People Should Find A Safe Storm Shelter During Thunderstorm

Storm Shelters in OKC

Tuesday June 5, 2001 marked the start of an extremely fascinating time in the annals of my cherished Houston. Tropical storm Allison, that early summer daytime came to see. The thunderstorm went rapidly, although there was Tuesday. Friday, afterward arrived, and Allison returned. This time going slowly, this time in the north. The thunderstorm became still. Thousands of people driven from their houses. Only when they might be desired most, several leading hospitals shut. Dozens of important surface roads, and every important highway covered in water that was high.

Yet even prior to the rain stopped, service to others, and narratives of Christian compassion started to be composed. For a couples class, about 75 people had assembled at Lakewood Church among the greatest nondenominational churches in The United States. From time they got ready to depart the waters had climbed so high they were stranded. The facility of Lakewood stayed dry and high at the center of among the hardest hit parts of town. Refugees in the powerful thunderstorm started arriving at their doorstep. Without no advance preparation, and demand of official sanction, those 75 classmates started a calamity shelter that grew to hold over 3,000 customers. The greatest of over 30 refuges that could be established in the height of the thunderstorm.

Where help was doled out to those who’d suffered losses after Lakewood functioned as a Red Cross Service Center. When it became clear that FEMA aid, and Red Cross wouldn’t bring aid enough, Lakewood and Second Baptist joined -Houston to produce an adopt a family plan to greatly help get folks on their feet quicker. In the occasions that followed militaries of Christians arrived in both churches. From all over town, people of economical standing, race, and each and every denomination collected. Wet rotted carpeting were pulled up, sheet stone removed. Piles of clothes donated food and bed clothes were doled out. Elbow grease and cleaning equipment were used to start eliminating traces of the damage.

It would have been an excellent example of practical ministry in a period of disaster, in the event the story stopped here, but it continues. A great many other churches functioned as shelters as well as in the occasions that followed Red Cross Service Centers. Tons of new volunteers, a lot of them Christians put to work, and were put through accelerated training. That Saturday, I used to be trapped in my own, personal subdivision. Particular that my family was safe because I worked in Storm Shelters OKC that was near where I used to live. What they wouldn’t permit the storm to do, is take their demand to give their religion, or their self respect. I saw so a lot of people as they brought gifts of food, clothes and bedclothes, praising the Lord. I saw young kids coming making use of their parents to not give new, rarely used toys to kids who had none.

Leaning On God Through Hard Times

Unity Church of Christianity from a location across town impacted by the storm sent a sizable way to obtain bedding as well as other supplies. A tiny troupe of musicians and Christian clowns requested to be permitted to amuse the kids in the shelter where I served and arrived. We of course promptly taken their offer. The kids were collected by them in a sizable empty space of flooring. They sang, they told stories, balloon animals were made by them. The kids, frightened, at least briefly displaced laughed.

When not occupied elsewhere I did lots of listening. I listened to survivors that were disappointed, and frustrated relief workers. I listened to kids make an effort to take advantage of a scenario they could not comprehend. All these are only the stories I have heard or seen. I am aware that spiritual groups, Churches, and lots of other individual Christians functioned admirably. I do need to thank them for the attempts in disaster. I thank The Lord for supplying them to serve.

I didn’t write its individuals, or this which means you’d feel sorry for Houston. As this disaster unfolded yet what I saw encouraged my beliefs the Lord will provide through our brothers and sisters in religion for us. Regardless how awful your community hits, you the individual Christian can be a part of the remedy. Those blankets you can probably never use, and have stored away mean much to people who have none. You are able to help in the event that you can drive. You are able to help if you’re able to create a cot. It is possible to help in the event that you can scrub a wall. It is possible to help if all you are able to do is sit and listen. Large catastrophes like Allison get lots of focus. However a disaster can come in virtually any size. That is a serious disaster to your family that called it home in case a single household burns. It is going to be generations prior to the folks here forget Allison.

United States Oil and Gas Exploration Opportunities

Firms investing in this sector can research, develop and create, as well as appreciate the edges of a global gas and oil portfolio with no political and economical disadvantages. Allowing regime and the US financial conditions is rated amongst the world and the petroleum made in US is sold at costs that were international. The firms will likely gain as US also has a national market that is booming. Where 500 exploration wells are drilled most of the petroleum exploration in US continues to be concentrated around the Taranaki Basin. On the other hand, the US sedimentary basins still remain unexplored and many show existence of petroleum seeps and arrangements were also unveiled by the investigation data with high hydrocarbon potential. There have already been onshore gas discoveries before including Great south river basins, East Coast Basin and offshore Canterbury.

As interest in petroleum is expected to grow strongly during this interval but this doesn’t automatically dim the bright future expectations in this sector. The interest in petroleum is anticipated to reach 338 PJ per annum. The US government is eager to augment the gas and oil supply. As new discoveries in this sector are required to carry through the national demand at the same time as raise the amount of self reliance and minimize the cost on imports of petroleum the Gas and Oil exploration sector is thought to be among the dawn sectors. The US government has invented a distinctive approach to reach its petroleum and gas exploration targets. It’s developed a “Benefit For Attempt” model for Petroleum and Gas exploration tasks in US.

The “Benefit For Attempt” in today’s analytic thinking is defined as oil reserves found per kilometer drilled. It will help in deriving the estimate of reservations drilled for dollar and each kilometer spent for each investigation. The authorities of US has revealed considerable signs that it’ll bring positive effects of change which will favor investigation of new oil reserves since the price of investigation has adverse effects on investigation task. The Authorities of US has made the information accessible about the oil potential in its study report. Foil of advice in royalty and allocation regimes, and simplicity of processes have enhanced the attractiveness of Petroleum and Natural Gas Sector in the United States.

Petroleum was the third biggest export earner in 2008 for US and the chance to to keep up the growth of the sector is broadly accessible by manners of investigation endeavors that are new. The government is poised to keep the impetus in this sector. Now many firms are active with new exploration jobs in the Challenger Plateau of the United States, Northland East Slope Basin region, outer Taranaki Basin, and Bellona Trough region. The 89 Energy oil and gas sector guarantees foreign investors as government to high increase has declared a five year continuance of an exemption for offshore petroleum and gas exploration in its 2009 budget. The authorities provide nonresident rig operators with tax breaks.

Modern Robot Duct Cleaning Uses

AC systems, and heat, venting collect pollutants and contaminants like mold, debris, dust and bacteria that can have an adverse impact on indoor air quality. Most folks are at present aware that indoor air pollution could be a health concern and increased visibility has been thus gained by the area. Studies have also suggested cleaning their efficacy enhances and is contributory to a longer operating life, along with maintenance and energy cost savings. The cleaning of the parts of forced air systems of heat, venting and cooling system is what’s called duct cleaning. Robots are an advantageous tool raising the price and efficacy facets of the procedure. Therefore, using modern robot duct isn’t any longer a new practice.

A cleaner, healthier indoor environment is created by a clean air duct system which lowers energy prices and increases efficiency. As we spend more hours inside air duct cleaning has become an important variable in the cleaning sector. Indoor pollutant levels can increase. Health effects can show years or up immediately after repeated or long exposure. These effects range from some respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer that can be deadly or debilitating. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure indoor air quality isn’t endangered inside buildings. Dangerous pollutants that can found in inside can transcend outdoor air pollutants in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Duct cleaning from Air Duct Cleaning Edmond professionals removes microbial contaminants, that might not be visible to the naked eye together with both observable contaminants. Indoor air quality cans impact and present a health hazard. Air ducts can be host to a number of health hazard microbial agents. Legionnaires Disease is one malaise that’s got public notice as our modern surroundings supports the development of the bacteria that has the potential to cause outbreaks and causes the affliction. Typical disorder-causing surroundings contain wetness producing gear such as those in air conditioned buildings with cooling towers that are badly maintained. In summary, in building and designing systems to control our surroundings, we’ve created conditions that were perfect . Those systems must be correctly tracked and preserved. That’s the secret to controlling this disorder.

Robots allow for the occupation while saving workers from exposure to be done faster. Signs of the technological progress in the duct cleaning business is apparent in the variety of gear now available for example, array of robotic gear, to be used in air duct cleaning. Robots are priceless in hard to reach places. Robots used to see states inside the duct, now may be used for spraying, cleaning and sampling procedures. The remote controlled robotic gear can be fitted with practical and fastener characteristics to reach many different use functions.

Video recorders and a closed circuit television camera system can be attached to the robotic gear to view states and operations and for documentation purposes. Inside ducts are inspected by review apparatus in the robot. Robots traveling to particular sections of the system and can move around barriers. Some join functions that empower cleaning operation and instruction manual and fit into little ducts. An useful view range can be delivered by them with models delivering disinfection, cleaning, review, coating and sealing abilities economically.

The remote controlled robotic gear comes in various sizes and shapes for different uses. Of robotic video cameras the first use was in the 80s to record states inside the duct. Robotic cleaning systems have a lot more uses. These devices provide improved accessibility for better cleaning and reduce labor costs. Lately, functions have been expanded by areas for the use of small mobile robots in the service industries, including uses for review and duct cleaning.

