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Six with ties to MIT honored as 2022 ACM Fellows

On Jan. 18, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced its 2022 fellows, those it recognizes “for significant contributions in areas including cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, mobile computing, and recommender systems among many other areas.” Included in the crop of new fellows were six distinguished scientists with ties to MIT....

Making computer science research more accessible in India

Imagine that you are teaching a technical subject to children in a small village. They are eager to learn, but you face a problem: There are few resources to educate them in their mother tongue. This is a common experience in India, where the quality of textbooks written in many local languages pales in comparison to those written in English. To...

Putting clear bounds on uncertainty

In science and technology, there has been a long and steady drive toward improving the accuracy of measurements of all kinds, along with parallel efforts to enhance the resolution of images. An accompanying goal is to reduce the uncertainty in the estimates that can be made, and the inferences drawn, from the data (visual or otherwise) that have been...

MIT researchers develop an AI model that can detect future lung cancer risk

The name Sybil has its origins in the oracles of Ancient Greece, also known as sibyls: feminine figures who were relied upon to relay divine knowledge of the unseen and the omnipotent past, present, and future. Now, the name has been excavated from antiquity and bestowed on an artificial intelligence tool for lung cancer risk assessment being developed...

Unpacking the “black box” to build better AI models

When deep learning models are deployed in the real world, perhaps to detect financial fraud from credit card activity or identify cancer in medical images, they are often able to outperform humans. But what exactly are these deep learning models learning? Does a model trained to spot skin cancer in clinical images, for example, actually learn...

Simulating discrimination in virtual reality

Have you ever been advised to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?” Considering another person’s perspective can be a challenging endeavor — but recognizing our errors and biases is key to building understanding across communities. By challenging our preconceptions, we confront prejudice, such as racism and xenophobia, and potentially develop a more...

This is your brain. This is your brain on code

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures changes in blood flow throughout the brain, has been used over the past couple of decades for a variety of applications, including “functional anatomy” — a way of determining which brain areas are switched on when a person carries out a particular task. fMRI has been used to look at people’s...

MIT community members win 2023 IEEE medals and awards

The IEEE recently announced the annual winners of their 2023 prestigious medals and technical awards, and a number of MIT faculty and alumni have been honored. Rodney Brooks, Panasonic Professor of Robotics Emeritus of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was awarded the IEEE Founders Medal “for leadership in research and...

Subtle biases in AI can influence emergency decisions

It’s no secret that people harbor biases — some unconscious, perhaps, and others painfully overt. The average person might suppose that computers — machines typically made of plastic, steel, glass, silicon, and various metals — are free of prejudice. While that assumption may hold for computer hardware, the same is not always true for computer software,...

School of Engineering unveils MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence

In July 2022, the MIT School of Engineering welcomed its first class of scholars selected for the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence. The idea for the fellowship grew from conversations taking place within the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee — established in 2020 — that identified a need to diversify...

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