Interviews

Technological Indian

Technological Indian

In recent years, India sent a space probe to orbit Mars; Indian-born engineers were named chief executives of two top technology firms in the world. For most of the 20th century, when the very idea of a high-tech India seemed improbable, the foundation was actually being laid to make the dream a reality. In his new book The Technological Indian American science historian Ross Bassett, who analyzed the careers of 850 Indians who earned engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between 1880 and […]



Ethan Zuckerman: ‘I go to Reddit for the cat pictures’

Ethan Zuckerman: ‘I go to Reddit for the cat pictures’

Ethan Zuckerman is the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media. Over a decade ago, the Internet scholar co-founded GlobalVoicesOnline.org, a site to help guide readers through the maze of citizen journalism from several countries. He is the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. What wakes you up? My son, when I’m lucky enough to be at home in western MA. He’s six, and our morning ritual involves blueberry waffles and Disney cartoons recorded on the DVR, so my first media of […]



The Download with Prof. Sherry Turkle

The Download with Prof. Sherry Turkle

  Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT and a psychologist by training researches the relationship between humans and technology. Her recent writing has focused on how new forms of communication – email, texting, and social media – are affecting our lives. In her latest book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in A Digital Age, her message is clear: Stop Googling, Let’s Talk. And yet the tech critic is, by no means, a Luddite. Prof. Turkle talks to Beta Boston about her digital habits. Yes, she […]



The Download With My Favorite Digital Native

The Download With My Favorite Digital Native

What device wakes you up in the morning? No device, no alarm. My mom pats me awake. Are you the inbox-zero type when it comes to email? Since I am 6 years old, I am not allowed to have an email account. How do you communicate with relatives who live far away? I Skype with them. I also have other fans and followers. They are online. You have a favorite website? Oh yes– that HAS to be scratch.mit.edu. I create my own games there. I […]



Reflections of a Pioneer Woman Scientist

Reflections of a Pioneer Woman Scientist

In her career as a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus, who is now 83, has researched the electronic structure of carbon in its myriad forms. Dresselhaus was in Oslo for the Kavli awards ceremony this year. I caught up with her for a chat for Science. Q:Tell us about your early years at MIT. A:I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1958 and married a fellow physicist that year. We both joined the research staff of MIT’s […]



The Rooster Sauce Guy

The Rooster Sauce Guy

A food writer based in southern California, Randy Clemens is best known as the author of The Sriracha Cookbook. This 2011 cookbook is dedicated to cooking with a southeast Asian sauce named after its Thai town of origin, Si Racha. In the U.S., the chile-and-garlic sauce is frequently referred to as “rooster sauce,” after the bird logo on the most popular brand, made by the California-based Huy Fong Foods. In recent years, Sriracha has become so trendy that, in 2010, Bon Appétit magazine dubbed it […]



Take my taxi to the moon

Take my taxi to the moon

Susmita Mohanty, the founder of India’s first private space company, Earth2Orbit, wants India to claim bigger piece of the space-launch pie.She is CEO of Earth2Orbit, which recently launched its first client satellite. An aerospace entrepreneur and spaceship designer, she has worked at NASA and Boeing, and holds a PhD in aerospace architecture How active is India’s space programme? The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which was founded in 1969, launches rockets, builds and uses satellites extensively for earthly applications and has recently started planetary exploration. […]



Research that lights up lives

Research that lights up lives

Here is a picture that represents the gestation of Project Prakash. In order to get a first-hand sense of childhood blindness in India, Prof. Pawan Sinha visited a few places in the country, distant from the ambit of urban medical care facilities. Here he is working in a village with a young girl who gained sight in one eye at the age of 7 years. She is 11 years old in this picture. Also seen in the picture is Dr. Asim Sil, an ophthalmologist who […]



Chef Praveen Anand of Dakshin

Chef Praveen Anand of Dakshin

Praveen Anand is a Chennai-based chef trained in western cooking. Today, his passion is authentic South Indian food. His embrace of the traditional is significant in a nation that has quietly begun discarding some of its food customs. In his two-decade long career, he has researched foods of various communities in Southern India bringing dishes from each of them to a wider audience. The fruits of his labor are evident at Dakshin, listed as one of top 20 restaurants in Asia in the authoritative Miele […]



The “Raman Effect”

The “Raman Effect”

Abha Sur is part of the humanities faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a physical chemist, she taught the subject and also published several papers on laser spectroscopy, her field of specialization. Then, the focus of her research shifted, taking her from the lab bench to the library archives. She wanted to find out more about the life and times of India’s first Nobel Laureate. Sir C. V. Raman’s (1888- 1970) name is immortalized in science because he demonstrated the molecular scattering of […]