More improvements are being considered to make a tool that was productive even more effective. If you determine to have your ventilation, heat and cooling system cleaned, it’s important to make sure all parts of the system clean and is qualified to achieve this. Failure to clean one part of a contaminated system can lead to re-contamination of the entire system.

When To Call A DWI Attorney

Charges or fees against a DWI offender need a legal Sugar Land criminal defense attorney that is qualified dismiss or so that you can reduce charges or the fees. So, undoubtedly a DWI attorney is needed by everyone. Even if it’s a first-time violation the penalties can be severe being represented by a DWI attorney that is qualified is vitally significant. If you’re facing following charges for DWI subsequently the punishments can contain felony charges and be severe. Locating an excellent attorney is thus a job you should approach when possible.

So you must bear in mind that you just should hire a DWI attorney who practices within the state where the violation occurred every state within America will make its laws and legislation regarding DWI violations. It is because they are going to have the knowledge and expertise of state law that is relevant to sufficiently defend you and will be knowledgeable about the processes and evaluations performed to establish your guilt.

As your attorney they are going to look to the evaluations that have been completed at the time of your arrest and the authorities evidence that is accompanying to assess whether or not these evaluations were accurately performed, carried out by competent staff and if the right processes where followed. It isn’t often that a police testimony is asserted against, although authorities testimony also can be challenged in court.

You should attempt to locate someone who specializes in these kind of cases when you start trying to find a DWI attorney. Whilst many attorneys may be willing to consider on your case, a lawyer who specializes in these cases is required by the skilled knowledge needed to interpret the scientific and medical evaluations ran when you had been detained. The first consultation is free and provides you with the chance to to inquire further about their experience in fees and these cases.

Many attorneys will work according into a fee that is hourly or on a set fee basis determined by the kind of case. You may find how they have been paid to satisfy your financial situation and you will have the capacity to negotiate the conditions of their fee. If you are unable to afford to hire an attorney that is private you then can request a court-appointed attorney paid for by the state. Before you hire a DWI attorney you should make sure when you might be expected to appear in court and you understand the precise charges imposed against you.

How Credit Card Works

The credit card is making your life more easy, supplying an amazing set of options. The credit card is a retail trade settlement; a credit system worked through the little plastic card which bears its name. Regulated by ISO 7810 defines credit cards the actual card itself consistently chooses the same structure, size and contour. A strip of a special stuff on the card (the substance resembles the floppy disk or a magnetic group) is saving all the necessary data. This magnetic strip enables the credit card’s validation. The layout has become an important variable; an enticing credit card layout is essential in ensuring advice and its dependability keeping properties.

A credit card is supplied to the user just after a bank approves an account, estimating a varied variety of variables to ascertain fiscal dependability. This bank is the credit supplier. When a purchase is being made by an individual, he must sign a receipt to verify the trade. There are the card details, and the amount of cash to be paid. You can find many shops that take electronic authority for the credit cards and use cloud tokenization for authorization. Nearly all verification are made using a digital verification system; it enables assessing the card is not invalid. If the customer has enough cash to insure the purchase he could be attempting to make staying on his credit limit any retailer may also check.

As the credit supplier, it is as much as the banks to keep the user informed of his statement. They typically send monthly statements detailing each trade procedures through the outstanding fees, the card and the sums owed. This enables the cardholder to ensure all the payments are right, and to discover mistakes or fraudulent action to dispute. Interest is typically charging and establishes a minimal repayment amount by the end of the following billing cycle.

The precise way the interest is charged is normally set within an initial understanding. On the rear of the credit card statement these elements are specified by the supplier. Generally, the credit card is an easy type of revolving credit from one month to another. It can also be a classy financial instrument, having many balance sections to afford a greater extent for credit management. Interest rates may also be not the same as one card to another. The credit card promotion services are using some appealing incentives find some new ones along the way and to keep their customers.

Why Get Help From A Property Management?

One solution while removing much of the anxiety, to have the revenue of your rental home would be to engage and contact property management in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. If you wish to know more and are considering the product please browse the remainder of the post. Leasing out your bit of real property may be real cash-cow as many landlords understand, but that cash flow usually includes a tremendous concern. Night phones from tenants that have the trouble of marketing the house if you own an emptiness just take out lots of the pleasure of earning money off of leases, overdue lease payments which you must chase down, as well as over-flowing lavatories. One solution while removing much of the anxiety, to have the earnings would be to engage a property management organization.

These businesses perform as the go between for the tenant as well as you. The tenant will not actually need to understand who you’re when you hire a property management company. The company manages the day to day while you still possess the ability to help make the final judgements in regards to the home relationships using the tenant. The company may manage the marketing for you personally, for those who are in possession of a unit that is vacant. Since the company is going to have more connections in a bigger market than you’ve got along with the industry than you are doing, you’ll discover your device gets stuffed a whole lot more quickly making use of their aid. In addition, the property management company may care for testing prospective tenants. With regards to the arrangement you’ve got, you might nevertheless not be unable to get the last say regarding if a tenant is qualified for the the system, but of locating a suitable tenant, the day-to-day difficulty is not any longer your problem. They’ll also manage the before-move-in the reviews as well as reviews required following a tenant moves away.

It is possible to step back watching the profits, after the the system is stuffed. Communicating will be handled by the company with all the tenant if you have an issue. You won’t be telephoned if this pipe explosions at the center of the night time. Your consultant is called by the tenant in the company, who then makes the preparations that are required to get the issue repaired with a care supplier. You get a phone call a day later or may not know there was an issue before you register using the business. The property management organization may also make your leasing obligations to to get. The company will do what’s required to accumulate if your tenant is making a payment. In certain arrangements, the organization is going to also take-over paying taxation, insurance, and the mortgage on the portion of property. You actually need to do-nothing but appreciate after after all the the invoices are paid, the revenue which is sent your way.

With all the advantages, you’re probably questioning exactly what to employing a property management organization, the downside should be. From hiring one the primary variable that stops some landlords is the price. All these providers will be paid for by you. The price must be weighed by you from the time frame you’ll save time that you may subsequently use to follow additional revenue-producing efforts or just take pleasure in the fruits of your expense work.

Benifits From An Orthodontic Care

Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry centered on the identification and treatment of dental and related facial problems. The outcomes of Norman Orthodontist OKC treatment could be dramatic — an advanced quality of life for a lot of individuals of ages and lovely grins, improved oral health health, aesthetics and increased cosmetic tranquility. Whether into a look dentistry attention is needed or not is an individual’s own choice. Situations are tolerated by most folks like totally various kinds of bite issues or over bites and don’t get treated. Nevertheless, a number people sense guaranteed with teeth that are correctly aligned, appealing and simpler. Dentistry attention may enhance construct and appearance power. It jointly might work with you consult with clearness or to gnaw on greater.

Orthodontic attention isn’t only decorative in character. It might also gain long term oral health health. Right, correctly aligned teeth is not more difficult to floss and clean. This may ease and decrease the risk of rot. It may also quit periodontists irritation that problems gums. Periodontists might finish in disease, that occurs once micro-organism bunch round your house where the teeth and the gums meet. Periodontists can be ended in by untreated periodontists. Such an unhealthiness result in enamel reduction and may ruin bone that surrounds the teeth. Less may be chewed by people who have stings that are harmful with efficacy. A few of us using a serious bite down side might have difficulties obtaining enough nutrients. Once the teeth aren’t aimed correctly, this somewhat might happen. Morsel issues that are repairing may allow it to be more easy to chew and digest meals.

One may also have language problems, when the top and lower front teeth do not arrange right. All these are fixed through therapy, occasionally combined with medical help. Eventually, remedy may ease to avoid early use of rear areas. Your teeth grow to an unlikely quantity of pressure, as you chew down. In case your top teeth do not match it’ll trigger your teeth that are back to degrade. The most frequently encountered type of therapy is the braces (or retainer) and head-gear. But, a lot people complain about suffering with this technique that, unfortunately, is also unavoidable. Sport braces damages, as well as additional individuals have problem in talking. Dental practitioners, though, state several days can be normally disappeared throughout by the hurting. Occasionally annoyance is caused by them. In the event that you’d like to to quit more unpleasant senses, fresh, soft and tedious food must be avoided by you. In addition, tend not to take your braces away unless the medical professional claims so.

It is advised which you just observe your medical professional often for medical examinations to prevent choice possible problems that may appear while getting therapy. You are going to be approved using a specific dental hygiene, if necessary. Dental specialist may look-out of managing and id malocclusion now. Orthodontia – the main specialization of medication – mainly targets repairing chin problems and teeth, your grin as well as thus your sting. Dentist, however, won’t only do chin remedies and crisis teeth. They also handle tender to severe dental circumstances which may grow to states that are risky. You actually have not got to quantify throughout a predicament your life all. See dental specialist San – Direction Posts, and you’ll notice only but of stunning your smile plenty will soon be.

Provost’s letter to the faculty about the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

The following email was sent today to the MIT faculty from Provost Martin Schmidt.

