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.

MIT and KTH will collaborate on urban planning and development in Stockholm

MIT and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden’s leading technological and engineering university, have announced a research collaboration focused on urban planning and development in Stockholm, Sweden.

The KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab will use artificial intelligence, big data, and new sensor technologies to help the city evolve into a more livable and sustainable metropolis. The City of Stockholm is part of the collaboration, which will commence work this spring and is planned to span five years.

The announcement was made during the recent 2019 Forum on Future Cities at MIT, a conference produced in association with the World Economic Forum’s Council on Cities and Urbanization.

The initiative will be led at MIT by Carlo Ratti, professor of the practice in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.

“We want to use Stockholm as a test bed to explore what it means to be a ‘smart’ city, and to better understand how new ways of analyzing data can create an urban experience that helps people, institutions, nature, and infrastructure better connect,” says Ratti.

As part of the collaboration, researchers from KTH and MIT will work together to gather and analyze vast quantities of data tied to topics such as transport, mobility, energy, and water supply. They will give particular focus to the challenges that Stockholm faces as it strives to balance technological development, sustainability, and growth. 

“This groundbreaking collaboration will provide both institutions with a rare opportunity to do research on cities that is of global importance,” says MIT Associate Provost Richard Lester, who oversees MIT’s international activities. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with our colleagues at KTH and in the City of Stockholm on developing new insights and new data-based tools that will make cities more sustainable and livable.”       

The collaboration will be organized around the concept of co-creation, with researchers in architecture, urban planning, engineering, and computer science from both universities working in tandem to exchange ideas, determine research priorities, and assess the city’s needs. 

“It is fantastic that we are starting such a broad, systematic, and long-term cooperation,” says Sigbritt Karlsson, president of KTH. “This type of interdisciplinary and international collaboration is very valuable. The collaboration between two leading universities of technology, together with the City of Stockholm, with an extensive amount of data already available, is unique in its concept, and through a well-developed partnership we see that this can lead to new types of cooperation in the future. ”

The collaboration between MIT, KTH, and Stockholm offers a unique opportunity for the city — the fastest-growing capital in Europe — to develop and build a smart city. This collaboration will give Stockholm new potential to create a sustainable city for the future, says Stockholm Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr.

The new lab’s first project will focus on urban segregation — that is, how people from varied economic and cultural groups have unequal access to a city and its benefits. Both MIT and KTH have already done extensive research in this area, on which the new collaboration will build. 

The collaboration is formally structured as a consortium between the founding partners KTH, MIT, the city of Stockholm, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and the Newsec Group (a Swedish real estate company). The vision for the future is to expand the collaboration and scale up the research.

The KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab was formally launched in Sweden in March at a ceremony in Stockholm’s City Hall, with Mayor Jerlmyr, President Karlsson of KTH, and the CEO of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in attendance.

A new era in 3-D printing

In the mid-15th century, a new technology that would change the course of history was invented. Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, with its movable type, promoted the dissemination of information and ideas that is widely recognized as a major contributing factor for the Renaissance.

Over 500 years later, a new type of printing was invented in the labs of MIT. Emanuel Sachs, professor of mechanical engineering, invented a process known as binder jet printing. In binder jet printing, an inkjet printhead selectively drops a liquid binder material into a powder bed — creating a three-dimensional object layer by layer.

Sachs coined a new name for this process: 3-D printing. “My father was a publisher and my mother was an editor,” explains Sachs. “Growing up, my father would take me to the printing presses where his books were made, which influenced my decision to name the process 3-D printing.”

Sachs’ binder jet printing process was one of several technologies developed in the 1980s and ’90s in the field now known as additive manufacturing, a term that has come to describe a wide variety of layer-based production technologies. Over the past three decades, there has been an explosion in additive manufacturing research. These technologies have the potential to transform the way countless products are designed and manufactured.

One of the most immediate applications of 3-D printing has been the rapid prototyping of products. “It takes a long time to prototype using traditional manufacturing methods,” explains Sachs. 3-D printing has transformed this process, enabling rapid iteration and testing during the product development process.

This flexibility has been a game-changer for designers. “You can now create dozens of designs in CAD, input them into a 3-D printer, and in a matter of hours you have all your prototypes,” adds Maria Yang, professor of mechanical engineering and director of MIT’s Ideation Laboratory. “It gives you a level of design exploration that simply wasn’t possible before.”

Throughout MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, many faculty members have been finding new ways to incorporate 3-D printing across a vast array of research areas. Whether it’s printing metal parts for airplanes, printing objects on a nanoscale, or advancing drug discovery by printing complex biomaterial scaffolds, these researchers are testing the limits of 3-D printing technologies in ways that could have lasting impact across industries.

Improving speed, cost, and accuracy

There are several technological hurdles that have prevented additive manufacturing from having an impact on the level of Gutenberg’s printing press. A. John Hart, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of MIT’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity, focuses much of his research on addressing those issues.

“One of the most important barriers to making 3-D printing accessible to designers, engineers, and manufacturers across the product life cycle is the speed, cost, and quality of each process,” explains Hart.

His research seeks to overcome these barriers, and to enable the next generation of 3-D printers that can be used in the factories of the future. For this to be accomplished, synergy among machine design, materials processing, and computation is required.

To work toward achieving this synergy, Hart’s research group examined the processes involved in the most well-known style of 3-D printing: extrusion. In extrusion, plastic is melted and squeezed through a nozzle in a printhead.

“We analyzed the process in terms of its fundamental limits — how the polymer could be heated and become molten, how much force is required to push the material through the nozzle, and the speed at which the printhead moves around,” adds Hart.

With these new insights, Hart and his team designed a new printer that operated at speeds 10 times faster than existing printers. A gear that would have taken one to two hours to print could now be ready in five to 10 minutes. This drastic increase in speed is the result of a novel printhead design that Hart hopes will one day be commercialized for both desktop and industrial printers.

