MIT News: Researchers release open-source photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving

MIT News: Researchers release open-source photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving. “…scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created ‘VISTA 2.0,’ a data-driven simulation engine where vehicles can learn to drive in the real world and recover from near-crash scenarios. What’s more, all of the code is being open-sourced to the public.”

MIT News: Technique protects privacy when making online recommendations

MIT News: Technique protects privacy when making online recommendations. “Algorithms recommend products while we shop online or suggest songs we might like as we listen to music on streaming apps. These algorithms work by using personal information like our past purchases and browsing history to generate tailored recommendations. The sensitive nature of such data makes preserving privacy extremely important, but existing methods for solving this problem rely on heavy cryptographic tools requiring enormous amounts of computation and bandwidth. MIT researchers may have a better solution.”

e-flux Announcements: New website and digital archive

e-flux Announcements: New website and digital archive. “The MIT List Visual Arts Center is thrilled to unveil a refreshed brand identity and a new website housing a robust digital archive with materials dating back to our opening in 1985 and designed with the best practices in web accessibility for the visual arts. This priority is best exemplified by the addition of our Exhibiting Artist Index where you can browse over 800 artists the List Center has presented since its founding in 1985.”

MIT News: Estimating the informativeness of data

MIT News: Estimating the informativeness of data. “Not all data are created equal. But how much information is any piece of data likely to contain? This question is central to medical testing, designing scientific experiments, and even to everyday human learning and thinking. MIT researchers have developed a new way to solve this problem, opening up new applications in medicine, scientific discovery, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.”

MIT News: A tool for predicting the future

MIT News: A tool for predicting the future . “Making predictions using time-series data typically requires several data-processing steps and the use of complex machine-learning algorithms, which have such a steep learning curve they aren’t readily accessible to nonexperts. To make these powerful tools more user-friendly, MIT researchers developed a system that directly integrates prediction functionality on top of an existing time-series database. Their simplified interface, which they call tspDB (time series predict database), does all the complex modeling behind the scenes so a nonexpert can easily generate a prediction in only a few seconds.”

MIT News: Immersive video game explores the history of women at MIT

MIT News: Immersive video game explores the history of women at MIT. “A new video game, ‘A Lab of One’s Own,’ creates an immersive environment in which players discover archival materials that tell the stories of women from MIT’s history. Created by multimedia artists Mariana Roa Oliva and Maya Bjornson with collections from MIT Libraries’ Women@MIT archival initiative, the project aims to create a multi-sensory, choose-your-own-adventure-style experience that challenges the idea that the past is behind us.”

MIT News: MIT Libraries digitizes materials from Mary Rowe

MIT News: MIT Libraries digitizes materials from Mary Rowe. “Mary Rowe, former MIT ombudsperson, has donated professional papers to the MIT Libraries’ department of Distinctive Collections as part of the Women@MIT archival initiative, which highlights the contributions of women at the Institute by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible their personal archives. Rowe is a conflict management specialist whose work contributed to MIT having one of the world’s first anti-harassment policies and one of the first organizational ombuds offices. Important portions of her collection have now been digitized by the libraries, making the history of Rowe’s groundbreaking work more accessible.”

MIT News: MIT Press announces Grant Program for Diverse Voices

MIT News: MIT Press announces Grant Program for Diverse Voices. “The MIT Press welcomes applications from new or returning authors from diverse backgrounds. Candidates who have significant personal experience or engagement with communities that are underrepresented in scholarly publishing are strongly encouraged to apply. Grants may support a variety of needs, including research travel, copyright permission fees, parental/family care, developmental editing, and any other costs associated with the research and writing process. Grantees agree to give MITP the right of first refusal on book projects.”

MIT News: How quickly do algorithms improve?

MIT News: How quickly do algorithms improve?. “In total, the team looked at 113 ‘algorithm families,’ sets of algorithms solving the same problem that had been highlighted as most important by computer science textbooks. For each of the 113, the team reconstructed its history, tracking each time a new algorithm was proposed for the problem and making special note of those that were more efficient. Ranging in performance and separated by decades, starting from the 1940s to now, the team found an average of eight algorithms per family, of which a couple improved its efficiency. To share this assembled database of knowledge, the team also created Algorithm-Wiki.org.”

MIT News: A universal system for decoding any type of data sent across a network

MIT News: A universal system for decoding any type of data sent across a network. “Researchers at MIT, Boston University, and Maynooth University in Ireland have now created the first silicon chip that is able to decode any code, regardless of its structure, with maximum accuracy, using a universal decoding algorithm called Guessing Random Additive Noise Decoding (GRAND). By eliminating the need for multiple, computationally complex decoders, GRAND enables increased efficiency that could have applications in augmented and virtual reality, gaming, 5G networks, and connected devices that rely on processing a high volume of data with minimal delay.”

MIT News: Transformative truth-telling at the MIT Open Documentary Lab

I had heard of this but I had no idea it was so extensive. MIT News: Transformative truth-telling at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. “When he was convicted, his twin children were 45 days old. Now, they’re 21. This father’s voice is one of dozens collected in the ongoing documentary project ‘A Father’s Lullaby’ by current MIT Open Documentary Lab Fellow Rashin Fahandej. It comprises a compilation of recorded lullabies and oral histories from incarcerated fathers separated from their young children…. This inventive and moving inventory of lost lullabies is one of many examples of the boundary-pushing creative works that are found in the MIT Open Documentary Lab (ODL) archive — a deep archive known as the Docubase.”

Fast Company: MIT built a Google search to spot the most important tech innovations of the future

Fast Company: MIT built a Google search to spot the most important tech innovations of the future . “Is there any way to predict the improvements coming to other technologies, ranging from displays, to electric motors, to farming equipment? Now there is, thanks to researchers at MIT. They’ve built the equivalent of a Google search for innovation. Using their online search engine, you can type in one of 1,757 different technologies, and get one sharp number, which is its expected rate of improvement each year.”

Letter from President Reif: A new future for edX (MIT News)

MIT News: Letter from President Reif: A new future for edX. “After a thorough and thoughtful process, and with the support of the senior leadership of MIT and Harvard, the edX board has agreed to sell the assets of edX to 2U, Inc., a publicly traded company that provides a platform for lifelong learning. Through this acquisition, edX will become a 2U subsidiary as a ‘public benefit company,’ which will allow edX’s long-standing commitment to the public good to be embedded in its new charter.”