Dear colleagues,

As I trust you have seen, this morning Rafael wrote to the community to announce the creation of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. This is an historic day for the Institute.

The idea for the College emerged from a process of consultation the administration conducted over the past year. In that time, we consulted with many faculty members, both on School Councils and in some departments with significant computing activities. How to handle the explosive growth in student interest in computing, on its own and across other disciplines, has been an administrative concern for some time. As we’ve seen in the sharp rise in majors “with CS,” individual departments have worked hard to respond. But through more than a year’s worth of thoughtful input from many stakeholders, we came to see that if MIT could take a single bold step at scale, we could create important new opportunities for our community.

A central idea behind the College is that a new, shared structure can help deliver the power of computing, and especially AI, to all disciplines at MIT, lead to the development of new disciplines, and provide every discipline with an active channel to help shape the work of computing itself. Among those we have consulted so far, I sense a deep excitement for the power of this idea.

Opportunities for input

Today’s announcement has defined a vision for this College. Now, to realize its full potential, we are eager to launch a process that includes even more voices and perspectives. As a very first step, Rafael announced a set of community forums where we will share more detail on the vision and a process for moving forward. I hope you will join us for the faculty forum — October 18, 5:30–6:30 PM in 32-123 — so that we can learn from your feedback. The October 17th Faculty Meeting will also include discussion of the new College.

The search for the Dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

One immediate step is the search for the College’s inaugural dean. I am grateful to Institute Professor Ronald L. Rivest for agreeing to chair the search, and I am in the process of finalizing a search committee; we will announce the membership soon. I will ask the committee to recommend a short list of the best internal and external candidates by the end of November. It’s important that we work efficiently together to appoint a dean in the coming months, so that the new dean will be able to participle fully in implementing all aspects of the College.

I invite you to share your advice with the committee, including your suggestions for candidates for this important position, by sending email to All correspondence will be kept confidential.

The process moving forward

The Chair of the Faculty Susan Silbey and I have discussed ideas for the best process moving forward. Even as we conduct a search for the new dean of the College, we can begin to make progress on several fronts.

At this point, we believe we could form a number of working groups to advise the administration on important details of creating the College, perhaps following the process MIT used during the 2008 budget crisis, which actively engaged all key stakeholders at the Institute. The working groups can evaluate options and make recommendations on issues like the detailed structure of the college, how faculty appointments will be made, and how we envision new degrees and instructional support that cut across the Institute. Again, we welcome your comments, questions, and insights as we move forward with this process. Please feel free to contribute any input via

We have much work ahead of us, and I look forward to the excitement and challenge of writing this new chapter of the Institute’s history. I welcome your feedback and advice.

With my best regards,


Letter to the MIT community regarding the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

The following email was sent today to the MIT community by President L. Rafael Reif.

To the members of the MIT community,

The 2010 history, Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision, credits MIT’s record of rising impact to turning points when, responding to new challenges, MIT stayed true to its mission with a calculated change of course.

Today, at a turning point of equal consequence, we launch the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing.

This new College is our strategic response to a global phenomenon — the ubiquity of computing and the rise of AI. In this new world, we are building on MIT’s established leadership in these fields to position the Institute for decades to come as a world hub of education, research and innovation, and to prepare our students to lead in every domain.

To state the obvious, AI in particular is reshaping geopolitics, our economy, our daily lives and the very definition of work. It is rapidly enabling new research in every discipline and new solutions to daunting problems. At the same time, it is creating ethical strains and human consequences our society is not yet equipped to control or withstand.

In response, we are reshaping MIT.

By giving MIT’s five Schools a shared structure for collaborative education, research and innovation, the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing aims to:

  • foster breakthroughs in computing, particularly artificial intelligence — actively informed by the wisdom of other disciplines;
  • deliver the power of AI tools to researchers in every field; and
  • advance pioneering work on AI’s ethical use and societal impact.

Most distinctively, by adding new integrated curricula and degree programs in nearly every field, the College will equip students to be as fluent in computing and AI as they are in their own disciplines — and ready to use these digital tools wisely and humanely to help make a better world.

To be clear: In this pivotal AI moment, society has never needed the liberal arts — the path to wise, responsible citizenship — more than it does now. It is time to educate a new generation of technologists in the public interest.

You can read more about the vision for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing here, and you can find answers to questions of interest to faculty, students, staff and alumni here.

How did the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing come to be?

More than a year ago, inspired by the remarkable tide of student interest in majors with computing in the title, we began a process of assessment and exploration with the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation. This quickly expanded to include faculty leadership in every department, including department heads, the School Councils and Academic Council. Faculty Chair Susan Silbey deserves immense credit for the nature and success of this consultative process. We have also gained key insights from Corporation members, students, staff and alumni. Together these conversations crystallized the need for bold action, at scale and with speed.

And so we arrived at the idea we announce as the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing — the most profound restructuring of MIT since the early 1950s. This $1 billion commitment will include a dedicated new building on campus, a new dean and a near doubling of our academic capability in computing and especially AI, with 50 new faculty positions located within the College and jointly with departments across MIT.

Such a bold step requires a bold partner. We are extremely fortunate to have the encouragement, insight and visionary support of one of the world’s most farsighted investors, Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone. His magnificent generosity — a gift of $350 million — gave us the power to take decisive action.

What happens now?

Both the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee recently approved the establishment of the new College.

It is still, however, a very young idea ­— a prototype we are improving day by day. Its success will depend on thoughtful refinement and creative problem-solving from people across MIT. To jumpstart that feedback process, we have scheduled a number of forums:

Faculty Forum
October 18, 5:30–6:30 PM
Bldg. 32-123

Student Forum
October 25, 5:00–6:00 PM
Bldg. 32-123

Staff Forum
October 25, Noon–1:00 PM
Bldg. 4-270

In the coming days, we will schedule a forum for alumni in the metro-Boston area, as well as one or more webcasts to reach alumni in other regions and time zones.

Every forum will include lots of time for questions. To focus the conversation and guide our thinking, I hope that you will let us know here what questions interest or concern you the most.

In addition, faculty will receive an email from the Provost today describing the next steps in implementation and our search for a dean. The October 17th Faculty Meeting will also include discussion of the new College.

*                *                *

As we begin this fresh chapter, I offer thanks to everyone who helped bring us to this day. For shepherding the development of this transformative idea, we owe special gratitude to Provost Marty Schmidt, Dean of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.  

If we hope to make a better world, we must constantly work to make a better MIT. As humanity faces the opportunities and risks of the digital future, the reshaping we begin on campus today will challenge us to think deeply about how the technologies we invent can best serve, support and care for our global human family.

I look forward to joining you all in this profoundly important work.

In enthusiastic anticipation,

L. Rafael Reif

FAQ on the newly established MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

This set of FAQs offers information about the founding of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, announced today, and its implications for the MIT community and beyond.

General questions

Q: What is MIT announcing today that’s new?

A: Today MIT is announcing a $1 billion commitment to address the global opportunities and challenges presented by the ubiquity of computing — across industries and academic disciplines — and by the rise of artificial intelligence. At the heart of this endeavor will be the new MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, made possible by a foundational $350 million gift from Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Blackstone, a leading global asset manager. An additional $300 million has been secured for the College through other fundraising.

Q: Why is MIT creating this College?

A: The Institute is creating the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing in response to clear trends both inside and outside MIT. Inside MIT, students are choosing in record numbers to study computer science, and departments across the Institute are creating joint majors with computer science and hiring faculty with expertise in computing. And externally, the digital fraction of the global economy has been growing much faster than the economy as a whole — and computing and AI are increasingly woven into every part of the global economy.

Process and leadership

Q: What will implementation look like?

A: MIT will launch a task force prior to the College’s opening in September 2019. The task force will make recommendations to the MIT administration on details regarding the structure of the College; its academic appointments and faculty recruiting; and — in particular — how best to structure the College such that there are seamless interactions in research and teaching between the College and other MIT departments.

Q: When will the College’s first dean be appointed? Do you have a list of leading candidates?

A: The Institute is finalizing a search advisory committee, charged by Provost Martin Schmidt, and is beginning the search process. The committee will move forward with appropriate speed and due diligence to ensure that MIT is ready to launch the College in September 2019. 

Q: Will the dean come from within MIT?

A: MIT’s objective is to appoint the most highly qualified leader for this vitally important role. Such a leader may come from within MIT — but the best candidate may also come from outside the Institute. In support of the Institute and its mission, the dean will be responsible for ensuring the success of the College within the MIT community, across the broader MIT innovation ecosystem, and globally. 

Q: I’m an MIT community member. How can I learn more and offer thoughts?

A: Both the MIT Corporation and its Executive Committee recently approved the establishment of the new College. But its success will depend on feedback from people across MIT. To jumpstart that process, the Institute has scheduled a number of forums: 

Faculty Forum
Thursday, October 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Room 32-123

Student Forum
Thursday, October 25, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Room 32-123

Staff Forum
Thursday, October 25, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Room 4-270

In the coming days, MIT will schedule a forum for alumni in the Boston area, as well as one or more webcasts to reach alumni in other regions and time zones. Every forum will include time for questions. To focus the conversations, members of the community are invited to email with questions or concerns.