While this new technology could improve our ability to print plastics quickly, printing metals requires a different approach. For metals, precise quality control is especially important for industrial use of 3-D printing. Metal 3-D printing has been used to create objects ranging from airplane fuel nozzles to hip implants, yet it is only just beginning to become mainstream. Items made using metal 3-D printing are particularly susceptible to cracks and flaws due to the large thermal gradients inherent in the process.

To solve this problem, Hart is embedding quality control within the printers themselves. “We are building instrumentation and algorithms that monitor the printing process and detect if there are any mistakes — as small as a few micrometers — as the objects are being printed,” Hart explains.

This monitoring is complemented by advanced simulations, including models that can predict how the powder used as the feedstock for printing is distributed and can also identify how to modify the printing process to account for variations.

Hart’s group has been pioneering the use of new materials in 3-D printing. He has developed methods for printing with cellulose, the world’s most abundant polymer, as well as carbon nanotubes, nanomaterials that could be used in flexible electronics and low-cost radio frequency tags.

When it comes to 3-D printing on a nanoscale, Hart’s colleague Nicholas Xuanlai Fang, professor of mechanical engineering, has been pushing the limits of how small these materials can be.

Printing nanomaterials using light

Inspired by the semiconductor and silicon chip industries, Fang has developed a 3-D printing technology that enables printing on a nanoscale. As a PhD student, Fang first got interested in 3-D printing while looking for a more efficient way to make the microsensors and micropumps used for drug delivery.

“Before 3-D printing, you needed expensive facilities to make these microsensors,” explains Fang. “Back then, you’d send design layouts to a silicon manufacturer, then you’d wait four to six months before getting your chip back.” The process was so time-intensive it took one of his labmates four years to get eight small wafers.

As advances in 3-D printing technologies made manufacturing processes for larger products cheaper and more efficient, Fang began to research how these technologies might be used on a much smaller scale.

He turned to a 3-D printing process known as stereolithography. In stereolithography, light is sent through a lens and causes molecules to harden into three-dimensional polymers — a  process known as photopolymerization.

The size of objects that could be printed using stereolithography were limited by the wavelength of the light being sent through the optic lens — or the so-called diffraction limit — which is roughly 400 nanometers. Fang and his team were the first researchers to break this limit.

“We essentially took the precision of optical technology and applied it to 3-D printing,” says Fang. The process, known as projection micro-stereolithography, transforms a beam of light into a series of wavy patterns. The wavy patterns are transferred through silver to produce fine lines as small as 40 nm, which is 10 times smaller than the diffraction limit and 100 times smaller than the width of a strand of hair.

The ability to pattern features this small using 3-D printing holds countless applications. One use for the technology Fang has been researching is the creation of a small foam-like structure that could be used as a substrate for catalytic conversion in automotive engines. This structure could treat greenhouse gases on a molecular level in the moments after an engine starts.

“When you first start your engine, it’s the most problematic for volatile organic components and toxic gases. If we were to heat up this catalytic convertor quickly, we could treat those gases more effectively,” he explains.

Fang has also created a new class of 3-D printed metamaterials using projection micro-stereolithography. These materials are composed of complex structures and geometries. Unlike most solid materials, the metamaterials don’t expand with heat and don’t shrink with cold.

“These metamaterials could be used in circuit boards to prevent overheating or in camera lenses to ensure there is no shrinkage that could cause a lens in a drone or UAV to lose focus,” says Fang.

More recently, Fang has partnered with Linda Griffith, School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, to apply projection micro-stereolithography to the field of bioengineering.

Growing human tissue with the help of 3-D printing

Human cells aren’t programmed to grow in a two-dimensional petri dish. While cells taken from a human host might multiply, once they become thick enough they essentially starve to death without a constant supply of blood. This has proved particularly problematic in the field of tissue engineering, where doctors and researchers are interested in growing tissue in a dish to use in organ transplants.

For the cells to grow in a healthy way and organize into tissue in vitro, they need to be placed on a structure or ‘scaffold.’  In the 1990s, Griffith, an expert in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, turned to a nascent technology to create these scaffolds — 3-D printing.

“I knew that to replicate complex human physiology in vitro, we needed to make microstructures within the scaffolds to carry nutrients to cells and mimic the mechanical stresses present in the actual organ,” explains Griffith.

She co-invented a 3-D printing process to make scaffolds from the same biodegradable material used in sutures. Tiny complex networks of channels with a branching architecture were printed within the structure of these scaffolds. Blood could travel through the channels, allowing cells to grow and eventually start to form tissue. 

Over the past two decades, this process has been used across various fields of medicine, including bone regeneration and growing cartilage in the shape of a human ear. While Griffith and her collaborators originally set out to regenerate a liver, much of their research has focused on how the liver interacts with drugs.

“Once we successfully grew liver tissue, the next step was tackling the challenge of getting useful predicative drug development information from it,” adds Griffith.

To develop more complex scaffolds that provide better predicative information, Griffith collaborated with Fang on applying his nano-3-D printing technologies to tissue engineering. Together, they have built a custom projection micro-stereolithography machine that can print high-resolution scaffolds known as liver mesophysiological systems (LMS). Micro-stereolithography printing allows the scaffolds that make up LMS to have channels as small as 40 microns wide. These small channels enable perfusion of the bioartificial organ at an elevated flow rate, which allows oxygen to diffuse throughout the densely packed cell mass.

“By printing these microstructures in more minute detail, we are getting closer to a system that gives us accurate information about drug development problems like liver inflammation and drug toxicity, in addition to useful data about single-cell cancer metastasis,” says Griffith.

Given the liver’s central role in processing and metabolizing drugs, the ability to mimic its function in a lab has the potential to revolutionize the field of drug discovery.

