Education. Innovation. Mobile technology… and snow. Those were just a few of the topics that interested Spectrum readers the most during the past 12 months. As 2015 draws to a close, take a look back at Spectrum’s most-read articles of the year:

10. Announcing the MIT Innovation Initiative
What will MIT’s Innovation Initiative look like? By definition, there will be surprises along the way. But the contours of this new effort—laid out in the December 2014 preliminary report, “The MIT Innovation Initiative: Sustaining and Extending a Legacy of Innovation”—make one thing clear: it’s a natural extension of MIT’s established culture of creative, collaborative problem solving. More…

9. From Mobile Data, Drawing Social Circles
Stewing in city traffic with nothing but the radio or a smartphone for companionship, it might seem like your trip is a solitary one. But look around at the hundreds of other cars, just like yours, idling nearby. Do you ever wonder who these people are, where they’re going—and if you know them? More…

8. Mobile Technologies to Visualize the City
Data-driven storytelling is the journalistic wave of the future. At websites like the New York Times’s Upshot and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, writers are transforming numbers into visual narratives that illuminate modern life. MIT Assistant Professor Sarah Williams, director of the Civic Data Design Lab, is at the forefront of the movement. More…

7. National Math Prize Winner Fell in Love With the Subject at MIT—During High School
Sheela Devadas was 15 when she was first exposed to representation theory and other subfields of mathematics as a participant in PRIMES, MIT’s Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science for high school students. Later that fall she was a finalist in the Advantage Testing Foundation’s Math Prize for Girls, hosted that year by MIT.

Fast forward to Devadas’s final semester as an MIT senior. Just months away from graduating with a degree in math… More…

6. At TED2015, MIT Thinkers Reframe the Future
Titled “Truth and Dare,” the TED2015 conference—held in Vancouver—took a challenging look at familiar beliefs and assumptions. Among the 70-plus speakers offering their views of the future were a number of MIT faces. More…

5. Technology to Touch Across the Globe
One of the latest inventions at the MIT Media Lab is inFORM, a Dynamic Shape Display. Picture an area of 900 individual pegs that move dynamically based on the hand motions of someone across the room—or across the ocean.

“The idea is physical telepresence. People can point, touch, and manipulate objects remotely over long distance,” says Hiroshi Ishii, co-inventor of the project with Daniel Leithinger and Sean Follmer. More…

4. Engineering to Improve Health Care
You’re sick and you’re scared. So you visit the doctor—who has 15 minutes to spare. You want more answers, but there just isn’t enough time. Sound familiar? Health care engineer Andrea Ippolito SDM ’12, ESD ’17 thinks so, too. She uses engineering to tackle large-scale logistical problems, like making it easier for patients to secure doctor’s appointments. More…

3. The Future is Cities
Cities around the world are growing faster than you can say megalopolis. More than half the world lives in cities, and by 2050, it will be two-thirds. In China alone, 300 million people will move to the city within the next 15 years, and to serve them, China must build the equivalent of the entire built infrastructure of the United States by 2028.

At the same time, 250 million new urban dwellers are expected in India and 380 million in Africa. Even though cities will soon account for 90% of population growth, 80 % of global CO2, and 75% of energy consumption, more and more, it’s where people want to live. More…

2. The Alps of MIT
Boston experienced a record-breaking winter in 2014–2015, when 108.6 inches of snow buried the city. After a series of storms blanketed the area with more than 40 inches in just two weeks, snow removal efforts on the MIT campus engineered an impressive mountain of snow. Referred to as The Alps of MIT or Mount Simmons, the massive peak proved irresistible to intrepid students and briefly enjoyed a top spot on TripAdvisor’s list of tourist attractions. More…

1. Arriving at MIT, One Solution at a Time
“For 11 years, I’ve wanted to go to MIT,” says Ahaan Rungta, now a 16-year-old freshman, who did math puzzles at age 3, calculus at 7, quantum mechanics at 13.

Homeschooled, he has worked on problems since he was five through MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) and later, edX online courses open to the world for free. He has taken 55 courses and passed them all. “OCW is more than a school. It’s a paradise.” More…

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