Impact on MIT

Q: Why is this a college, rather than a school? What is the difference?

A: The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will work with and across all five of MIT’s existing schools. Its naming as a college differentiates it from the five schools, and signals that it is an Institute-wide entity: The College is designed with cross-cutting education and research as its primary missions.

Q: Why, and how, will the College connect to the schools and other parts of MIT?

A: As MIT’s senior leaders have engaged with faculty and departments across campus, many have spoken of how their fields are being transformed by modern computational methods — specifically, by access to large data sets and the tools to learn from them. Some of the most exciting new work in fields like political science, economics, linguistics, anthropology, and urban studies — as well as in various disciplines in science and engineering — is being made possible when advanced computational capabilities are brought to these fields.

The key connector of the College to MIT’s five schools with be the 25 “bridge” faculty: joint faculty appointments linking the College with departments across MIT. With this new structure, MIT aims to educate students who are “bilingual” — adept in computing, as well as in their primary field. The College will also connect with the rest of MIT through its work to develop shared computing resources — infrastructure, instrumentation, and technical staffing.

Q: Which existing MIT units will move into the College?

A: It is expected that the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and the MIT Quest for Intelligence will all become part of the new College; other units may join the College. EECS (and in particular, the electrical engineering part of the department) will naturally continue to have a strong relationship with the School of Engineering, its current home. A set of faculty committees will be swiftly established to define the relationship between EECS, the School of Engineering, and the new College of Computing, as well as the range of future degree offerings.

Q: What changes for MIT with this new College? Is this just a restructuring?

A: The founding of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is the most significant structural change since 1950, when MIT established the Sloan School of Management and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. But this is much more than a restructuring: With this change, MIT seeks to position itself as a key player in the responsible and ethical evolution of technologies that will fundamentally transform society.

The College will reorient MIT to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study — and, in turn, to allow the future direction of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all of these other disciplines, including the humanities. By design, the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will be the connective tissue for the entire Institute, integrating AI studies and research with disciplines throughout MIT to a degree and with an intensity that, it is believed, is unmatched anywhere else.

Q: The College has been described as a $1 billion endeavor. Where will that $1 billion come from, and how will it be spent?

A: The estimated $1 billion cost to create the College will pay to construct a new building, expected to be complete around 2022; to create an endowment to support the 50 new faculty positions; and to fund computing resources to support teaching and research in the College and across MIT. The hiring of these new faculty, when complete in approximately five years, will represent a 5 percent growth in the Institute’s total faculty. Including the founding $350 million gift from Mr. Schwarzman, MIT has already secured 65 percent of the funds needed to support launch of the College.

Q: How will this College impact MIT’s budget on an ongoing basis?

A: A guiding principle of MIT’s planning is that the College should not dilute the resources of any other part of the Institute. This is why MIT is engaging in new fundraising to secure the remaining part of the estimated $1 billion needed to house the College and to endow its faculty.

Impact on students and alumni

Q: Do you expect that this new structure could change the balance of undergraduate majors at MIT?

A: About 40 percent of MIT undergraduates now major either in computer science alone or in joint programs combining computer science with some other field. It is expected that this new structure will allow interested students to gain a strong background in computer science while also focusing on a paired discipline that’s of greatest interest to them. By greatly expanding the range of disciplines that can be paired with computer science in a coherent undergraduate degree, this move will support MIT’s students in their clear desire to combine computer science with other fields where they might eventually apply their computing skills.

Q: Will the undergraduate class size be increased?

A: This remains to be determined. However, it is expected that the Institute’s population of graduate students will naturally grow with the addition of 50 new faculty positions.

Q: Will current students be able to switch to the College?

A: In general, MIT students are part of the school or college that is home to their academic program. Because the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) will become part of the new College, it is expected that the majority of EECS students will automatically become students within the new College. Students within MIT’s five other schools will, of course, be able to access the College’s faculty, courses, and facilities: Indeed, the College’s cross-Institute structure is intended to make it accessible to students across MIT, and there may be opportunities for students to be affiliated with both the College and their home department and school.

Q: I’m a joint major in computer science and another discipline. How will this new College affect my course selection, and my degree?

A: There should be no effect.

Q: I’m an EECS alum. How will this new College affect my degree?

A: You will continue to hold your MIT degree in your discipline. The creation of the College does not change your degree. This expanded footprint for computing at MIT is expected to enhance the stature of all computing-related fields at MIT.

Impact on faculty

Q: How many new faculty positions will be created with the launch of the College?

A: Fifty faculty positions will be added over the next five years. It’s expected that 25 of these faculty positions will be located fully within the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing; the other 25 new faculty will hold “bridge” positions — dual appointments between the College and academic departments located in any of MIT’s five schools.

Q: I’m a faculty member whose field has little connection to computing or AI. How will this new College affect my position at MIT?

A: While MIT believes this new opportunity brings much possibility for all faculty, engagement with the new College will be entirely voluntary. Faculty who do not wish to engage more deeply with computing or AI will not be required to do so.

Q: What kinds of new joint academic programs or degrees are envisioned?

A: MIT has been making progress in this direction for some time; for example, we already offer undergraduate majors that pair computer science with economics, biology, mathematics, and urban planning. The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will allow MIT to respond to the student demand the Institute is seeing in course and major/minor selection more effectively and creatively. It will enable MIT to pursue this vision with unprecedented depth and ambition, and will give MIT’s five schools a shared structure for collaborative education, research, and innovation in computing and AI.

Impact on the physical campus

Q: What is the timeline on construction of a new building for the College? Where will the building be located? Has an architect been selected?

A: The building is expected to be complete by 2022. Many details about the building, including its location on campus, have yet to be finalized. An architect has not been selected.

Q: How big will the new building be?

A: Given the expected growth of the MIT faculty with the launch of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, it is currently projected that the new building will house office and laboratory space for about 65 faculty members and their research groups and affiliated staff. This will likely translate to a building of 150,000 to 165,000 square feet. (For comparison purposes, MIT.nano is 200,000 square feet.)

Q: Who will move into the new building?

A: This remains to be determined. However, not all new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing faculty members will be in the new building, and it is expected that some existing faculty members will move there.

The College’s focus

Q: AI encompasses a broad range of areas, from self-driving cars to robotics. Is MIT’s goal to be a leader in all the major AI areas? Are there specific areas the College will focus on?

A: It is hoped and expected that the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will become a convening force for all of the fields that center on computing and AI. However, the focus of the new College within these fields will be shaped largely by its first dean and by its academic leadership.

Q: Will the new College partner with AI research companies?

A: Numerous such companies are already part of MIT’s broader innovation ecosystem in Kendall Square, and the Institute will continue to collaborate with them. It is fair to assume that projects and research generated by the College will be of interest to industry, and will have commercial relevance. Additionally, it is expected that the “bilingual” graduates who emerge from this new College — combining competence in computing and in other fields — will be of enormous value to employers.

Q: What ethical concerns does MIT have about AI or specific areas of AI research?

A: Advances in computing, and artificial intelligence in particular, have the power to alter the fabric of society. The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing aims to be not only a center of advances in computing, but also a place for teaching and research on relevant policy and ethics — to better ensure that the pioneering technologies of the future are responsibly implemented in support of the greater good.

Q: What kind of programs will there be around ethics and advances in computing?

A: Launching the College will involve both an expansion of existing programs and the creation of entirely new ones — with some of these new programs exploring the intersection of ethics and computing. Within this space, the College will offer prestigious undergraduate research opportunities, graduate fellowships in ethics and AI, a seed-grant program for faculty, and a fellowship program to attract distinguished individuals from other universities, government, industry, and journalism.

Q: Why is this focus on ethics important?

A: Technologies reflect the values of those who make them. For this reason, technological advancements must be accompanied by the development of ethical guidelines that anticipate the risks of such enormously powerful innovations. MIT must make sure that the leaders who graduate from the Institute offer the world both technological proficiency and human wisdom — the cultural, ethical, and historical consciousness to use technology for the common good. MIT is founding the College, in part, to educate students in every discipline to responsibly use and develop AI and computing technologies to help make a better world. 

Q: At a time of growing economic disparities, there are deep concerns that AI will begin to replace humans and take over their jobs. How will MIT address such issues?

A: AI and related technologies are poised to become a source of new wealth and industries. Together with that, however, is the risk of severe economic dislocation for individuals, communities, and entire nations. Reinventing the future of work must be a society-wide effort — and finding long-term solutions to issues arising from the deployment of AI will require ideas and initiative from every quarter.

The College will unite expertise at the intersection of computing and the society it serves. Joining scientists and engineers with social scientists, it will produce analysis of emerging technology; this research will serve industry, policymakers, and the broader research community. Some of the graduate students who conduct research in policy and ethics may go on to fill critical roles in government and at technology companies.

