri 01:00PM–02:30PM

Minimal Mathematical Models of Living Matter

Recent advances in the live-imaging of multicellular systems pose a wide range of interesting mathematical problems, from the compression of video microscopy data to the modeling of gene expression, tissue dynamics and growth during embryonic development. After a brief review of recent experiments, we will introduce and analyze minimal ODE, SDE and PDE models to describe individual and collective cell behaviors.

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/19 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

Factoring Huge Integers

You learned many years ago that any integer N can be factored uniquely into primes.  But the algorithm taught in elementary school -- iterate through primes and check whether N is divisible by each one -- quickly becomes impractical when N gets large.  Computational number theorists have devised faster methods over the last several decades that make it possible to factor larger integers on a computer, but the problem is still very difficult: the 260 digit RSA-challenge factorization has stood for 30 years.  I will give a broad overview of the methods in use today, together with a more detailed description of three: the Miller-Rabin primality test, the quadratic sieve factoring algorithm and the elliptic curve factorization method.

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/21 Fri 01:00PM–02:30PM

The Odd-Town Theorem

We will discuss the so-called "Odd-Town Theorem", a theorem in extremal combinatorics (or, more specifically, in extremal set theory). Perhaps surprisingly, the proof of this combinatorics theorem relies on linear algebra over the finite field F_2. We will introduce F_2 in the lecture, and discuss the relevant concepts from linear algebra. Using these linear algebra concepts, we will then prove the "Odd-Town Theorem".

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/24 Mon 01:00PM–02:30PM

Fluidic Shaping of Optical Components

Fabrication of optical components, such as lenses and mirrors, has not changed considerably in the past 300 years, and it relies on mechanical processing such as grinding, machining, and polishing. These fabrication processes are complex and require specialized equipment that prohibits rapid prototyping of optics, and puts a very high price tag on large lenses and freeform designs.

In this talk I will present a novel approach that leverages the basic physics of interfacial phenomena for rapidly fabricating a variety of lenses and freeform optical components without the need for any mechanical processing. We will see how such components can be obtained in liquid form, by minimizing the free energy functional of the system, allowing to design various freeform optical topographies.

Lastly, I will discuss our collaboration with NASA on the use of this technology of in-space fabrication of optics and for the creation of large space telescopes that overcomes launch constraints. 

Mathematics Lecture Series
Jan/26 Wed 01:00PM–02:30PM

Surface Tension

 Surface tension is a property of fluid interfaces that leads to myriad subtle and striking effects in nature and technology. We describe a number of surface-tension-dominated systems and how to rationalize their behavior via mathematical modeling. Particular  attention is given to the role of surface tension in biological systems and in hydrodynamic  quantum analogs.

Music Recital
Jan/27 Thu 03:00PM–05:00PM

The MIT math department music recital will be returning once again this IAP, taking place in Killian Hall on 1/27/2022 from 3pm-5pm. The recital is a yearly tradition where we gather to listen to music performed by the talented members of the math department. Classical (Indian and western), jazz, video game, Latin-American, and Scandinavian folk music, as well as original compositions have all previously been featured.

Origami Flying Turtle Workshop
Jan/19 Wed 05:30PM–07:30PM

Want to get back into or level up your origami? Really love turtles perhaps? Sign up for a 5-day origami workshop and learn to fold a flying turtle!

As per origami conventions, this turtle is folded entirely from a single uncut square. To teach the model however, we will be practicing on separate sheets for each feature of the turtle.

Each day will focus on a different part of the model and introduce new origami concepts. You will be introduced to crease patterns and how to solve them, basic box pleating theory, and transitions. This model is complex, but there will be a lot of guidance: demonstrations, procedural diagrams, 3D folding simulations, a crease pattern reference sheet etc. The final sheet for the model will also be provided pre-creased for you on a vinyl cutter.

REGISTER HERE: https://forms.gle/mru5R5sVN8MhDQra7

Limited to 10

Date: Jan 19, Jan 20, and Jan 21, Jan 24, Jan 25, Jan 26 (optional) from 5:30-7:30PM

Location: 4-402 (except Tuesday: 4-409)


Postponed, new date TBD -- New Positions, New Perspectives
Jan/13 Thu 03:00PM–05:00PM

Professors Olivia Corradin, Yadira Soto-Feliciano, Sinisa Hrvatin, Kristin Knouse, Hernandez Moura Silva, Sara Prescott, Francisco J. Sánchez-Rivera, Alison Ringel, and Harikesh Wong

New faculty members joining the Biology Department this year bring with them fresh perspectives on their scientific journeys, strategies for pursuing an academic career, and visions for the scientific community. Join us for a discussion of their bold ideas and followed by a facilitated reception to get to know them individually.