Griffith’s team is also applying their projection micro-stereolithography technique to create scaffolds for growing induced pluripotent stem cells into human-like brain tissue. “By growing these stem cells in the 3-D printed scaffolds, we are hoping to be able to create the next generation of more mature brain organoids in order to study complex diseases like Alzheimer’s,” explains Pierre Sphabmixay, a mechanical engineering PhD candidate in Griffith’s lab.

Partnering with Industry

For 3-D printing to make a lasting impact on how products are both designed and manufactured, researchers need to work closely with industry. To help bridge this gap, the MIT Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies (APT) was launched in late 2018.

“The idea was to intersect additive manufacturing research, industrial development, and education across disciplines all under the umbrella of MIT,” explains Hart, who founded and serves as director of APT. “We hope that APT will help accelerate the adoption of 3-D printing, and allow us to better focus our research toward true breakthroughs beyond what can be imagined today.”

Since APT launched in November 2018, MIT and the twelve company founding members — that include companies such as ArcelorMittal, Autodesk, Bosch, Formlabs, General Motors, and the Volkswagen Group — have met both at a large tradeshow in Germany and on campus. Most recently, they convened at MIT for a workshop on scalable workforce training for additive manufacturing.

“We’ve created a collaborative nexus for APT’s members to unite and solve common problems that are currently limiting the adoption of 3-D printing — and more broadly, new concepts in digitally-driven production — at a large scale,” adds Haden Quinlan, program manager of APT.  Many also consider Boston the epicenter of 3-D printing innovation and entrepreneurship, thanks in part to several fast-growing local startups founded by MIT faculty and alumni.

Efforts like APT, coupled with the groundbreaking work being done in the sphere of additive manufacturing at MIT, could reshape the relationship between research, design and manufacturing for new products across industries.

Designers could quickly prototype and iterate the design of products. Safer, more accurate metal hinges could be printed for use in airplanes or cars. Metamaterials could be printed to form electronic chips that don’t overheat. Entire organs could be grown from donor cells on 3-D printed scaffolds. While these technologies may not spark the next Renaissance as the printing press did, they offer solutions to some of the biggest problems society faces in the 21st century.

3Q: Hal Abelson on empowering kids through mobile technology

Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering in Computer Science, has long been dedicated to democratizing access to technology for children. In the 1970s, he directed the first implementation of the educational programming language Logo for the Apple II computer. During a sabbatical at Google in 2007, he launched App Inventor, a web-based, visual-programming environment that allows children to develop applications for smartphones and tablets. The platform was transferred to MIT in 2010, where it now has over 1 million active users a month, who hail from 195 countries.

As new technologies are rapidly developed and introduced, Abelson feels it is crucial to introduce children to computer science through hands-on learning activities so that they have a better understanding of how they can use and create such technologies. MIT News spoke with Abelson about MIT App Inventor and how it helps kids have an impact on people and communities around the world. 

Q: How did you get the idea for App Inventor, and what did you want it to achieve?

A: It’s crucial that we teach children how they can use technology to become informed and empowered citizens. Everyone is reacting to the enormous influence of computing, in particular how mobile technology has changed everyone’s lives. The question is, can people, in particular children, use mobile technology as a source for becoming informed and a source for becoming empowered? Do they see it as something that they can shape? Or is it purely going to be a consumer product that people react to?

I got the idea for App Inventor when I started thinking about how kids really weren’t using desktop computers anymore, and the real empowerment opportunities in the realm of computer science and technology nowadays are with smartphones. I thought to myself, “Why don’t we launch an initiative to make it possible for kids to make original applications for mobile phones?” When we started App Inventor, smartphones were just coming onto the market, and the notion that kids could be building applications for these devices was a little crazy.

Q: What are some of your favorite applications that kids have created using App Inventor?

A: The goal of App Inventor is to enable kids to participate in what I am referring to as computational action, which means building things that can actually have an impact on you, your family, and your country. We have some great examples of how students are using the platform to not only improve their own lives, but also the lives of the people around them.

One of my favorites apps was developed by a group of young women in Dharavi, which is located in India and is one of the largest slums in the world. These young women are creating apps aimed at improving the lives of their community. One of the apps that they created allows families to schedule time at the community water distribution site, reducing conflicts over access.

Another one that I love was created by a group of high-school girls in Moldova. Moldova has a water quality problem, so this group of students built an application that allows people to provide and access information about water quality around the country. For example, if you’re in Moldova and you go to a source of water, you can take out your phone and upload a picture of the water and information about its quality to the platform. This information is entered into a database that is accessible across the entire nation.

Thanks to this app, if you are driving around Moldova and are wondering if there is a good source of water in the area, you can use the application to find a safe source of drinking water. It’s pretty amazing to think about how four high school students have set up a national, geographic database that allows people to access clean water. This would not have been possible eight years ago, but now students are able to create something like this because there is an incredible technological infrastructure that allows people to do all sorts of amazing things.

Another app I love was created by a couple of kids in junior high school who were worried about bullying. It’s a really simple app that you can download with your friends. It works like this: If you are in the cafeteria and you are worried someone is going to come over and bully you, you press a button, which sends a message to your friends and alerts them to the fact that you need someone to come sit with you in the cafeteria because you are worried about being bullied. It’s really simple, but really effective.

Q: The App Inventor team recently participated in an event with the Cambridge Public Schools called “Freshman Technology Experience,” which was aimed at inspiring more — and more diverse students — to explore computer science. Can you talk about why you decided to participate?

A: Currently the App Inventor team is trying to get more involved with kids in the local area. Partly this is aimed at allowing us to conduct some of the initial testing of the new features we are developing for App Inventor. But it’s also about allowing the App Inventor team a greater ability to interact and work with local kids. If you’re involved in this project, part of the reason why is because you are interested in working with kids, so it’s great to be able to go out into the community and see kids using the platform and help them build stuff.