Additionally, MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future, launched in February 2018, is an Institute-wide effort to understand and shape the evolution of jobs during the current age of innovation. It aims to shed new light on the linked evolution of technology and human work, and will issue findings guiding the development and implementation of policy, to suggest how society can continue to offer broad opportunity and prosperity.

Q: Are there any AI areas in which MIT would not participate because of ethical concerns? 

A: Yes. In every action it takes, the Institute must understand whether its participation benefits society. Defining these boundaries will be the work of the College’s new leadership.

MIT reshapes itself to shape the future

MIT today announced a new $1 billion commitment to address the global opportunities and challenges presented by the prevalence of computing and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). The initiative marks the single largest investment in computing and AI by an American academic institution, and will help position the United States to lead the world in preparing for the rapid evolution of computing and AI.

At the heart of this endeavor will be the new MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, made possible by a $350 million foundational gift from Mr. Schwarzman, the chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, a leading global asset manager.

Headquartered in a signature new building on MIT’s campus, the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will be an interdisciplinary hub for work in computer science, AI, data science, and related fields. The College will:

  • reorient MIT to bring the power of computing and AI to all fields of study at MIT, allowing the future of computing and AI to be shaped by insights from all other disciplines;
  • create 50 new faculty positions that will be located both within the College and jointly with other departments across MIT — nearly doubling MIT’s academic capability in computing and AI;
  • give MIT’s five schools a shared structure for collaborative education, research, and innovation in computing and AI;
  • educate students in every discipline to responsibly use and develop AI and computing technologies to help make a better world; and
  • transform education and research in public policy and ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI.

With the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing’s founding, MIT seeks to strengthen its position as a key international player in the responsible and ethical evolution of technologies that are poised to fundamentally transform society. Amid a rapidly evolving geopolitical environment that is constantly being reshaped by technology, the College will have significant impact on our nation’s competitiveness and security.

“As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “In keeping with the scope of this challenge, we are reshaping MIT. The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will constitute both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools. Just as important, the College will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computing and AI to advance their disciplines and vice-versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work. With uncommon insight and generosity, Mr. Schwarzman is enabling a bold agenda that will lead to a better world. I am deeply grateful for his commitment to our shared vision.”

Stephen A. Schwarzman is chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, with approximately $440 billion in assets under management. Mr. Schwarzman is an active philanthropist with a history of supporting education, culture, and the arts, among other things. Whether in business or philanthropy, he has dedicated himself to tackling global-scale problems, with transformative and paradigm-shifting solutions.

This year, he gave $5 million to Harvard Business School to support the development of case studies and other programming that explore the implications of AI on industries and business. In 2015, Mr. Schwarzman donated $150 million to Yale University to establish the Schwarzman Center, a first-of-its-kind campus center in Yale’s historic Commons building. In 2013, he founded a highly selective international scholarship program, Schwarzman Scholars, at Tsinghua University in Beijing to educate future global leaders about China. At $578 million raised to date, the program is modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship and is the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history coming largely from international donors.

“There is no more important opportunity or challenge facing our nation than to responsibly harness the power of artificial intelligence so that we remain competitive globally and achieve breakthroughs that will improve our entire society,” Mr. Schwarzman says. “We face fundamental questions about how to ensure that technological advancements benefit all — especially those most vulnerable to the radical changes AI will inevitably bring to the nature of the workforce. MIT’s initiative will help America solve these challenges and continue to lead on computing and AI throughout the 21st century and beyond.”

“As one of the world leaders in technological innovation, MIT has the right expertise and the right values to serve as the ‘true north’ of AI in pursuit of the answers we urgently need,” Mr. Schwarzman adds. “With the ability to bring together the best minds in AI research, development, and ethics, higher education is uniquely situated to be the incubator for solving these challenges in ways the private and public sectors cannot. Our hope is that this ambitious initiative serves as a clarion call to our government that massive financial investment in AI is necessary to ensure that America has a leading voice in shaping the future of these powerful and transformative technologies.”

New college, structure, building, and faculty

The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing represents the most significant structural change to MIT since the early 1950s, which saw the establishment of schools for management and for the humanities and social sciences:

  • The College is slated to open in Sept. 2019, with construction of a new building for the College scheduled to be completed in 2022.
  • Fifty new faculty positions will be created: 25 to be appointed to advance computing in the College, and 25 to be appointed jointly in the College and departments across MIT.
  • A new deanship will be established for the College.

Today’s news follows a period of consultation of the MIT faculty led by President Reif, Provost Martin Schmidt, and Dean of the School of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan. The chair of the faculty, Professor Susan Silbey, also participated in these consultations. Reif and Schmidt have also received letters of support for the College from academic leadership across MIT.

“Because the journey we embark on today will be Institute-wide, we needed input from across MIT in order to establish the right vision,” Schmidt says. “Our planning benefited greatly from the imagination of many members of our community — and we will seek a great deal more input over the next year. By design, the College will not be a silo: It will be connective tissue for the whole Institute.”

“I see exciting possibilities in this new structure,” says Melissa Nobles, dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “Faculty in a range of departments have a great deal to gain from new kinds of algorithmic tools — and a great deal of insight to offer their makers. Faculty in every school at MIT will be able to shape the work of the College.”

At its meeting on Oct. 5, the MIT Corporation — MIT’s board of trustees — endorsed the establishment of the College.

Corporation Chair Robert Millard says, “The new College positions MIT to lead in this important area, for the benefit of the United States and the world at large. In making this historic gift, Mr. Schwarzman has not only joined a select group of MIT’s most generous supporters, he has also helped give shape to a vision that will propel MIT into the future. We are all deeply grateful.”

Empowering the pursuit of MIT’s mission

The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will aspire to excellence in MIT’s three main areas of work: education, research, and innovation:

  • The College will teach students the foundations of computing broadly and provide integrated curricula designed to satisfy the high level of interest in majors that cross computer science with other disciplines, and in learning how machine learning and data science can be applied to a variety of fields.
  • It will seek to enable advances along the full spectrum of research — from fundamental, curiosity-driven inquiry to research on market-ready applications, in a wide range of MIT departments, labs, centers, and initiatives.

“As MIT’s partner in shaping the future of AI, IBM is excited by this new initiative,” says Ginni Rometty IBM chairman, president, and CEO. “The establishment of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is an unprecedented investment in the promise of this technology. It will build powerfully on the pioneering research taking place through the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Together, we will continue to unlock the massive potential of AI and explore its ethical and economic impacts on society.”

Sparking thought around policy and ethics

The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will seek to be not only a center of advances in computing, but also a place for teaching and research on relevant policy and ethics to better ensure that the groundbreaking technologies of the future are responsibly implemented in support of the greater good. To advance these priorities, the College will:

  • develop new curricula that will connect computer science and AI with other disciplines;
  • host forums to engage national leaders from business, government, academia, and journalism to examine the anticipated outcomes of advances in AI and machine learning, and to shape policies around the ethics of AI;
  • encourage scientists, engineers, and social scientists to collaborate on analysis of emerging technology, and on research that will serve industry, policymakers, and the broader research community; and
  • offer selective undergraduate research opportunities, graduate fellowships in ethics and AI, a seed-grant program for faculty, and a fellowship program to attract distinguished individuals from other universities, government, industry, and journalism.

“Computing is no longer the domain of the experts alone. It’s everywhere, and it needs to be understood and mastered by almost everyone. In that context, for a host of reasons, society is uneasy about technology — and at MIT, that’s a signal we must take very seriously,” President Reif says. “Technological advancements must go hand in hand with the development of ethical guidelines that anticipate the risks of such enormously powerful innovations. This is why we must make sure that the leaders we graduate offer the world not only technological wizardry but also human wisdom — the cultural, ethical, and historical consciousness to use technology for the common good.”

“The College’s attention to ethics matters enormously to me, because we will never realize the full potential of these advancements unless they are guided by a shared understanding of their moral implications for society,” Mr. Schwarzman says. “Advances in computing — and in AI in particular — have increasing power to alter the fabric of society. But left unchecked, these technologies could ultimately hurt more people than they help. We need to do everything we can to ensure all Americans can share in AI’s development. Universities are best positioned for fostering an environment in which everyone can embrace — not fear — the transformations ahead.”

In its pursuit of ethical questions, the College will bring together researchers in a wide range of MIT departments, labs, centers, and initiatives, such as the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society; the Operations Research Center; the Quest for Intelligence, and beyond.

“There is no doubt that artificial intelligence and automation will impact every facet of society. As we look to the future, we must utilize these important technologies to shape our world for the better and harness their power as a force for social good,” says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “I believe that MIT’s groundbreaking initiative, particularly its commitment to address policy and ethics alongside technological advancements, will play a crucial role in ensuring that AI is developed responsibly and used to make our world more just.”

