Calendar

Feb
22
Thu
Reading and Q&A with Jennifer Finney Boylan @ Wong Auditorium, E51-115
Feb 22 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

The MIT Program in Women’s and Gender Studies welcomes Jennifer Finney Boylan to the MIT campus for a reading and Q&A on She’s Not There. The MIT Press Bookstore will be on-site to sell copies of the book.

Agenda

4:00 pm: reception and book signing, Ting Foyer

5:00 pm: reading and Q&A, Wong Auditorium E51-115

About the author

JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN is Professor of English at Colby College and the author of the bestseller She’s Not There, as well as the acclaimed novels The Planets and Getting In. A three-time guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has also appeared on Larry King Live, Today, and 48 Hours, and has played herself on ABC’s All My Children. She lives in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.

Feb
27
Tue
Marie Hicks: Programmed Inequality @ MIT Press Bookstore
Feb 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us as we welcome Marie Hicks to the MIT Press Bookstore to discuss and sign copies of Programmed Inequality. Books will be on sale at the event for 20% off, or you can purchase an event ticket that includes a discounted book.

About Programmed Inequality:

In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. As Britain struggled to use technology to retain its global power, the nation’s inability to manage its technical labor force hobbled its transition into the information age.

In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government’s systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation’s largest computer user—the civil service and sprawling public sector—to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.

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Mar
2
Fri
Launch: Varun Sivaram, Taming the Sun @ MIT Energy Conference @ Boston Marriott Cambridge
Mar 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Celebrate the official launch of Taming the Sun, by Varun Sivaram, at the MIT Energy Conference showcase on March 2, 2018.

More information about the conference is available here: http://www.mitenergyconference.org.

The MIT Press Bookstore will be on-hand to sell books at the showcase.

About Taming the Sun:

Solar energy, once a niche application for a limited market, has become the cheapest and fastest-growing power source on earth. What’s more, its potential is nearly limitless—every hour the sun beams down more energy than the world uses in a year. But in Taming the Sun, energy expert Varun Sivaram warns that the world is not yet equipped to harness erratic sunshine to meet most of its energy needs. And if solar’s current surge peters out, prospects for replacing fossil fuels and averting catastrophic climate change will dim.

Innovation can brighten those prospects, Sivaram explains, drawing on firsthand experience and original research spanning science, business, and governmentFinancial innovation is already enticing deep-pocketed investors to fund solar projects around the world, from the sunniest deserts to the poorest villages. Technological innovation could replace today’s solar panels with coatings as cheap as paint and employ artificial photosynthesis to store intermittent sunshine as convenient fuels. And systemic innovation could add flexibility to the world’s power grids and other energy systems so they can dependably channel the sun’s unreliable energy.

Unleashing all this innovation will require visionary public policy: funding researchers developing next-generation solar technologies, refashioning energy systems and economic markets, and putting together a diverse clean energy portfolio. Although solar can’t power the planet by itself, it can be the centerpiece of a global clean energy revolution.

A Council on Foreign Relations Book.

Mar
3
Sat
Martin Erwig, Once Upon an Algorithm @ MIT Press Bookstore
Mar 3 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Please join the MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming Martin Erwig to discuss and sign copies of Once Upon an Algorithm on Saturday, March 3, 4:00 p.m. Copies of the book will be on sale for a 20% discount.

About Once Upon an Algorithm:

Picture a computer scientist, staring at a screen and clicking away frantically on a keyboard, hacking into a system, or perhaps developing an app. Now delete that picture. In Once Upon an Algorithm, Martin Erwig explains computation as something that takes place beyond electronic computers, and computer science as the study of systematic problem solving. Erwig points out that many daily activities involve problem solving. Getting up in the morning, for example: You get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. This simple daily routine solves a recurring problem through a series of well-defined steps. In computer science, such a routine is called an algorithm.

Erwig illustrates a series of concepts in computing with examples from daily life and familiar stories. Hansel and Gretel, for example, execute an algorithm to get home from the forest. The movie Groundhog Day illustrates the problem of unsolvability; Sherlock Holmes manipulates data structures when solving a crime; the magic in Harry Potter’s world is understood through types and abstraction; and Indiana Jones demonstrates the complexity of searching. Along the way, Erwig also discusses representations and different ways to organize data; “intractable” problems; language, syntax, and ambiguity; control structures, loops, and the halting problem; different forms of recursion; and rules for finding errors in algorithms.

This engaging book explains computation accessibly and shows its relevance to daily life. Something to think about next time we execute the algorithm of getting up in the morning.

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Mar
8
Thu
Daniel Jackson, Portraits of Resilience @ MIT Press Bookstore
Mar 8 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join the MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming Daniel Jackson, photographer and Professor of Computer Science at MIT, to discuss and sign copies of Portraits of Resilience. This event is free to attend, and copies of the book will be available at a 20% discount.

About Portraits of Resilience:

More than 15 million Americans grapple with depression in a given year, and 40 million are affected by anxiety disorders. And yet these people are often invisible, hidden, unacknowledged. At once a photo essay and a compendium of life stories, Portraits of Resilience brings us face to face with twenty-two extraordinary individuals, celebrating the wisdom they have gained on the frontline of a contemporary battle.

No one is immune to depression or anxiety; all of these narrators achieved success as students, faculty, or staff in the demanding world of MIT. The pressures of a competitive and high-pressure environment will be familiar to many. And the mysterious and overwhelming grip of depression will be recognized by those who have suffered from it. But the search for purpose and meaning that pervades these stories is relevant to everyone. These wise people give us not only solace and reassurance as we face our own challenges, but also the inspiration that challenges can be overcome—and that happiness, while elusive, can eventually be found.

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Mar
10
Sat
MIT Women’s unConference @ MIT Stata Center
Mar 10 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

The purpose of the MIT Women’s unConference, scheduled for March 9-10, 2018, is to connect alumnae to the Institute and to one another, to celebrate their leadership, careers, talents, and interests, and to “complete the equation” for some of the toughest challenges facing women in the world today.

The MIT Press Bookstore will be on-site at the nonprofit fair on Saturday, March 10, with a selection of titles celebrating women in science, technology, and business.