Even though App Inventor right now is focused on empowering kids to create technology for smartphones and tablets, I feel it should be emblematic of all the changes in technology that are available. Just in the past few years, new smart-home technologies like Alexa and Google Home have been developed that are now becoming widely integrated into people’s everyday existence. We have to think about how could kids be empowered around this emerging area of technology and how kids could help shape these new technologies.

It’s really important that we take the opportunity to educate kids about how to use technology. It doesn’t matter whether it’s kids or our representatives in Congress, in the long run it’s dangerous to our democracy if you have such powerful tools that people don’t understand. It’s particularly important that kids get this sense that technology is something they can shape. Even if they never go off and become programmers or do anything in the field of computer science, it’s important they understand that technology is something that they could influence or control.

In cancer research, a winding road to discovery

In 1961, people in the suburb of Niles, Illinois, experienced what they termed a “cancer epidemic.” Over a dozen children in the town were diagnosed with leukemia within a short time. Fears quickly spread that the illness could be contagious, carried by some type of “cancer virus.” News coverage soon identified several other towns with apparent “cancer clusters,” as well. Belief that cancer was a simple contagion, like polio or the flu, kept bubbling up.

“People wrote [to medical authorities] well into the 1960s asking, ‘I lived in a house where somebody had cancer. Am I going to catch cancer?’” says Robin Scheffler, the Leo Marx CD Assistant Professor in the History and Culture of Science and Technology at MIT.

Those fears were taken seriously. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) created the Special Virus Leukemia Program in 1964 and over the next 15 years spent more than $6.5 billion (in 2017 dollars) on cancer virus research intended to develop a vaccine. That’s more than the funding for the subsequent Human Genome Project, as Scheffler points out.

The results of that funding were complex, unanticipated — and significant, as Scheffler details in his new book, “A Contagious Cause: The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine,” published this week by the University of Chicago Press.

In the process, scientists did not find — and never have — a single viral cause of cancer. On the other hand, as a direct result of the NCI’s funding project, scientists did find oncogenes, the type of gene which, when activated, can cause many forms of cancer.

“That investment helped drive the field of modern molecular biology,” Scheffler says. “It didn’t find the human cancer virus. But instead of closing down, it invented a new idea of how cancer is caused, which is the oncogene theory.”

As research has continued, scientists today have identified hundreds of types of cancer, and about one out of every six cases has viral origins. While there is not one “cancer virus,” some vaccinations reduce susceptibility to certain kinds of cancer. In short, our understanding of cancer has become more sophisticated, specific, and effective — but the path of progress has had many twists and turns. 

Less insurance, more research

As Scheffler details in his book, fears that cancer was a simple contagion can be traced back at least to the 18th century. They appear to have gained significant ground in the early 20th-century U.S., however, influencing medical research and even hospital design.

The rise of massive funding for cancer research is mostly a post-World War II phenomenon; like much of Scheffler’s narrative, its story contains developments that would have been very hard to predict.

For instance, as Scheffler chronicles, one of the key figures in the growth of cancer research was the midcentury health care activist Mary Lasker, who with her husband had founded the Lasker Foundation in 1942, and over time helped transform the American Cancer Society.

During the presidency of Harry S. Truman, however, Lasker’s main goal was the creation of universal health insurance for Americans — an idea that seemed realistic for a time but was eventually shot down in Washington. That was a major setback for Lasker. In response, though, she became a powerful advocate for federal funding of medical research — especially through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the NCI, one of the NIH’s arms.

Scheffler calls this tradeoff — less government health insurance, but more biomedical research — the “biomedical settlement,” and notes that it was unique to the U.S. at the time. By contrast, in grappling with cancer through the 1960s, Britain and France, for example, put more relative emphasis on treatment, and Germany looked more extensively at environmental issues. Since the 1970s, there has been more convergence in the approaches of many countries.

“The term ‘biomedical settlement’ is a phrase I created to describe an idea that seems commonplace in the United States but is actually very extraordinary in the context of other industrial nations — which is, we will not federalize health care, but we will federalize health research,” Scheffler says. “It’s remarkable to keep the government out of one but invite it into the other.”

And while observers of the U.S. scientific establishment today know the NIH as a singular research force, they probably don’t think of it as compensation, in a sense, for the failed policy aims of Lasker and her allies.

“Someone like Mary Lasker is one of the architects of the settlement out of her conviction there were ways to involve the federal government even if they couldn’t provide medical care,” Scheffler adds.

Fighting through frustration

The core of “A Contagious Cause” chronicles critical research developments in the 1960s and 1970s, as biologists made headway in understanding many forms of cancer. But beyond its rich narrative about the search for a single cancer virus, “A Contagious Cause” also contains plenty of material that underscores the highly contingent, unpredictable nature of scientific discovery.

From stymied scientists to angry activists, many key figures in the book seemed to have reached dead ends before making the advances we now recognize. Yes, science needs funding, new instrumentation, and rich theories to advance. But it can also be fueled by frustration.

“The thing I find interesting is that there are a lot of moments of frustration,” Scheffler says. “Things don’t go the way people want, and they have to decide what they’re going to do next. I think often the history of science focuses on moments of discovery, or highlights great innovations and their successes. But talking about frustration and failure is also a very important topic to highlight in terms of how we understand the history of science.”

“A Contagious Cause” has received praise from other scholars. Angela Creager, a historian of science at Princeton University, has called it “powerfully argued” and “vital reading for historians of science and political historians alike.”

For his part, Scheffler says he hopes his book will both illuminate the history of cancer research in the U.S. and underscore the need for policymakers to apply a broad set of tools as they guide our ongoing efforts to combat cancer.

“Cancer is a molecular disease, but it’s also an environmental disease and a social disease. We need to understand the problem at all those levels to come up with a policy that best confronts it,” Scheffler says.