Building on history and breadth

The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing will build on MIT’s legacy of excellence in computation and the study of intelligence. In the 1950s, MIT Professor Marvin Minsky and others created the very idea of artificial intelligence:

  • Today, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) is by far the largest academic department at MIT. Forty percent of MIT’s most recent graduating class chose it, or a combination of it and another discipline, as their major. Its faculty boasts 10 of the 67 winners of the Turing Award, computing’s highest honor.
  • The largest laboratory at MIT is the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which was established in 2003 but has its roots in two pioneering MIT labs: the Artificial Intelligence Lab, established in 1959 to conduct pioneering research across a range of applications, and the Laboratory for Computer Science, established in 1963 to pursue a Department of Defense project for the development of a computer system accessible to a large number of people.
  • The College’s network function will rely on academic excellence across MIT. Outside of computer science and AI, the Institute hosts a high number of top-ranked departments, ready to be empowered by advances in these digital fields. U.S. News and World Report cites MIT as No. 1 in six graduate engineering specialties — and No. 1 in 17 disciplines and specialties outside of engineering, too, from biological sciences to economics.

“A bold move to reshape the frontiers of computing is what you would expect from MIT,” says Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Alphabet and a visiting innovation fellow at MIT. “I’m especially excited about the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, however, because it has such an obviously human agenda.” Schmidt also serves on the advisory boards of the MIT Quest for Intelligence and the MIT Work of the Future Task Force.

“We count many MIT graduates among our team at Apple, and have long admired how the school and its alumni approach technology with humanity in mind. MIT’s decision to focus on computing and AI across the entire institution shows tremendous foresight that will drive students and the world toward a better future,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The path forward

On top of Mr. Schwarzman’s gift, MIT has raised an additional $300 million in support, totaling $650 million of the $1 billion required for the College. Further fundraising is being actively pursued by MIT’s senior administration.

Provost Schmidt has formed a committee to search for the College’s inaugural dean. He will also host forums in the coming days that will allow members of the MIT community to ask questions and offer suggestions about the College. The provost will work closely with the chair of the faculty and the dean of the School of Engineering to define the process for standing up the College.        

“I am truly excited by the work ahead,” Schmidt says. “The MIT community will give shape and energy to the College we launch today.”

MIT Professional Education launches its first online course in Spanish

MIT Professional Education Digital Plus Programs is collaborating with a Spanish-American educational technology company, Global Alumni, to launch its first highly interactive and collaborative online course taught fully in Spanish.

The course is a translated version, re-engineered with relevant cultural context from the popular online course “Leadership and Innovation for Technology Professionals,” taught by David Niño, senior lecturer of the Bernard M. Gordon MIT Engineering Leadership Program. Launched earlier this month, the course focuses on empowering technical leaders with self-awareness and creativity to drive innovation within their teams and organizations.

The new course enables MIT Professional Education to more pointedly reach professionals across all industries and sectors across the Spanish-speaking world where, according to the international workforce consulting firm Manpower Group, nearly 50 percent of technology companies are struggling to find candidates with the requisite job skills to compete in today’s digital economy.

“As part of our global outreach effort, we are pleased to be able to offer innovative e-learning solutions in Spanish to technical professionals in Spanish-speaking economies, bringing critical knowledge to them in new frontier areas,” says MIT Professional Education Executive Director Bhaskar Pant.

Digital Plus Program Director Clara Piloto adds: “Participants are led through a learning journey of self-reflection and creative problem solving, culminating with the creation of inspiring and motivating vision statements that drive innovation processes across teams and organizations.” 

More information about the course is available online.

Taming “information hazards” in synthetic biology research

In 2016, synthetic biologists reconstructed a possibly extinct disease, known as horsepox, using mail-order DNA for around $100,000. The experiment was strictly for research purposes, and the disease itself is harmless to humans. But the published results, including the methodology, raised concerns that a nefarious agent, given appropriate resources, could engineer a pandemic. In an op-ed published today in PLOS Pathogens, Media Lab Professor Kevin Esvelt, who develops and studies gene-editing techniques, argues for tighter biosecurity and greater research transparency to keep such “information hazards” — published information that could be used to cause harm — in check. Esvelt spoke with MIT News about his ideas.

Q: What are information hazards, and why are they an important topic in synthetic biology?

A: Our society is not at ease with this notion that some information is hazardous, but it unfortunately happens to be true. No one believes the blueprints for nuclear weapons should be public, but we do collectively believe that the genome sequences for viruses should be public. This was not a problem until DNA synthesis got really good. The current system for regulating dangerous biological agents is bypassed by DNA synthesis. DNA synthesis is becoming accessible to a wide variety of people, and the instructions for doing nasty things are freely available online.

In the horsepox study, for instance, the information hazard is partly in the paper and the methods they described. But it’s also in the media covering it and highlighting that something bad can be done. And this is worsened by the people who are alarmed, because we talk to journalists about the potential harm, and that just feeds into it. As critics of these things, we are spreading information hazards too.

Part of the solution is just acknowledging that openness of information has costs, and taking steps to minimize those. That means raising awareness that information hazards exist, and being a little more cautious about talking about, and especially citing, dangerous work. Information hazards are a “tragedy of the commons” problem. Everyone thinks that, if it’s already out there, one more citation isn’t going to hurt. But everyone thinks that way. It just keeps on building until it’s on Wikipedia.

Q: You say one issue with synthetic biology is screening DNA for potentially harmful sequences. How can cryptography help promote a market of “clean” DNA?

A: We really need to do something about the ease of DNA synthesis and the accessibility of potential pandemic pathogens. The obvious solution is to get some kind of screening implemented for all DNA synthesis. The International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC) was set up by industry leaders in DNA synthesis post-anthrax attacks. To be a member, a company needs to demonstrate it screens its orders, but member companies only cover 80 percent of the commercial market and none of the synthesis facilities within large firms. And there is no external way to verify that IGSC companies are actually doing the screening, or that they screen for the right things.

We need a more centralized system, where all DNA synthesis in the world is autonomously checked and would only be approved for synthesis if harmful sequences were not found in any of them. This is a cryptography problem.

On one hand, you have trade secrets, because firms making DNA don’t want others to know what they’re making. On the other hand, you have database of hazards that must be useless if stolen. You want to encrypt orders, send them to a centralized database, and then learn if it’s safe or not. Then you need a system for letting people add things to the database, which can be done privately. This is totally achievable with modern cryptography. You can use what’s known as hashes [which converts inputs of letters and numbers into an encrypted output of a fixed sequence] or do it using a newer method of fully homomorphic encryption, which lets you do calculations on encrypted data without ever decrypting it.

We’re just beginning to work on this challenge now. A point of this PLOS Pathogens op-ed is to lay the groundwork for this system.

In the long term, authorized experts can add hazards to their own databases. That’s the ideal way to deal with information hazards. If I think of a sequence that I’m confident is very dangerous, and people shouldn’t do this; ideally I would be able to contribute that to a database, possibly in conjunction with just one other authorized user who concurs. That could make sure nobody else makes that exact sequence, without unduly spreading the hazardous information of its identity and potential nature.

Q: You argue for peer review during earlier research stages. How would that help prevent information hazards?

A: The horsepox study was controversial with regard to whether the benefits outweighed the risks. It’s been said that one benefit was highlighting that viruses can be built from scratch. In oncological viral therapy, where you make viruses to kill cancer, [this information] could accelerate their research. It’s also been postulated that horsepox might be used to make a better vaccine, but that the researchers couldn’t access a sample. Those may be true. It’s still a clear information hazard. Could that aspect have been avoided?

Ideally, the horsepox study would have been reviewed by other experts, including some who were concerned by its implications and could have pointed out, for example, that you could have made a virus without harmful relatives as an example — or made horsepox, used it for vaccine development, and then just not specified that you made it from scratch. Then, you would have had all the research benefits of the study, without creating the information hazard. That would have been possible insofar as other experts had been given a chance to look at the research design before experiments were done.

With the current process, it’s typically only peer review at the end of the research. There’s no feedback at the research design phase at all. The time when peer review would be most useful would be at that phase. This transition requires funders, journals, and governments getting together to change [the process] in small subfields. In fields clearly without information hazards, you might publicly preregister your research plans and invite feedback. In fields like synthetic mammalian virology that present clear hazards, you’d want the research plans sent to a couple of peer reviewers in the field for evaluation, for safety and for suggested improvements. A lot of the time there’s a better way to do the experiment than you initially imagined, and if they can point that out at the beginning, then great. I think that both models will result in faster science, which we want too.

Universities could start by setting up a special process for early-stage peer review, internally, of gene drive [a genetic engineering technology] and mammalian virology experiments. As a scientist who works in both those fields, I would be happy to participate. The question is: How can we do [synthetic biology] in a way that continues or even accelerates beneficial discoveries while avoiding those with potentially catastrophic consequences?

Amy Finkelstein, Lisa Parks win 2018 MacArthur Fellowships

Two MIT professors, health care economist Amy Finkelstein and media studies scholar Lisa Parks, have each been awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

The prominent award, colloquially known as the “genius grant,” comes in the form of a five-year $625,000 fellowship, which is unrestricted, meaning recipients can use the funding any way they wish. There are 25 such fellowships being awarded in 2018.

“I’m very honored,” says Finkelstein, the John and Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics at MIT, adding that she was surprised when first notified by the MacArthur Foundation.

