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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Allan K. '17

Mar 23 2017

at/around mit

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

 

 

 

 

i've been spending a lot of time away from mit. i've been going to lincoln laboratory in lexington once or twice a week (running experiments for my aeroastro capstone). i've been going to wellesley a lot (for toons rehearsals and for the open fields and for the quietness of not-city sounds).

i've been spending a lot of time on buses.

i've been sick. i've been drinking a lot more tea: jasmine green if the sun is up, ginger turmeric if not. 

i've been reading and writing a lot: about current debates in media, about wireless mesh networks. i've been reading the handmaid's tale to go with the tea. i've been trying to stay caught up: bad news (congress voted to kill a bunch of internet privacy protections) and good (indian women engineers sent a rocket to mars). i've been feeling like it's harder than it used to be.

i've been trying to take more pictures.

Discussion

Mar 5 2017

interview: joy buolamwini

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research

i mentioned joy in a blog post a few weeks ago, when she won the $50000 grand prize in the search for hidden figures contest. i've been a huge fan of joy's work ever since i read her blog post on inclusive coding, or "incoding". she's a fulbright fellow and a rhodes scholar, and now she's at the center for civic media, working on projects that empower communities via tech education and highlight bias in algorithms

i had the distinct privilege of chatting with her last week and we had a fun conversation about algorithmic bias, surveillance, and her work at the media lab. check it out:

* * * * *

learn more about:

the ALGORITHMIC JUSTICE LEAGUE

the CENTER FOR CIVIC MEDIA

the MEDIA LAB

* * * * *

some snippets:

(on algorithmic bias)
(and how facial recognition software won't detect her face unless she's wearing a white mask):

"...This was an issue I'd run into when I was an undergraduate. I went to Georgia Tech and did my bachelor's in computer science, and I... read the post »

Discussion

Feb 15 2017

three things i made recently

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

the semester just started, but it hardly feels like school's really in session yet. the snow's only just turned to rain and we've had two snow days in the last week, which meant lots of indoors time. it's kind of nice, really: mario kart in the lounge outside, teasing the hall cats, camping out in the kitchen warmth. everyone raiding the fridges for food. 

i found a cookie recipe over the weekend that's really working for me (it tastes like autumn), so here it is (mostly based on this betty crocker recipe):

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups granulated sugar

1.5 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups cinnamon applesauce

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 package of semisweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the sugars, vanilla, eggs, and applesauce in a big bowl until it's homogenous and goopy. It'll be pretty runny.

Add the baking soda and salt, then mix in the flour as well. Mix... read the post »

Discussion

Jan 29 2017

#NoBanNoWall

Posted in: Miscellaneous

received this email from mit administration sometime yesterday:

To the members of the MIT community:

The Executive Order President Trump signed yesterday restricting individuals from seven countries from entering the United States is already having an impact on members of our community.

While we are very troubled by this situation, our first concern is for those of our international students and scholars who are directly affected. We are working closely with them to offer every support we can.

We are also keeping close watch on the overall situation and exploring the best options to help and respond.

If you have specific questions, please contact David Elwell, associate dean and director of the International Students Office or Penny Rosser, director of the International Scholars Office.

Sincerely,
Martin A. Schmidt
Cynthia Barnhart
Maria T. Zuber

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

got this updated letter this morning:

To the... read the post »

Discussion

Jan 13 2017

a few things from civic media

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

in case you didn't know, it's currently independent activities period (IAP) at MIT -- between the fall and spring semesters, students get a little one-month term to do pretty much whatever they feel like. lots of people take "externships" (short one-month internships) in industry or research. still others take the opportunity to travel through MIT MISTI. some people stay on campus and take classes or work on UROPs. some people just take the month to catch up on sleep, work on personal projects (or bad ideas), and hang out with friends. 

so there's a lot going on, but campus still feels a lot more relaxed than it does during the school year. most of the dining halls are closed because so many people are away from MIT. and maybe people are staying indoors more because it's january and it finally started snowing.

* * *

i'm excited to report that two things i've been helping with through my UROP at the center for civic media recently got published online. the first is this... read the post »

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