Difference Between Luxury Apartments And Regular Apartments

There is no doubt that the real estate market is seeing resurgence over the past few years. This is leading to spurt in demand for luxury apartments both for rent and outright purchase. However, the regular apartment segments still continue to attract more demand especially amongst the salaried and middle-income classes of people. Experts who monitor both these segments are of the opinion that both these will continue to grow quite strongly against the backdrop of improved economic parameters as far as the entire nation is concerned. But the challenge lies in identifying and differentiating between luxury apartments and regular apartments. Unless this difference is properly understood by the prospective buyers, they could end up making mistakes. Hence, we will try and find out the basic differences between regular apartments and luxury apartments for the benefit of our readers.

Cost Is An Important Factor

There is no doubt that cost is one of the most important factors when deciding between a regular apartment and a luxury apartment. Luxury apartments could range upwards from$300,000 and could touch even a few million. On the other hand, a decent regular apartment in the USA could come for a price of around $100,000 in many cities. Hence, this is one of the most important points to be kept in mind when you are planning to buy either a regular apartment or a luxury apartment.

Space

This is another important attribute that one needs to take into account when it comes to buying luxury apartments in Oklahoma City. Any apartment that is spread over more than 2000 square feet could be considered as a luxury one. However, this might vary slightly between cities. For example, in a crowded and congested city like New York or San Francisco the size of luxury apartments could start from around 1800 square feet because of obvious reasons.

Amenities And Comfort

When you are planning to invest in a luxury apartment, you certainly would look for much better comfort and amenities. There are quite a few of them but we will have a look at the most important aspects. To begin with, floor to ceiling height of luxury apartments are ideally around 12 to 15 feet or more. Without this, you can be sure that the apartment concerned would lose its luxury tag. Regular apartments usually have a floor to ceiling height of around 10 feet. Additionally, you do get to enjoy a plethora of other facilities as far as luxury apartments are concerned. These including private pools located at the rooftops, Jacuzzi, Juliet balconies, helipads to canopied walkways, amongst others. The quality of construction materials and fittings would also be of the best quality when you decide to invest in luxury apartments in Oklahoma City OK.

Regular apartments come with standard amenities such as power back-up, functional gymnasium, a swimming pool that is shared by other apartment owners, community hall, libraries, and other such things.

High Security

Finally, when it comes to security and safety, there is no doubt that luxury apartments are a notch above regular apartments. They most certainly will have intercoms, fire chutes, emergency buzzers and many other top of the line installations that will ensure a life free from stress.

 

Contact US:

J Marshall Square
Address: 9017 N University AveOklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 702-0060

A sustainability rating for space debris

Space is becoming increasingly congested, even as our societal dependence on space technology is greater than ever before.

With over 20,000 pieces of debris larger than 10 centimeters, including inactive satellites and discarded rocket parts hurtling around in Earth’s orbit, the risk of damaging collisions increases every year.

In a bid to address this issue, and to foster global standards in waste mitigation, the World Economic Forum has chosen a team led by the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, together with a team from the European Space Agency (ESA), to launch the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR), a concept developed by the Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies.

Similar to rating systems such as the LEED certification used by the construction industry, the SSR is designed to ensure long-term sustainability by encouraging more responsible behavior among countries and companies participating in space.

The team, announced on May 6 at the Satellite 2019 conference in Washington, also includes collaborators from Bryce Space and Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin.

The MIT portion of the team will be led by Danielle Wood, the Benesse Corporation Career Development Assistant Professor of Research in Education within MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences, and jointly appointed in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She will be working alongside Minoo Rathnasabapathy, a research engineer within the Space Enabled group. Professor Moriba Jah and Adjunct Professor Diane Howard contribute from the University of Texas at Austin building on Professor Jah’s in-depth research on tracking and visualizing space objects and Professor Howard’s legal knowledge, while Mike French and Aschley Schiller bring expertise about space industry dynamics from Bryce. The MIT-led team joins the efforts of Nikolai Khlystov and Maksim Soshkin in the World Economic Forum Aerospace Industry Team as well as Stijn Lemmens and Francesca Letzia in the Space Debris Office of the European Space Agency.

Working with the World Economic Forum and the other collaborators to create the SSR is directly in line with the mission of the Media Lab’s Space Enabled research group, of which Wood is also the founder and head, to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space.

“One element of justice is ensuring that every country has the opportunity to participate in using space technology as a form of infrastructure to provide vital services in our society such as communication, navigation, and environmental monitoring,” Wood says.

Many aspects of modern society depend on satellite services. Weather reports, for example, depend on a global network of weather satellites operated primarily by governments.

In addition, car drivers, trains, ships and airplanes routinely use satellite positioning services. These same positioning satellites also offer a highly accurate timing signal used by the global banking system to precisely time financial transactions.

“Our global economy depends on our ability to operate satellites safely in order to fly in planes, prepare for severe weather, broadcast television and study our changing climate,” Wood says. “To continue using satellites in orbit around Earth for years to come, we need to ensure that the environment around Earth is as free as possible from trash leftover from previous missions.”

When satellites are retired from useful service, many will remain in orbit for decades longer, adding to the problem of space debris.

In the best case scenario, satellites will gradually drift down to lower orbits and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. However, the higher the orbit a satellite is operating in, the longer it takes to move down and burn up.

When satellite operators design their satellites, they are able to choose which altitude to use, and for how long their spacecraft will operate. They therefore have a responsibility to design their satellites to produce as little waste as possible in Earth’s orbit.

“The Space Sustainability Rating will create an incentive for companies and governments operating satellites to take all the steps they can to reduce the creation of space debris,” Wood says. “This will create a more equitable opportunity for new countries to participate in space with less risk of collision with older satellites.”

Many governments already provide guidelines to companies operating within their borders, to help reduce the amount of space debris produced. The space community is also engaged in an ongoing discussion about new ways to reduce the creation of debris.

But in the meantime, multiple companies are planning to launch large constellations of satellites that will quickly increase the number of spacecraft in orbit. These satellite constellations will eventually be decommissioned, adding to the growing space junk problem.