“I’m extremely grateful to MIT,” says Finkelstein, who has been both a doctoral student and faculty member at the Institute. “I’ve essentially spent my entire intellectual life here.”

Noting that the award is a sign of respect for her branch of economics generally, Finkelstein says she appreciates the “broader attention to the scientific work that health care economists are doing and recognition of the progress we have made as a science.”

Parks says her MacArthur award is “an incredible honor,” and that she is “thrilled to be receiving it as a humanities scholar.” She also notes that the grant will help support a new writing project as well as other research efforts.  

“The fellowship will help me to write another book and will be a big boost for the Global Media Technologies and Cultures (GMTaC) Lab that I recently launched at MIT,” Parks says.

Parks, who joined the MIT faculty in 2016 after teaching at the University of California at Santa Barbara, credited the intellectual environment at both places, adding that she was “grateful to my colleagues and students at MIT and UC Santa Barbara, and share this honor with them. They supported me as I tried experimental approaches and ventured off the beaten path.”

Decoding medical costs

Finkelstein’s research has yielded major empirical findings about the cost, value, and use of health care in the U.S. Her studies are known for both their results and their rigorous methodological approach; Finkelstein often uses “natural experiments,” in which certain social policies create two otherwise similar groups of people who differ in, say, their access to medical care. This allows her to study the specific effects of policies and treatments of interest.

One of the best-known research projects of Finkelstein’s career focuses on Oregon’s use of a lottery to expand state access to Medicaid. In a series of papers, Finkelstein and her co-authors found that access to Medicaid helped the poor get more medical treatment and avoid some financial shocks, while actually increasing use of emergency rooms.

Earlier in her career, Finkelstein published an influential 2007 paper detailing the varied effects of the introduction of Medicare in the U.S. in the 1960s. The study showed that Medicare’s launch was associated with increases in health care spending and the adoption of new medical technologies, while having positive financial effects on the program’s recipients.

Finkelstein has trained her investigative lens on a wide variety of other issues, however. Earlier this year, she published multiple papers showing that serious medical problems subsequently reduce earnings and hurt employment, while increasing personal debt, but do not lead to outright bankruptcy as often as is sometimes claimed. 

Finkelstein received her PhD from MIT in 2001 and joined the Institute faculty in 2005. In addition to her professorship in MIT’s Department of Economics, Finkelstein is co-scientific director of JPAL North America, an MIT-based research center that encourages randomized evaluations of social science questions. In 2012, she received the John Bates Clark Medal, granted by the American Economic Association to the best economist under the age of 40.

Satellite scholar

Parks is an expert on the cultural effects of space-age technologies, especially satellites. She has written in close detail about the ways new technology has shaped our conception of things as diverse as war zones and the idea of a “global village.” As Parks has said, her work aims to get people “to think of the satellite not only as this technology that’s floating around out there in orbit, but as a machine that plays a structuring role in our everyday lives.”

Parks is the author of the influential 2005 book, “Cultures in Orbit,” and has co-edited five books of essays on technology and culture, including the 2017 volume “Life in the Age of Drone Warfare.”

Parks also has a keen interest in technology and economic inequality, and her research has also examined topics such as the video content accessible to Aboriginal Australians, who, starting in the 1980s, attempted to gain greater control of satellite television programming in rural Australia.

As the principal investigator for MIT’s Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab, Parks and MIT graduate students in the lab conduct onsite research about media usage in a range of places, including rural Africa.

Parks received her PhD at the University of Wisconsin before joining the faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then moving to MIT.

Including Finkelstein and Parks, 23 MIT faculty members and three staff members have won the MacArthur fellowship.

MIT faculty who have won the award over the last decade include computer scientist Regina Barzilay (2017); economist Heidi Williams (2015); computer scientist Dina Kitabi and astrophysicist Sara Seager (2013); writer Junot Diaz (2012); physicist Nergis Mavalvala (2010); economist Esther Duflo (2009); and architectural engineer John Ochsendorf and physicist Marin Soljacic (2008).

Detecting fake news at its source

Lately the fact-checking world has been in a bit of a crisis. Sites like Politifact and Snopes have traditionally focused on specific claims, which is admirable but tedious; by the time they’ve gotten through verifying or debunking a fact, there’s a good chance it’s already traveled across the globe and back again.

Social media companies have also had mixed results limiting the spread of propaganda and misinformation. Facebook plans to have 20,000 human moderators by the end of the year, and is putting significant resources into developing its own fake-news-detecting algorithms.

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) believe that the best approach is to focus not only on individual claims, but on the news sources themselves. Using this tack, they’ve demonstrated a new system that uses machine learning to determine if a source is accurate or politically biased.

“If a website has published fake news before, there’s a good chance they’ll do it again,” says postdoc Ramy Baly, the lead author on a new paper about the system. “By automatically scraping data about these sites, the hope is that our system can help figure out which ones are likely to do it in the first place.”

Baly says the system needs only about 150 articles to reliably detect if a news source can be trusted — meaning that an approach like theirs could be used to help stamp out new fake-news outlets before the stories spread too widely.

The system is a collaboration between computer scientists at MIT CSAIL and QCRI, which is part of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar. Researchers first took data from Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC), a website with human fact-checkers who analyze the accuracy and biases of more than 2,000 news sites; from MSNBC and Fox News; and from low-traffic content farms.

They then fed those data to a machine learning algorithm, and programmed it to classify news sites the same way as MBFC. When given a new news outlet, the system was then 65 percent accurate at detecting whether it has a high, low or medium level of factuality, and roughly 70 percent accurate at detecting if it is left-leaning, right-leaning, or moderate.

The team determined that the most reliable ways to detect both fake news and biased reporting were to look at the common linguistic features across the source’s stories, including sentiment, complexity, and structure.

For example, fake-news outlets were found to be more likely to use language that is hyperbolic, subjective, and emotional. In terms of bias, left-leaning outlets were more likely to have language that related to concepts of harm/care and fairness/reciprocity, compared to other qualities such as loyalty, authority, and sanctity. (These qualities represent a popular theory — that there are five major moral foundations — in social psychology.)

Co-author Preslav Nakov, a senior scientist at QCRI, says that the system also found correlations with an outlet’s Wikipedia page, which it assessed for general — longer is more credible — as well as target words such as “extreme” or  “conspiracy theory.” It even found correlations with the text structure of a source’s URLs: Those that had lots of special characters and complicated subdirectories, for example, were associated with less reliable sources.

“Since it is much easier to obtain ground truth on sources [than on articles], this method is able to provide direct and accurate predictions regarding the type of content distributed by these sources,” says Sibel Adali, a professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who was not involved in the project.
Nakov is quick to caution that the system is still a work in progress, and that, even with improvements in accuracy, it would work best in conjunction with traditional fact-checkers.

“If outlets report differently on a particular topic, a site like Politifact could instantly look at our fake news scores for those outlets to determine how much validity to give to different perspectives,” says Nakov.

Baly and Nakov co-wrote the new paper with MIT Senior Research Scientist James Glass alongside graduate students Dimitar Alexandrov and Georgi Karadzhov of Sofia University. The team will present the work later this month at the 2018 Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) conference in Brussels, Belgium.

The researchers also created a new open-source dataset of more than 1,000 news sources, annotated with factuality and bias scores, that is the world’s largest database of its kind. As next steps, the team will be exploring whether the English-trained system can be adapted to other languages, as well as to go beyond the traditional left/right bias to explore region-specific biases (like the Muslim world’s division between religious and secular).

“This direction of research can shed light on what untrustworthy websites look like and the kind of content they tend to share, which would be very useful for both web designers and the wider public,” says Andreas Vlachos, a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge who was not involved in the project.

Nakov says that QCRI also has plans to roll out an app that helps users step out of their political bubbles, responding to specific news items by offering users a collection of articles that span the political spectrum.

“It’s interesting to think about new ways to present the news to people,” says Nakov. “Tools like this could help people give a bit more thought to issues and explore other perspectives that they might not have otherwise considered.”

An assault on American intelligence

“Oh come on, how many of you think Barack Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower? All their hands went up. Almost unanimous,” said retired four-star general Michael Hayden.

Hayden, a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009) and the National Security Agency (1999-2005) was retelling an incident from his recently released book, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies” in front of an audience that filled MIT’s 425-seat Huntington Hall (Room 10-250). Hayden was describing a scene at a local bar in his native Pittsburgh where he met with people who he might have known growing up there or was related to, but who now hold sharply divergent views. 

“I used to run the NSA. I kinda know how this works. Number one, they wouldn’t do it. Number two, the plumbing doesn’t work that way. They almost certainly couldn’t do it,” he said. When asked, “What evidence do you have?” the bargoers said, simply, “Obama.” When asked, “Where do you get your news?” the answer was invariably, “Facebook.”

The anecdote aptly explains the dilemmas Hayden attempts to tackle in his book, which deals with the ways in which the basic adherence to truth and facts has been eroded since Donald Trump announced he was running for president, and what the consequences are for what he calls “fact-based institutions.” The judiciary, the media, the intelligence community, and others are suffering in an era when everyone’s version of the truth is up for grabs, Hayden explains — especially when the intelligence community he knows so well is being attacked. While he does not predict societal collapse or civil war in North America, he said he is worried about the “assault on truth” that is currently taking place.

