Where Einstein Meets Edison

NextLab: Can a Cellphone Change the World?

NextLab: Can a Cellphone Change the World?

Sep 14, 2010

Jhonatan Rotberg stands in front of an attentive audience in the MIT NextLab classroom. “You have to remember what this is all about,” he exclaims. “It’s about the practical application of what you’re proposing!” This message resonates throughout the classroom, with a sea of nodding heads and t-shirts emblazoned with the bold tagline: “Can you make...

Steady Wins The Race, And Other Unintentional Lessons From MIT

Steady Wins The Race, And Other Unintentional Lessons From MIT

Aug 27, 2010

Several years ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay on lessons I unintentionally learned as an MIT student, as practiced in my career as a software engineer. Recently, the MIT Entrepreneur Review suggested I try a variation with the lessons applied to, naturally, entrepreneurs. These lessons perhaps still tilt toward software startups, but I hope they’re...

Disrupting Coal with Modular Nuclear Reactors

Disrupting Coal with Modular Nuclear Reactors

May 30, 2010

Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal advocating small nuclear reactors as a new source of electricity1.  The article emphasized that compared to traditional large reactors, small modular reactors are cheaper, use less water for cooling, and would allow utilities to buy only the capacity they need. Modular...

Crisis In Haiti: Lost Limbs Today, Lost Souls Tomorrow

Crisis In Haiti: Lost Limbs Today, Lost Souls Tomorrow

Mar 1, 2010

“I imagine that not since the Crimean War have surgeons seen and amputated so many limbs… perhaps the Civil War in the United States,” declared anesthesiologist Deanne Marchbein of the Medecin Sans Frontieres organization, after witnessing the vast number of Haitian amputees in make-shift tents. On January 12th, 2010, Haiti was crippled in the...

Tomorrow’s Phones Today: Extending Mobile Applications into the Developing World

Tomorrow’s Phones Today: Extending Mobile Applications into the Developing World

Feb 28, 2010

Do you remember when cellular phones were bulky, grayscale and used solely for voice-based communication, less than a decade ago? Now fast forward ten years, and cellular phones have radically transformed into miniature computer terminals; able to access the Internet, download videos, transmit and store high quality pictures, and serve as a repository for...