To address this issue, the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Space Technologies, which is composed of leaders from government, academia and industry, has developed the concept of a voluntary system, the SSR, to encourage those who operate satellites to create as little debris as possible.

The newly announced team will draw up the rules and processes by which the SSR will operate, including determining what information should be collected from satellite operators to assess their impact on space sustainability.

“Countries in every region are starting new space programs to participate in applying space to their national development,” Wood says. “Creating the Space Sustainability Rating with our collaborators is one key step to ensure that all countries continue to increase the benefits we receive from space technology,” she says.

With a lack of diversity in existing strategies to tackle the orbital debris challenge, the Global Future Council felt it important to develop an industry-wide approach, according to Nikolai Khlystov, lead for aerospace industry at the World Economic Forum.

“We are very glad to partner with leading industry entities such as the European Space Agency, MIT’s Space Enabled research group, the University of Texas at Austin and Bryce Space and Technology to build and launch the Space Sustainability Rating,” Khlystov says.

The envisaged SSR has as clear goal to promote mission designs and operational concepts that avoid an unhampered growth in space debris and the resulting detrimental effects, says Stijn Lemmens, senior space debris mitigation analyst in the Space Debris Office at ESA.

“Together with our collaborators, we aim to put in place a system that has the flexibility to stimulate and drive innovative sustainable design solutions, and spotlight those missions that contribute positively to the space environment,” Lemmens says.

MIT Solve announces $1.25 million in funding for 2019 Solver teams

MIT Solve, an MIT initiative that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing issues, has announced a prize pool of $1.25 million for its next class of Solver teams. Prize sponsors include General MotorsPatrick J. McGovern FoundationVodafone Americas FoundationSchmidt FuturesEverytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, and the Andan Foundation. The prize sponsors will convene at Solve at MIT from May 7-9 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the rest of the Solve community, including 2018 Solver teams, members, sponsors, and MIT faculty, staff, and students.

Solve seeks solutions from tech innovators around the world for its 2019 Global Challenges: Circular Economy, Community-Driven Innovation, Early Childhood Development, and Healthy Cities. Anyone can submit a solution and apply for the $1.25 million in prize funding by July 1. Finalists will be invited to pitch their solutions at Solve Challenge Finals during United Nations General Assembly Week in New York City on Sept. 22. At the event, leading cross-sector experts will select 35 of the most promising tech-based innovators to become Solver teams. They will work with Solve for the next year to scale their solutions with the support of funding, networking, mentorship, marketing, and more from the Solve community.

2019 MIT Solve Prizes available for selected Solver teams include:

  • Solver Funding: MIT Solve will award a $10,000 grant to all Solver teams selected during Solve Challenge Finals in September by the cross-sector judging panels of each of Solve’s four Global Challenges.

  • GM Prizes, supported by General Motors:

    • Solutions that foster prosperity and social mobility for underrepresented community members — including through STEM education — are eligible for the GM Prize on Community-Driven Innovation. Up to $50,000 will be granted to two recipients.

    • Solutions that help communities shift towards a more circular economy through zero waste and zero carbon — including through STEM education for new design and manufacturing techniques — are eligible for the GM Prize on Circular Economy. Up to $50,000 will be granted to two recipients.

  • AI Innovations Prize, supported by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Schmidt Futures: Solutions that are propelled by advanced computing techniques or that leverage artificial intelligence to address any of the four challenges are eligible for a prize up to $500,000, granted across several recipients.

  • Innovation for Women Prize, supported by the Vodafone Americas Foundation: Solutions that use technology to empower and enrich the lives of women and girls are eligible for up to $75,000 across up to three Solver teams addressing any of Solve’s Global Challenges.

  • Everytown for Gun Safety Prize, supported by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund: Holistic, community-based Healthy Cities solutions that use technology to make cities safer are eligible for up to $100,000 in grant funding.

  • Innovating Together for Healthy Cities Prize, supported by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court: This prize of $75,000 will be awarded to one prize recipient, and is open to projects that focus on preventing or managing infectious disease or vector-borne illness in cities or slums.

  • Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Prize, supported by the Andan Foundation: Solutions that use innovation to advance economic, financial, and political inclusion of refugees in their hosting communities are eligible for this prize of up to $50,000. Eligible Solver teams will be selected from the Community-Driven Innovation Challenge.

“We are thrilled to work with such a diverse array of leading organizations to secure much needed funding for solutions to the world’s most intractable challenges,” said Alex Amouyel, executive director at MIT Solve. “There are innovators solving world challenges all around the world, but too few of them have access to the capital and expertise they need to scale. At Solve, we’re helping to bridge the pioneer gap in social impact, which is critical to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

MIT Solve invites the MIT community to attend Tech for Equality, the opening plenary of Solve at MIT 2019, on May 7 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium. Tickets are free and those interested can RSVP here. Media interested in attending can apply for media credentials by emailing press@solve.mit.edu.

Solve issues four Global Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact. In the last two years, Solve has brokered more than $7.5 million in grant funding to Solver teams, in addition to in-kind support. Last year, more than 1,150 people from 110 countries submitted solutions to Solve’s four Global Challenges.

From science class to the stock exchange

Stephon Henry-Rerrie grew up in Brooklyn as the oldest of five siblings. He loved math puzzles from a young age and chose a premed track in his specialized high school. He never thought he’d study at MIT, but after being accepted to MIT’s Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering (WISE), a program for high school seniors from underrepresented communities to learn about the MIT experience, he changed his mind.

Before visiting MIT, “I could never see myself here, because it was just this ivory-tower looking place,” he says. “Whereas when I was here, and I was talking with people, I was like, ‘Oh, wow I can hang.’ Maybe I do belong here.”