Session organizers: Eliezer Calo, Aditi Shukla, Alice Herneisen

Thursday, January 13th, 3:00–5:00 PM, 68-180/181

Jan/06 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM

Suppose we are trapped in a cell with a cellmate who constantly draws our attention to the many terrible images on the cell walls. While we may try to replace those images, we also need to deal with the cellmate effectively.


Similarly, our mind often highlights our negative memories in our inner world. While we may try to replace those memories, we also need to deal with the mind effectively to maintain our positivity or even our sanity.

Join us to know the techniques from ancient Vedic wisdom to make your inner world bright and right so that you make the best choices in your outer world for gaining worthwhile achievement materially and eternal fulfillment spiritually.


The workshop series will be a guided process of reflection and discovery to capture and transfigure your unique story. 

To apply, click here

Please submit your application by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 31st, 2022

Science and Society Seminars: A Field Guide to Values in Science for Biologists
Jan/13 Thu 01:30PM

Hosted by Biology DEI Officer Hallie Dowling-Huppert and the Graduate Committee.

Security Studies Program - IAP: Contemporary Military Topics: "Navy/USMC Overview: The Surface Navy-path and roles of Surface Warfare and USMC Force Design 2030 and Concept for Stand-in Forces"
Jan/20 Thu 01:30PM–03:00PM

 The USMC focus will be on "Force Design 2030 and the USMC Concept for Stand-in Forces."  This will highlight our (USMC) force structure/force design changes inline with the Joint Warfighting Concept and how the USMC will facilitate the role of Stand-in Forces in the Pacific theater of operation.

Security Studies Program - IAP: Contemporary Military Topics: Strategic Reality & Tactical Mirages: Special Operations & The Iranian Hostage Rescue, 1979-1980
Jan/18 Tue 12:00PM–01:30PM

The Iranian hostage rescue attempt––dubbed Operation Eagle Claw––is an often-cited but less understood mission that contributed to the creation of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in 1987. Using Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow’s Models of decision making from their work Essence of Decision, the thesis explores alternative explanations on why the rescue mission failed using the Organizational Behavior and Government Politics Models of decision making. After further scrutiny, the Government Politics Model reveals an asymmetric need for OPSEC by President Carter’s National Security Advisor. The desire for secrecy resulted in organizational imperatives by the military that ultimately limited preparation for the audacious mission. As SOF continues to provide presidential administrations options in opaque political environments, like Eagle Claw, senior leaders––both soldier and statesman––must recognize the tension between the growth of SOF quantity to meet increasing strategic demand and the attrition of SOF quality by organizational imperatives. The management of this dilemma will characterize the future of SOF.  During this talk, I will share several critical elements of my career that led to my interest in the thesis and some operational vignettes from my time in Command of SOF aviation Combat Units

Security Studies Program - IAP: Contemporary Military Topics: “The Future of Army Space "
Jan/12 Wed 12:00PM–01:30PM

“The Future of Army Space "

With the Space Force establishment in 2019, what are the impacts on the Army Space Program and its future?

Staying at the Bench: Non-PI Careers that Keep You Doing the Work You Love
Jan/04 Tue 12:30PM–02:00PM

Boryana (Bory) Petrova, PhD, Instructor,Harvard Medical School

Stuart Levine, PhD, Director,BioMicro Center, MIT

Christina Steadman, PhD, Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

What if I want to keep doing science? Many post-PhD careers take trained scientists away from the bench, but that need not be the case. Hear about the perspectives and trajectories of three “staff scientists”—some of whom conducted postdoctoral research at MIT—and how their work overlaps and diverges from that of a PI at an academic institution.

Session organizers: Dylan McCormick and Alice Herneisen

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96695361761

Password: MITBiology

Staying at the Bench: Non-PI Careers that Keep You Doing the Work You Love
Jan/14 Fri 12:30PM–02:00PM

Boryana (Bory) Petrova, PhD, Instructor,Harvard Medical School

Stuart Levine, PhD, Director,BioMicro Center, MIT

Christina Steadman, PhD, Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

What if I want to keep doing science? Many post-PhD careers take trained scientists away from the bench, but that need not be the case. Hear about the perspectives and trajectories of three “staff scientists”—some of whom conducted postdoctoral research at MIT—and how their work overlaps and diverges from that of a PI at an academic institution.

