Honors


Siri storm caused by economist's comments

BBC News

Nobel prize laureate Sir Christopher Pissarides's comments at a conference in Norway attracted fierce criticism. The gender and accent of Apple's voice assistant across iPhone, iPad, Mac and other Apple devices has historically been dependent on regional settings. "The comments made do reflect consistent results that people make social judgements about computer speech outputs, and those seem to relate to gender stereotypes that exist in the wider world," Dr Kate Hone, a computer science academic at Brunel University, told the BBC. Out of the 15 male and 17 female participants interviewed, the participants mainly preferred male voices because they found the voices to be more reassuring.


Dean for Undergraduate Education announces 2017 Infinite Mile Award recipients

MIT News

Emily Sheldon of the MIT Admissions Office won her award for devoting considerable time and energy to recruiting and enrolling a diverse array of students, in particular transfer students, veterans, and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students. Her collaborative efforts to attract ROTC students have contributed to a five-fold increase in the number of students admitted to the MIT ROTC programs. Jake Livengood of the Global Education and Career Development Office was recognized for developing engaging improv workshops to help students improve their job search skills and enhance their self confidence. Katherine Wahl of the UAAP's Assistive Technology Information Center received the award for developing novel methods to meet the increased demand for accessibility evaluations.


What do George Orwell and Winston Churchill have in common? A new book has the answer

Los Angeles Times

Churchill's political leanings were conservative; Orwell flirted with communism until he witnessed the betrayal of his Republican comrades by Soviet agents in the Spanish Civil War. Many books have been devoted to Churchill, including his six-volume memoir of World War II. Both blurred the line between soldier and journalist; Churchill in the Boer War, Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. "Animal Farm," a tale of power-hungry pigs who take over a farm after the human farmer flees, was such a devastating sendup of Soviet politics, Orwell had a hard time finding a publisher in left-leaning London.


ISI Karl Pearson Prize for 2017

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All that aside, the job of the committee was to select an English-language article or book published in the last 30 years that has made a stand-alone research contribution, and which has had major influence on one or more of statistical theory, statistical methodology, statistical practice and application. There were many excellent nominations, but we decided to award the 2017 prize to Rod Little and Don Rubin for their 1987 book "Statistical analysis with missing data". These days, we routinely discuss whether data are "missing at random", "missing completely at random", or "missing not at random". Earlier missing data work was ad hoc at best.


What do George Orwell and Winston Churchill have in common? A new book has the answer

Los Angeles Times

Churchill's political leanings were conservative; Orwell flirted with communism until he witnessed the betrayal of his Republican comrades by Soviet agents in the Spanish Civil War. Many books have been devoted to Churchill, including his six-volume memoir of World War II. Both blurred the line between soldier and journalist; Churchill in the Boer War, Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. "Animal Farm," a tale of power-hungry pigs who take over a farm after the human farmer flees, was such a devastating sendup of Soviet politics, Orwell had a hard time finding a publisher in left-leaning London.


A record crowd in Washington celebrates MIT's culture of innovation and discovery

MIT News

Next, President Reif introduced three "MIT stars": Lily Tsai, John Urschel, and Sangeeta Bhatia. As founder and faculty director of the MIT Governance Lab, Associate Professor Lily Tsai leads a team of political scientists developing new strategies in citizen engagement, government responsiveness, and accountability in developing regions. Professor Sangeeta Bhatia SM '93, PhD '97 creates tiny nanoparticles that will have an enormous impact on human health. Bhatia directs the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and serves on the faculty of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.


King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden visits MIT

MIT News

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden visited MIT on Friday as part of a "Royal Technology Mission" for his country, attending presentations about research and the Institute's innovation ecosystem, among other topics. The king toured the MIT Media Lab and listened to talks from MIT faculty focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence. It was His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf's first visit to MIT -- although, as Lester pointed out, not the first time any MIT faculty members have met him, since the king annually presents Nobel Prize winners with their medals. At the Media Lab, the Swedish delegation received tours of the Changing Places Resarch Group, which focuses on urban planning and mobility, and the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group, which develops online tools for education and play.


Astute Solutions Honored as Gold Stevie® Award Winner in 2017 American Business AwardsSM

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COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Astute Solutions was named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the New Software category in the 15th Annual American Business Awards today. The consumer engagement software firm's chatbot product, Astute BotTM, won the top honor in its category. This year, the American Business Awards received more than 3,600 nominations in a wide variety of categories from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry. Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.


Tommi Jaakkola appointed Thomas Siebel Professor in EECS and IDSS

MIT News

"The appointment recognizes Professor Jaakkola's leadership in the area of machine learning and his outstanding mentorship and educational contributions," Chandrakasan and Dahleh wrote in a message to EECS faculty. In natural language processing (NLP), his contributions solving hard combinatorial inference problems such as natural language parsing, developing deep convolutional representations of text, and reframing complex models to reveal interpretable rationales for prediction. In addition, Jaakkola "has made outstanding educational contributions," Chandrakasan and Dahleh noted. He has also co-chaired or overseen areas of major conferences, including the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), and the Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS).


Celaton receives Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation

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Today, Milton Keynes based Artificial Intelligence software company, Celaton has been named a winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017. The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious business awards to celebrate and encourage business excellence. Established in 2004, Celaton Limited has designed and implemented a machine learning software platform which, enables better customer service, faster. Celaton's technology has enabled transformation in customer service at ambitious brands like Virgin Trains, ASOS and DixonsCarphone.