Content By MIT News

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News


In March 2011, Leonardo Bonanni was preparing to defend his Ph.D. thesis about Sourcemap, software that lets consumers map every connection of a product supply chain on a digital map, when tragedy struck in Japan. Although the deadly earthquake and tsunami occurred half a world away, the events had an unexpected affect on Bonanni and Sourcemap.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

(MIT News: Cambridge, MA) -- Today’s 3D printers, in which devices rather like inkjet-printer nozzles deposit materials in layers to build up physical objects, are a great tool for designers building prototypes or small companies with limited product runs.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News


In the age of big data, visualization tools are vital. With a single glance at a graphic display, a human can recognize patterns that a computer might fail to find even after hours of analysis.

But what if there are aberrations in the patterns? Or what if there’s just a suggestion of a visual pattern that’s not distinct enough to justify any strong inferences? Or what if the pattern is clear, but not what was expected?

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Materials that are firmly bonded together with epoxy and other tough adhesives are ubiquitous in modern life—from crowns on teeth to modern composites used in construction. Yet it has proved remarkably difficult to study how these bonds fracture and fail, and how to make them more resistant to such failures.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Diode lasers—used in laser pointers, barcode scanners, DVD players, and other low-power applications—are perhaps the most efficient, compact, and low-cost lasers available. Attempts have been made over the years to amplify the brightness of these valuable lasers for industrial applications, such as welding and cutting metal. But boosting power usually means decreasing beam quality, or focus. And the beam never gets intense enough to melt metal.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

From the increasing information transmitted through telecommunications systems to that analyzed by financial institutions or gathered by search engines and social networks, so-called “big data” is becoming a huge feature of modern life.

But to analyze all of this incoming data, we need to be able to separate the important information from the surrounding noise. This requires the use of increasingly sophisticated techniques.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Classically, negotiations are thought to be about playing one’s hand well at the bargaining table: The right combination of resolve, nerve, and polish can get you what you want.

But a new book from an MIT professor brings a different message: It’s what happens both before and after parties meet at the bargaining table that makes a negotiation successful.

“It’s not just about a person being smart or tough,” says Lawrence Susskind, a leading expert on negotiating practices.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Plastic is becoming a major problem worldwide: In 2012, the United States alone produced roughly 32 million tons of plastic waste, while recycling only about 9 percent of its plastic, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Designer and architect Skylar Tibbits was constructing a massive museum installation with thousands of pieces when he had an epiphany. “Imagine yourself facing months on end assembling this thing, thinking there’s got to be a better way,” he says. “With all this information that was used to design the structure and communicate with fabrication machines, there’s got to be a way these parts can build themselves.” And there is.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

According to a 2013 United Nations report 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods. These illicit products—which include electronics, automotive and aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, and food—can pose safety risks and cost governments and private companies hundreds of billions of dollars annually.