Session organizers: Dylan McCormick and Alice Herneisen

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96695361761

Password: MITBiology

Technical Leadership Panel: The Value of Leadership Development During Graduate School
Jan/14 Fri 01:00PM–03:00PM

Do you envision “making the world a better place” after graduating from MIT as an engineer or technical expert? If so, you will need more than technical skills to build the teams and support needed to implement creative solutions to today’s complex problems.

Join other MIT graduate students for this workshop focused on the importance of preparing as a student to lead teams in engineering and technical environments. David Nino, a Senior Lecturer and Senior Program Manager of the MIT Graduate Program in Engineering Leadership, will be moderating a panel to discuss the value of developing leadership skills while completing graduate degrees in technical fields. All panelists are leading practitioners who will share their unique perspectives and experiences on this topic.

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Dr. Leslie Dewan, CEO of RadiantNano and former MIT Corporation Board Member
  • John Strackhouse, Senior Partner at Caldwell Partners
  • Dr. Natalya Bailey, Co-founder and CTO of Accion Systems

This workshop will be held virtually on January 14, 2022, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. The Technical Leadership Panel will be held during the first 90 minutes, and the last 30 minutes of the workshop will review details about how to earn our program’s Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership.  Members of the Dean of Engineering’s Graduate Student Advisory Group will discuss our graduate certificate.

Who Should Join this Event and Why

All MIT graduate students are invited to join. Employers in both academia and industry consistently rank leadership as among their most sought-after skills and this is especially true today. Anyone who is motivated can build leadership skills while also earning MIT graduate degrees. For those interested in learning more about our Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership, see https://gelp.mit.edu/grad-students/graduate-certificate-technical-leadership-interim-requirements


To Register

Sign up here https://mit.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bErWcdlFN8A2sUC by January 12, 2022

Contact: Lisa Stagnone, Senior Program Assistant, 617-253-3251, lstag@mit.edu

Registrants are encouraged to review the backgrounds of our speakers and submit your questions for them in advance of our workshop.  We will send everyone more details on this once students are registered.

Techno-Inquiry Reading Group
Jan/04 Tue 03:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/06 Thu 04:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/11 Tue 03:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 04:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/18 Tue 03:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 04:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 03:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 04:00PM–05:00PM

With this reading group, we aim at slowing down and promote critical reflection over the work we do everyday. We will do this by investigating, together, questions surrounding power dynamics within scientific knowledge, feminist views over politics and matters of situated knowledge, and the ethics animating the construct of technology as we know it. Our goal is to collectively reflect on some of these concepts and ground them in our own practice

You can learn more about the reading group here: https://bit.ly/techno-inquiry

Sign up filling out this incredibly short form: https://forms.gle/UNrXqvfqKxJDP2xr5

Using Your PhD to Combat Climate Change
Jan/26 Wed 02:00PM–03:30PM


Dr. Rachel Fraser, PhD, Impossible Foods, Vice President of Downstream Process Development

Dr. Hélène Berges, PhD, Inari Agriculture, Vice President of Research and Development

The climate crisis has galvanized scientists to pursue bold ideas to both reduce carbon emissions, as well as adapt to a changing environment. Join us for a moderated Q&A to discover how we, as biologists, can leverage the skills that we have acquired to pursue industry research positions that are focused on sustainability. We will be speaking to Dr. Rachel Fraser, the Vice President of Downstream Process Development at Impossible Foods, a company focused on developing plant-based meat substitutes, and Dr. Hélène Berges, Vice President of Research and Development at Inari Agriculture, a company harnessing AI and multiplexed gene editing to produce robust seeds for food production.

Session organizers: Alex Chan and Aditi Shukla

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/98725240323

Password: MITBiology

Winter School 2022
Jan/04 Tue 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/06 Thu 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/11 Tue 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/13 Thu 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/18 Tue 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/20 Thu 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/25 Tue 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/27 Thu 07:00PM–09:00PM

Winter School is a chance to learn how to safely go on winter adventures. We lead a variety of day trips on the weekends for beginners to advanced outdoors people alike. Activities include hiking, ice climbing, cross country skiing, backcountry skiing, and creative combinations thereof. Affordable gear rentals are also available through the MITOC office. 


Educational lectures are in person and will happen Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-9pm. The first two lectures are mandatory for all participants in the Winter School program.

For more information on the Winter School program please see the website: https://mitoc.mit.edu/events/winter-school 


Event partially funded by the GSC Funding Board.