Current Issue: Spring 2014
Basic research is the brilliance that creates new knowledge and solves big problems. It’s the bedrock of MIT—and the foundation for tomorrow.
A Letter From the President
Basic research at MIT
The Brilliance of Basic Research
Basic research is the spark that creates new knowledge and solves big problems.
No Future on the Sidelines
Students are stepping up to Capitol Hill to speak out for science funding.
Advocating for US Investment in Science and Technology
Maria Zuber, Vice President for Research, is advocating for US investment in science and technology.
Era of Astronomical Discovery
Nergis Mavalvala aims to detect gravitational waves, which are so aloof they've dodged efforts to track them down for a century.
Searching for Life
Sara Seager—who's searching for life beyond the solar system—says the whole world is ready. "I call it the awakening."
Yogesh Surendranath says there are big questions to answer on the way to a renewable energy economy.
Today’s Annoyances, Tomorrow’s Technology
Pedro Reis, recently named among Popular Science's "Brilliant Ten," is turning failure into functionality.
Paola Cappellaro's work with nanoscale diamonds opens a route to computers that can search huge databases in a flash or crack virtually any secret code.
Ordinary Materials, Fantastic Opportunities
Michael Demkowicz says that steel, aluminum, and concrete are among materials we understand least, but all have big possibilities for engineers.
Future of Energy Storage
Fikile Brushett is applying fundamental electrochemistry to boost the performance and durability of future energy storage systems.
Ramesh Raskar, who as a child wished for eyes in the back of his head, invents a camera that can see around corners.
From Conflict, Cooperation
Fotini Christia, a political scientist and expert on conflict, asks in times of unrest, "How do you get people to join your side?"
Decisions Aggregate into Social Behavior
Juanjuan Zhang says that following the crowd has broad social implications—even affecting human health.
Investments in the Future
Jonathan Rothberg and Victoria Seaver Dean discuss philanthropic investments in basic research.
Senior Julia Berk says that reliving a professor’s eureka moment opened up the world.