Genevieve Ricart recently went to New Orleans to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Photo: Ed Quinn
Summer 2006

Giving Back

Senior Genevieve Ricart gives up her spring break to visit New Orleans, where she helped rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

Esther Duflo is an economics professor who pursues the big question driving her work: Why do the world’s poor stay poor? “It’s the broad motivation for all I do,” says Duflo, who recently co-founded the MIT Poverty Action Lab. Photo: Ed Quinn
Winter 2005

Helping the Poor

Prof. Esther Duflo, who co-founded MIT’s Poverty Action Lab, is working to improve the income level and quality of life of the poor.

The son of a fireman and a nurse, Patrick Hart says, “I always saw my parents in service positions, always helping out, not expecting anything in return. I always wanted to be like them,” Photo: Ed Quinn
Winter 2005

Live to Give

Junior Patrick Hart organized a dozen MIT students to go to Huntington, W. Va., to build low-cost housing for a family in need.

Grad student Solomon Assefa co-founded the MIT Africa Internet Technology Initiative (AITI), a student-run program that sends MIT students to teach Internet skills to African students and teachers. The program has sent 30 MIT students to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana over the past five years and reached about 500 students and 30 teachers in Africa. Photo: Ed Quinn
Spring 2004

Teaching Technology

Grad student Solomon Assefa co-founded a group that teaches Internet technology to students in Africa.

A self-described nerd, Michael Best spent much of his career focused on engineering and science questions, but he always felt vaguely dissatisfied
Winter 2003

Community Computers

Michael Best of the Media Lab is now exploring how information technology improves life in the developing world.