Henry-Rerrie, now a senior, has discovered many passions during his time at the Institute. He realized early on that he didn’t want to pursue medicine, and chose to major in chemical engineering. Then, after realizing how versatile physics could be, he picked that up as a second major. In four years, he has helped create particle simulations, worked on a trading floor, conducted research in the chemical engineering industry, and mentored younger MIT students. He would never have predicted ending up where he is now — but he wouldn’t trade it.

“I have a very weird, nonlinear trajectory that I’ve taken,” he says. “But along the way I’ve learned lots of things about myself and about the world.”

In the market for growth

When Henry-Rerrie accepted an internship at Morgan Stanley the summer after his first year, he had no idea that he’d be working on the trading floor. Some similarities to the movie “Wall Street” were uncanny, he says — he was surrounded by bond traders, and his mentor underwrote municipal bonds. He says the experience of working in finance fundamentally changed his life. Not only did he learn to speak up among many powerful voices, he also realized that science and engineering are directly tied into economics. Research doesn’t happen in a vacuum — when scientists make discoveries, that impacts the economy.

“I think I needed that exposure,” he says. “Because if I hadn’t, I feel like I wouldn’t have the perspective that I have now on, what does this all mean? What is going on? What’s this larger system that we exist in?”

He really enjoyed working within the financial sector. And, after meeting a number of former physicists (and chemical engineers) now working in financial roles at Morgan Stanley, he realized that studying physics rather than economics wouldn’t hurt his chances of getting a job in finance — so he took on a double major and was thrilled to study another area he’s always been fascinated by.

In his sophomore year, he worked in the lab of Assistant Professor James Swan, creating particle simulations with PhD student Zachary Sherman. The pair looked at how varying two different kinds of interactions between nanoparticles in solution affected those nanoparticles. Henry-Rerrie likens it to having a bunch of people (representing the particles) in a room where temperature and wind are controlled by two knobs. As you turn up the temperature knob, or the wind knob, or both knobs in varying amounts, the people will react.

“What will those people be feeling? What will they do? … I can turn those knobs and record, what did those people do at each specific value? And then after that, can we see a trend in how people will react?”

The following summer, Henry-Rerrie took an internship at chemical engineering company Praxair. The people there were great, he says, but as he considered his options for the future, he found his heart was with financial markets. The following summer, he took a job at investment management company BlackRock.

“I also found that finance touches everything, everybody’s life, in a very real way that you can’t get away from, at least now,” he says.

For him, BlackRock was the perfect compromise between chemical engineering and finance. As much of his role involved risk and quantitative analysis, he was able to practice many of the techniques he learned in engineering, as well as do real work in the finance sector.

“At my internship at BlackRock, I was able to apply everything that I learned,” he says. “Not necessarily the technical stuff, but the way of problem solving, of thinking.”

Chocolate City

When Henry-Rerrie was first visiting MIT, he was introduced to a living group called Chocolate City, in New House. The group consisted of black and Latino men supporting each other socially, academically, and professionally.

“When I saw that, that was the signal to me that MIT is just a special place,” he says.

He was accepted to live in Chocolate City his first year and has been there ever since. He has served in a variety of roles, including athletics chair, social chair, co-chair, and now resident peer mentor. He describes himself as the big brother of the house, working to get people to socialize and bond with each other. Living in the group has had its challenges, as its members come from diverse backgrounds and often have conflicting opinions. But that’s all part of the learning experience that makes it so valuable, he says.

“Being in that ecosystem has, I think, developed me into the person I am now, and helped me to feel like I can take on, I can take on anything after I graduate here.”

Henry-Rerrie loves being part of Chocolate City, and is grateful for how much it has developed him as a person. That’s why he’s chosen to give back to the other residents this year as the resident peer mentor, and why he plans to continue to help out as an alumnus. To him, Chocolate City is much more than a place to sleep and study.

“I feel like I’m home,” he says of being a part of the living group. “I don’t feel like I’m at a dorm; I feel like I’m home.”

Science in context

Henry-Rerrie is grateful for the context that his humanities, arts, and social sciences (HASS) classes have given him in his scientific pursuits. He recalls one class, 8.225 (Physics of the Twentieth Century), that introduced him to an entire world of physics history. He learned everything from the politics underlying physics to the fact that Erwin Schrödinger himself was skeptical of quantum theory — he only made the cat analogy to show how crazy it was.

“A lot of ways that we evaluate people and what they’ve done can be super muddled if we don’t understand the history of how things came about,” he says.

It’s that kind of learning, bridging concepts that he never assumed were related, that Henry-Rerrie really enjoys. The applications to engineering and broader society are what drew him to finance; his research and economic work at BlackRock was so fulfilling that he’s accepted an offer to return after graduation full-time.

Longer term, Henry-Rerrie isn’t sure where exactly he’ll end up. He’s considering business school in his five-year plan and would love to end up back at MIT for that. His broader goal, at least right now, is to figure out where his skills can be put to the greatest use.

“I’m all about finding connections. Between, I guess, very weird things. Things that don’t seem that related,” he says.

The quest to understand human society scientifically

Is it appropriate to evaluate the causes of suicide but dismiss mental illness as a contributing factor? What happens when you talk about war deaths as colored wedges on a chart? Does that change the conversation in important ways?

MIT students grappled with these and similar questions this spring in STS.047 (Quantifying People), a new subject focused on the history of the quest to understand human society scientifically. William Deringer, the Leo Marx Career Development Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, says he developed the class to enable students to explore the questions that motivate much of his own research: “Why do we invest so much trust in numbers, and what are the consequences for who we are?”

Deringer has written a book on the subject, “Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age” (Harvard University Press, 2018), in which he examines the history of human efforts to use statistics to influence opinions and shape policy. “Many MIT students will likely be practitioners in the data field, so I want to encourage them to think about these issues,” he says.

The class has certainly gotten Jordan Browne thinking. “There’s this idea that by working with numbers people aren’t making moral judgments, but that’s a really dangerous assumption,” says Browne, a senior in the class who is majoring in mathematical economics. “This should be a required class.”