“The veneer of civilization is something that is quite thin,” he said. “It has to be protected and nurtured.”

While most of the younger generations might not be aware of this — including some of the younger generations at MIT — he said “civilization as we know it” is not a given.

While this phenomenon can be witnessed all over the world, Hayden stressed that it presents a particular problem for U.S. society.

“America was a concept under which we built a nation. If you remove the concept you remove the basic fundamental character.” 

The United States was formed on the basis of the ideas of the Enlightenment, with adaptations and improvements being made as societies and “civilization” developed. Since then, those who rejected these ideas represented the negative phenomena in society and were often overpowered by the progressive or forward-thinking mainstream. Now, those who represent the negative segments of society are threatening to become mainstream.

“This is a rejection of the way of thinking that developed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Enlightenment. I don’t want to overemphasize this but the Western man, after that period, was generally pragmatic. Our definition of truth was the best working theory we could develop at the moment of objective reality. That dynamic is what I think is under threat,” Hayden explained.

Hayden described the predicament that our society currently finds itself as a three-layer cake with each layer representing the major “players.”

“The basic layer and therefore the most important one is us,” he said. “It is the American population where our political culture is moving in the direction of a post-truth reality.”

This is where the group from the anecdote fits in, as well as everyone else. Although Hayden places all of American society in the biggest layer at the bottom, he says that people who compose the third layer are very different. “The winds of globalization have been at my back for 50 years. The people I grew up with, the winds of globalization have largely been in their face and the uneven effects of globalization have created grievances,” he said.

The grievances are more cultural rather than economic, but it creates the conditions for people with seemingly “simple” answers to appeal to their grievances and “tribe loyalties” and actually make their case to them. Also like the group in the opening anecdote, this group relies on social media outlets for their news — as well as their facts.

“Social media knows you as well as you know yourself. The business model for social media is to keep you there, keep you on the site, so it gives you something that’s pleasing to you,” Hayden continued. “But the longer you’re there the more you want [it]. The core algorithm keeps giving you [that]. Which in this version are more extreme versions of the views you had when you entered the enterprise in the first place.”

He also emphasized the fact that working-class communities are those who are particularly susceptible to the divisions.

“It is the elites of the world who are uniting,” he said. “And it’s the workers of the world who are reaching for their national flags.” 

The second layer of the cake is the Trump administration. “Objective reality is not the distinctive departure point for what Trump says or does,” he said.

He offered another anecdote, a conversation he had with a retired PDB briefer — someone who delivers the president’s daily highly confidential briefings. They compared what sort of president Trump was. 

“He said, Mike we have had presidents who have argued with us — that was my experience with George W. Bush. We’ve had presidents who simply lie; the Nixonian image comes to mind. They don’t argue about objective reality, they just lie about it. He offered the view that Trump isn’t either of those.”

Trump, the retired briefer argued, was someone who “fully believed his version of events,” Hayden said. 

“Does the thought process there make a distinction between the past I need and the past that happened? And the answer is maybe not, which is a little bit different than lying.”

According to the briefer, the only proof of veracity that the president seems to need is “a lot of people saying they agree with him and if he can make it trending.”

The third layer are the Russians, but according to Hayden they are “the least of our problems.” Unlike layers three and two, which actively participate in questioning the truth, those in Russia who want to affect U.S. society base their interference on “existing divisions” — divisions that were created by layer one and layer two. He doesn’t doubt that the Russians were involved in trying to influence the 2016 elections, but whether anyone in the U.S. was involved depends on the results of the ongoing Mueller probe. Whether or not they influenced the votes is “unknowable and unmeasurable,” he said.

“What the Russians did we would call a covert influence campaign. The specifics of a covert influence campaign are clear: You never create a division in a society,” he said. “You identify pre-existing divisions and you exploit and worsen the pre-existing divisions.”

Their motives, he said, were to “mess with our heads,” punish Hillary Clinton, and delegitimize her as the inevitable winner, as well as hope to push votes in Trump’s direction.

The event was sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies as part of its flagship public event series, the MIT Starr Forum. The forum brings to campus leading authorities to discuss pressing issues in the world of international relations and U.S. foreign policy.

Getting serious about food safety

Milk may seem as wholesome a drink as there is, but it was not always so.

Consider the U.S. in the late 19th century. At the time, producers of milk — especially milk sold in U.S. cities — frequently watered it down. The resulting liquid was blended with chalk or plaster of Paris to appear more white. And that wasn’t the half of it: Milk often contained formaldehyde and a cleaning product called Borax. Thousands of people, including children, died from drinking milk.

Eventually, the federal government got around to cleaning up milk production, after landmark legislation in 1906. The safe milk we drink today is a result of that law. But getting to that point required a decades-long struggle by outraged advocates — among them Chicago activist Jane Addams, writer Upton Sinclair, and, not least, a crusading scientist named Harvey Washington Wiley, the chief chemist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wiley’s odyssey as a reformer and government official is at the center of a new book by MIT’s Deborah Blum, “The Poison Squad,” just published by Penguin Press. In it, Blum details the nascent 19th-century science and politics of food regulation, from the early efforts to figure out what dangers lay in food, to the torturous struggle to push regulations through the political system.

Wiley made headlines at the time through his efforts to reform food production and make eating safer for all Americans. Today, his legacy is little-known, which is a major reason why Blum wanted to reestablish his importance to us. 

“I’m really interested in scientists who drive paradigm shifts,” says Blum, the director of the Knight Science Journalism program at MIT and author of several books on science research and the history of science. Wiley, she adds, was a “catalyst” without whom daily life would have been worse for tens of millions of people.   

“I don’t mean the whole world was suddenly convulsed,” Blum added. “But he changed the way people think. And that’s a reminder that any of us can change the national or global conversation in a way that does good.”

A “really crazy experiment”

Wiley was an Indiana-bred, Harvard University-educated chemist who became an early faculty member at Purdue University. From there, after making his name through studies of multiple kinds of flawed food, he took his post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

As Blum makes clear, there was plenty for food reformers to study. As food production became more industrialized in an urbanizing country, food fakery abounded. “Honey” was often corn syrup, and “vanilla” was often alcohol and food coloring. Coffee could contain sawdust, and brown sugar was notoriously spiked with crushed insects at times.

The book’s title stems from one project Wiley undertook, in which he recruited men in their 20s — “the Poison Squad” — to eat three free meals a day. Some of those people were consuming food with laced with chemicals of uncertain effect, or other dubious ingredients.

“It’s this really crazy experiment you could never do today, in which a government scientist persuades government employees to dine really dangerously,” Blum notes.

Eventually Wiley — and others — amassed plenty of evidence showing that food regulations were necessary. Getting such legislation passed was a saga of its own, and as Blum details in the book, Wiley had a strained relationship with Theodore Roosevelt, the president who ultimately signed the laws Wiley had been fighting for. In theory, these two reformers might have seemed natural allies. In practice, relations between them were fraught.

“Here you have two men who are both progressive and who both want to change the country for better, and who both believe that the current system of poorly regulated industry and business is doing a disservice to the country,” Blum observes. “So you would expect them to be on the same page, but in fact they clashed from the beginning. … I think basically Roosevelt didn’t like him. And that worked against him [Wiley]. He charmed a lot of people, but he never charmed Teddy Roosevelt.”

One reason for this, Blum suggests, is that while Roosevelt was famous for breaking up monopolies, he was in fact fairly comfortable with big business, under the right conditions. But Wiley was, long before it became more fashionable, a relentless consumer advocate, above all. His unyielding consumer focus did not correspond to Roosevelt’s priorities as much as the president’s reputation might suggest.

“I had to fight my way back to liking Teddy Roosevelt after doing the book,” Blum says.

An education in history

The book, Blum’s eighth, has received praise from experts. Melinda Cep, senior director of policy for the World Wildlife Fund’s U.S. Markets and Food team, has called it “a timely tale about how scientists and citizens can work together on meaningful consumer protections.”

For her part, Blum also says she hopes readers come away from “The Poison Squad” thinking that it has “all kinds of lessons for today” about both the discovery of diluted food products and the enforcement issues that arise once laws are passed. A significant part of Blum’s book, for that matter, scrutinizes the enforcement challenges that arose after the food safety legislation was passed.

To be sure, cases of deception in food production are still with us — many kinds of seafood, for example, are not what they appear on the label. Then there are grey areas, where older laws “are completely inadequate for the 21st century,” as Blum puts it, due to changes in the way food is produced.

Many kinds of drinks do not fully list their ingredients, for instance, due to policy compromises between regulators and industry that allow manufacturers to keep ingredients as proprietary information.

“Natural flavorings,” says Blum. “What are they? You’re never going to know.”

Researching and writing the book, Blum says, was thus instructive to her about the progress of science, as well as the tensions and conflicts that have existed among corporations, consumers, and government — and still do. 

“It was an education for me,” Blum says. “An education in American history.”

Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.