IDSS News November 2019
Munther Dahleh photo by Lillie Paquette MIT School of Engineering
This fall, the IDSS Social and Engineering Systems PhD program (SES) welcomed its fourth class of students, for a total of 29. T hey come from all over the world with research interests ranging from the role of social networks in political decision-making, to fairness in machine learning, to election cybersecurity. We are excited to welcome them, and look forward to meeting the next class at our upcoming informational webinar .

Our MicroMasters program in Statistics and Data Science concludes its first full run this fall. We look forward to seeing where this credential will take our online learners, who come from every country in the world. There's a growing list of pathway schools offering credit to learners who want to pursue more education; we anticipate some will apply to our own SES PhD program, which offers credit to those who are accepted.

Meanwhile, we celebrate IDSS affiliate Esther Duflo and her colleagues for their recent Nobel Prize, and IDSS continues to bring together researchers from different disciplines and to support research in topics including financial networks, refugee integration, fake news, and infrastructure security. More below.

Best wishes,
Munther Dahleh, Director
William A. Coolidge Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Duflo and MIT professor Abhijit Banerjee share the prize with Michael Kremer of Harvard University for breakthrough antipoverty work.
Economist and IDSS faculty member Daron Acemoglu's research has produced influential studies about government, innovation, labor, and globalization.
An MIT climate change symposium panel chaired by TPP director and IDSS/EAPS professor Noelle Selin described the state of knowledge in climate science and stressed the urgent need for action.
Co-founded by LIDS alum/professor Sertac Karaman, Optimus Ride takes a unique approach to improving human mobility.
Second annual Hammer luncheon brings together first and second year fellows with IDSS faculty and staff.
A Hammer Fellow and doctoral candidate in Social and Engineering Systems  (SES), Manxi focuses on the resilience and security of transportation systems as smart traffic information systems emerge.
Four TPP alumni bring their energy and climate expertise to universities across the country as new assistant professors.
New research from Technology and Policy Program alum Arun Singh (TPP '17) provides a look at how India could meet its climate targets while maintaining economic growth.
Research from Emil Dimanchev (TPP '18) finds health savings from cleaner air would more than pay for the cost of implementing renewable energy policies.
Shah, along with LIDS alumni Shreevatsa Rajagopalan and Jinwoo Shin, received the award for their paper “Network adiabatic theorem: an efficient randomized protocol for contention resolution.”
Sra received the award for his research "Modern nonconvex optimization for machine learning: foundations of geometric and scalable techniques."
Wu, who officially joined IDSS and LIDS faculty this summer, was given the prestigious appointment by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
To fully benefit from big data analytics, teams must be given opportunities to learn the latest and most effective data science techniques.
There are currently 29 students in this unique IDSS PhD program focused on addressing significant societal challenges with analytical tools and social science methods.
Register now for an upcoming informational webinar:

Tuesday, November 26 at 5PM EST
Subscribe to the TPP newsletter for stories about students and alumni working to inform effective policies for the many challenges confronting societies around the world, in topics like renewable energy, pollution, health care and cybersecurity.
Register now for an upcoming informational webinar:

There are 10 students enrolled in IDPS across 6 MIT departments. They use computation, data analysis, statistics, and probability within their field of doctoral study. 3 IDPS alumni are working as assistant professors or postdocs at Yale, the University of Chicago, and NYU.
Participating MIT departments
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Political Science
Social and Engineering Systems
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
So far, 37 alumni with the Minor in Statistics and Data Science have gone on to work as Data Scientists and Analysts at places like Uber, Google, and Morgan Stanley, and to PhD programs at Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Princeton.
Graduates with the Minor in Statistics and Data Science

2017: 10
2018: 7
2019: 20
2020: 16 and counting...
A system designed by  LIDS  professor Moe Win and colleagues enables interconnected smart devices to cooperatively pinpoint their positions in noisy environments.
A study by IDSS professor Jessika Trancik explores how lowering energy storage costs could enable the U.S. power grid to run entirely on renewable sources.
Research from IDSS/EAPS professor and TPP director Noelle Selin shows that China reducing carbon dioxide emissions could result in fewer premature deaths in the U.S.
A study from political scientists and IDSS affiliates Adam Berinsky and Teppei Yamamoto finds that partisan news coverage has a bigger impact on viewers without strong media preferences.
“The structure of information networks can really fundamentally influence the outcomes of elections,” argues David Rand, IDSS affiliate and associate professor at MIT Sloan.
MIT Sloan professors & IDSS affiliates Sinan Aral and Dean Eckles propose a process for researchers to measure and analyze social media manipulation — and to turn that data into a defense against future manipulation.
IDSS and Media Lab professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland argues that credit unions could help consumers and workers band together to protect their data.
A celebration of the statistics community at MIT and beyond.
Friday, April 3, 2020