In fact, STS.047 will be one of several courses featured in a new MIT undergraduate HASS concentration focused on Computational Cultures, which “brings together perspectives from the humanities and social sciences for students to understand and improve the social, cultural, and political impact of the computing tools and digital devices that shape our lives.”

Are numbers neutral?

STS.047 covers the history of science from the 17th century to the present as seen through the eyes of early statisticians and sociologists — people who were building new fields by attempting to understand social life through quantification.

One goal of the class, Deringer says, is to prompt students to consider the ways in which the tools we use to understand issues today can themselves reflect biases. “Thinking about old projects of quantification — the ways things look weird, wrong, or biased — helps you see how subjective elements might play out in current practice,” he says.

In the late 1850s, for example, British nurse, social reformer, and statistician Florence Nightingale gathered mortality data from the Crimean War and created visualizations to show that wounded soldiers were dying from disease due to poor sanitation in military hospitals. Those deaths were represented as blue wedges on a diagram, prompting Nightingale to make this impassioned plea to save lives: “Expunge the blue wedges.”

“That really struck me,” Deringer says. “There is some sort of strange transmutation that happens when you take data, turn it into something visual, then that is what you act on. That’s an interesting way of interacting with the world.”

Students discussing the work during one class session this spring wondered if Nightingale had abstracted the problem to make it seem easier to solve, although some found it odd that she had effectively dehumanized those who had died.

The students in class that day also discussed the work of 19th century French sociologist Emile Durkheim, who studied the correlation of suicide to such social circumstances as religion, marital status, and economic class. While Nightingale was using statistics in an attempt to change policy and save lives, Durkheim took an abstract approach that was less focused on solutions — and many students were unsettled by his dry assessment of the suicide data.

“They’re not just statistics, they’re people too,” says Yiran He.

The complicated history of quantitative methods

A junior in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, He says she signed up for STS.047 to gain insight into today’s data-driven society. “Numbers rule everything I see in the rest of my life: measurements and results in academia in science and engineering, statistics in politics and policy decisions, models in economic decisions, and everything between and beyond,” she says. “I felt it was important to understand the origins of the statistics we use.”

For example, students in STS.047 learned that many tools in use today — including regression analysis — were developed through eugenics research. “These tools that every student here uses have this really insidious beginning,” Browne says.

This supports a point Deringer makes right in the syllabus for STS.047. “Social science and quantitative methods have a complicated history. There is much to celebrate and also much to criticize.”

This complex interplay of science and society is precisely what attracted Rhea Lin to the subject. “I wanted to take a humanities course that would give me the opportunity to reflect on how society has been impacted by science in the past and how my work as an engineer might affect people in the future,” says Lin, a senior majoring in electrical engineering and computer science.

“From this class, I have learned that technology and science are not always the answer to our problems. We’ve studied social scientists who have thrown statistics and theories at society in questionable ways, and I think it’s important to remember that science is not effective if not used correctly,” Lin says.

 
 
Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Senior Writer: Kathryn O’Neill

Nine universities team up to create global infrastructure for digital academic credentials

While digital technology has started to transform education by enabling new learning pathways that are customized to each individual’s needs, the way that educational institutions issue and manage academic credentials has not changed much. Nine leading universities announced that they have formed the Digital Credentials collaboration in order to create a trusted, distributed, and shared infrastructure standard for issuing, storing, displaying, and verifying academic credentials.

“Currently, those who successfully complete a degree from an institution must go back to that institution — sometimes by mail or even in person — each time there is a need to verify the academic credentials earned,” says Sanjay Sarma, MIT vice president for open learning. “This can be a complicated problem, especially if the learner no longer has access to the university. Such is the case with many refugees, immigrants, and displaced populations.” 

The universities working on this effort include Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Harvard University Division of Continuing Education; the Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico; Technical University of Munich, Germany; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; and the University of Toronto, Canada. 

“As teaching and learning offered by our universities has come to encompass digital platforms, and as each of our learners have gained the power to shape their own educational trajectory over a lifetime, the question of trusted verification and authentication of learning and credentials poses itself with broad urgency,” says Diana Wu, dean of university extension and new academic ventures at UC Berkeley.

Using technology that relies on strong cryptography to prevent tampering and fraud, and shared ledgers to create a global infrastructure for anchoring academic achievements, the researchers plan to build upon earlier research and pioneering efforts by their institutions — including MIT’s pilot program for issuing all of its graduates a digital version of their diploma that is verified against a blockchain. 

One of the driving forces behind this shared effort is the interest by universities to utilize the advances brought by these new technologies in a way that prioritizes the needs of learners. Digital credentials allow learners to maintain a compelling and verifiable digital record of their lifelong learning achievements that may include badges, internships, bootcamps, certificates, MicroMasters (graduate-level courses), and stackable combinations thereof, as well as traditional degrees — all of which they can easily share with employers or other institutions. Institutions can record and manage the achievements of their learners in a way that is easy, safe, and inexpensive, and minimizes the risk of identity fraud.

“We are well-positioned in academia to use cutting-edge technology to empower learners to advance their careers and education with credentials in the palms of their hands,” says Hans Pongratz, senior vice president for IT systems and services at Technical University of Munich.

The team has now set their sights on the evolution and governance of a shared standard. “Digital credentials are like tokens of social and human capital and hold tremendous value for the individual. The crucial opportunity we have today is to bring together institutions that share a commitment to the benefit of learners, and who can act as stewards of this infrastructure,” says Philipp Schmidt, director of learning innovation at the MIT Media Lab. 

“Our shared vision is one where academic achievements, and the corresponding credentials that verify them, can open up new pathways for individuals to become who they want to be in the future,” says José Escamilla, director of TecLabs Learning Reimagined at Tecnologico de Monterrey.

To learn more about this project, visit digitalcredentials.mit.edu.

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