A couple weeks ago on April 21, 2010, Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft and Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, came to MIT to give a speech about philanthropy. I was lucky enough to have been selected to receive a ticket through an MIT lottery, and the speech definitely did not disappoint. With students, faculty, and Gates Millennium Scholars filling up Kresge Auditorium to watch the one-time world’s richest man, Gates spoke about his efforts to redistribute his wealth amongst organizations he felt would impact the world. Gates spoke a lot about green energy, and praised the students and faculty of MIT for their ground-breaking research in the field of renewable energy. Gates also stressed the importance to give back to the world, something he did when he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. After a short but to the point speech, Gates gave the chance for students and members of the audience to ask him questions regarding everything from Professor Sadoway’s Solid State Chemistry (3.091) class to the impact of his philanthropic efforts on the rising popularity of green energy. I thought the speech was inspiring and humbling, to say the least. Seeing such a popular technology icon speak of the importance of keeping others in mind and not being selfish was a very insightful experience, and it was amazing that MIT allowed him to come and speak in front of us.

For more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, check out http://www.gatesfoundation.org

Also, check out the attached pictures and this video of Bill praising MIT Open Courseware: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvxfkBVLqQ

A couple weeks ago on April 21, 2010, Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft and Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, came to MIT to give a speech about philanthropy. I was lucky enough to have been selected to receive a ticket through an MIT lottery, and the speech definitely did not disappoint. With students, faculty, and Gates Millennium Scholars filling up Kresge Auditorium to watch the one-time world’s richest man, Gates spoke about his efforts to redistribute his wealth amongst organizations he felt would impact the world. Gates spoke a lot about green energy, and praised the students and faculty of MIT for their ground-breaking research in the field of renewable energy. Gates also stressed the importance to give back to the world, something he did when he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. After a short but to the point speech, Gates gave the chance for students and members of the audience to ask him questions regarding everything from Professor Sadoway’s Solid State Chemistry (3.091) class to the impact of his philanthropic efforts on the rising popularity of green energy. I thought the speech was inspiring and humbling, to say the least. Seeing such a popular technology icon speak of the importance of keeping others in mind and not being selfish was a very insightful experience, and it was amazing that MIT allowed him to come and speak in front of us.

For more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, check out http://www.gatesfoundation.org

Also, check out the attached pictures and this video of Bill praising MIT Open Courseware: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfvxfkBVLqQ

MIT Faculty NewsletterYou can get a glimpse of what your former professors are thinking about in the MIT Faculty Newsletter. A faculty editorial board runs the MFN, and most articles are written by faculty. Some matters are about MIT’s own governance, others are about global issues that intertwine with the Institute’s community life. Here are some highlights of the most recent issue:

Editorial: Our “Inescapable Network:” Haiti, the Diversity Initiative, and MLK

This editorial calls on the MIT administration to increase their efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti. Faculty Chair Tom Kochan asks “Are We Doing Enough?” and three related articles address MIT faculty responses to the earthquake.

The Demand for MIT Graduates

Although graduating during the worst economic crisis in recent history, MIT’s class of 2009 still fared better than their peers. How was that accomplished?

Teach Talk: Toward a Personalized Graduate Curriculum

Learn how the grad school experience is changing because of student needs and changing knowledge.

2010 MIT Briefing Book Available Online

This comprehensive overview of MIT, which focuses on research activities, is compiled by Office of the Vice President for Research and the MIT Washington Office.

We’ve grown up and moved to WordPress.org. We’re still waiting for our redirects to kick in (technology…gotta love it), so in the meantime, read Slice at http://alum.mit.edu/sliceofmit. Today we’ll be posting photos of the very cool hack that appeared at the Media Lab. You don’t want to miss it!

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The blog will continue to be found at http://alum.mit.edu/sliceofmit. Don’t worry, the address currently appearing in your browser (containing wordpress.com) will redirect.

betacup logoIf you’re like the majority of North Americans (65%), you drink coffee. And if you buy it from a coffee shop, you probably don’t hand the barista a travel mug before ordering—even though you’ve likely been given a few nice ones over the years as gifts or giveaways. Am I right?

Problem is, most of the to-go cups used to carry those tasty lattes, including those from Starbucks, are not recyclable. In fact, 58 billion paper cups are thrown away every year, and 20 million trees are cut down in the process of manufacturing said cups, which also uses some 12 billion gallons of water.

So what can be done? Two MIT alumni are part of a team that hopes you can figure that out—or at least provide some feedback for others with ideas. Marcel Botha SM ’06 and Shaun Abrahamson SM ’98 helped form the open innovation challenge known as the betacup, which offers $20,000 in prize money for a reusable or recyclable coffee cup people will actually use en masse.

Ideas submitted to the contest are viewable by the public for comment and ratings. So even if you don’t have an idea (yet), you can offer constructive comments and engage in discussions with community members and contest jurors. The contest is sponsored in part by Starbucks, which aims to serve all its beverages in sustainable cups by 2015. Learn more in the video below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Slice of MIT is growing up (sniff) and moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org this week. If you subscribe via our RSS feed, please note that you’ll have to change the URL starting this Thursday, April 8. The blog will continue to be found at http://alum.mit.edu/sliceofmit. Don’t worry, the address currently appearing in your browser (containing wordpress.com) will redirect.

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