Symposium: Beyond 2016—MIT's Frontiers of the Future

Tuesday, April 12

Beyond 2016: MIT’s Frontiers of the Future

When MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge in 1916, it built a new campus designed to foster collaboration across disparate disciplines. As the Institute celebrated the centennial of that historic move in the spring of 2016, more than a dozen faculty from across disciplines gave short, exciting talks on their ground-breaking research—tied together by an immersive, multimedia campus tour by foot, drone, and skateboard.



April 12


Registration opens

Noon-1:30 pm

Lunch, networking, and student poster session

1:30 pm


John Ochsendorf (+), Chair, MIT2016 Steering Committee and Colloquium Co-Chair, Class of 1942 Professor, Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


L. Rafael Reif (+), President, MIT


Emerging Markets Drive Global Solutions

Amos Winter (+), Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Fluid Dynamics of Infectious Disease Transmission 

Lydia Bourouiba (+), Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT

Exploring Quantum Behavior in Flatland

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (+), Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Physics, MIT

Uncovering Photosynthesis at the Nanoscale

Gabriela Schlau-Cohen (+), Assistant Professor, Chemistry, MIT

What Inventions Are We Missing?

Heidi Williams (+), Class of 1957 Career Development Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, MIT

Mobile Technologies and Financial Inclusion in Africa

Tavneet Suri (+), Maurice J. Strong Career Development Associate Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management

Rethinking China's Growth Model

Yasheng Huang (+), International Program Professor in Chinese Economy and Business and Associate Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management

From Nature-inspired Design to Design-inspired Nature

Neri Oxman (+), Sony Corporation Career Development Associate Professor, Media Lab

Using Biology for Chemistry's Sake

Kristala Prather (+), Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Wireless Systems that Extend Our Senses

Dina Katabi (+), Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Where the Wild Things Will Be (in 100 Years)

Katharina Ribbeck (+), Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering, Department of Biological Engineering

Is There Music at MIT?

Marcus Thompson (+), Institute Professor and Robert R. Taylor Professor of Music, MIT

Cities of a New Future

John Fernandez (+), Professor, Department of Architecture and Director, MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative


Rebecca Saxe (+), Symposium Cochair, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

3:30 pm

Session concludes

3:30 - 5 pm

Reception in Kresge Lobby

Student Poster Session

The Evolution of Job Markets in Cities, A Network Science Approach
Ahmad Alabdulkareem, G
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Force-sensing Smart Shoes of the Future
Meng Yee (Michael) Chuah, G
Department of Mechanical Engineering 

Nanocrystalline Alloy Design through Statistical Mechanics
Arvind Kalidindi, G
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Turning Trash into Cash: Decentralized Thermochemical Treatment of Biomass
Kevin S. Kung, G
Departments of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Inference of Materials Properties from Solar Cell Measurements
Rachel Kurchin, G
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

A Carbon Fuel Cell Power Plant
Katherine Ong, G
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Characterization of the Robustness of Superhydrophobic Surfaces during Condensation
Emmanuel Simpra ’16
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Advancing Policy Instruments Beyond Documents
Cory Stasko, G, with Christina Curlette ’16 and Caroline Chin ’16
Technology and Policy Program, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Water to Fuel: Using Sun and Ceramics
Xiao-Yu Wu, G
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Proton Transfer Dynamics Dictate CO2-to-Fuels Selectivity
Anna Wuttig, G
Department of Chemistry