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Forging political alliances through supply chains

The bustling coastal city of Wenzhou made its mark early on Hao Zhang. “It is considered the birthplace of Chinese capitalism, and living there, with many relatives involved in startups, I was exposed to all kinds of business,” says Zhang, a rising fifth-year graduate student in political science. He also gained a close-up view of […]

Tipping the balance between global rivals

John David Minnich was under the spell of political philosophy until he took a trip across a bridge in China. The doctoral student in political science vividly recalls this life-changing 2009 journey, undertaken as part of a summer research fellowship program.  “Driving in from the airport, I was overwhelmed by my first glimpse of the […]

Tech in translation

The Sony Walkman and virtual reality headsets are not just prominent examples of personal technology. In the hands of Paul Roquet, they’re also vehicles for learning more about Japan, the U.S., global technology trends — and ourselves. Roquet is an associate professor in MIT’s program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing, and his forte is analyzing how […]

Emma Gibson: Optimizing health care logistics in Africa

Growing up in South Africa at the turn of the century, Emma Gibson saw the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its devastating impact on her home country, where many people lacked life-saving health care. At the time, Gibson was too young to understand what a sexually transmitted infection was, but she knew that HIV […]

Bringing hope and transformation to the Democratic Republic of Congo

MIT graduate student Milain Fayulu is on a mission. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fayulu is telling, and selling, the story of his nation in the hope of aiding its people and transforming its economy. For decades, the DRC has been hobbled by corruption and bloody civil conflicts. “I grew up with […]

Tackling chemical synthesis and advocacy

Azin Saebi was born and raised in Iran, emigrating to the U.S. with her family at 18 after graduating from high school. Now a fifth-year graduate student in chemistry, Saebi never intended to stay permanently; she initially expected to go back to Iran to attend university. With that in mind, when leaving for the U.S., […]

Bringing “cultural diplomacy” to the classics

People often put national boundaries around the written word. If you read French poetry or Victorian novels, it is tempting to understand those texts strictly in relation to the history and culture of France or Britain. Yet it often helps to take a wider view about literary production. Consider that for many centuries, Chinese provided […]

Frequent encounters build familiarity

Do better spatial networks make for better neighbors? There is evidence that they do, according to Paige Bollen, a sixth-year political science graduate student at MIT. The networks Bollen works with are not virtual but physical, part of the built environment in which we are all embedded. Her research on urban spaces suggests that the […]

Leveraging science and technology against the world’s top problems

Looking back on nearly a half-century at MIT, Richard K. Lester, associate provost and Japan Steel Industry Professor, sees a “somewhat eccentric professional trajectory.” But while his path has been irregular, there has been a clearly defined through line, Lester says: the emergence of new science and new technologies, the potential of these developments to shake […]

Finding the questions that guide MIT fusion research

“One of the things I learned was, doing good science isn’t so much about finding the answers as figuring out what the important questions are.” As Martin Greenwald retires from the responsibilities of senior scientist and deputy director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), he reflects on his almost 50 years of […]

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