MIT Press Live! Author Series
MIT Press Live! online events feature leading researchers and experts from around the globe discussing the important and timely topics we all need to know more about. The events cover topics from critical thinking during a time of crisis to concentration in times of distraction. The series includes talks and workshops on the great material revolutions of the last two centuries, extraterrestrials, and more. This author series is aimed at fostering vibrant online intellectual communities and spreading new knowledge.
Upcoming Author Events
In Too Smart, Jathan Sadowski looks at the proliferation of smart stuff in our lives and asks whether the tradeoff—exchanging our personal data for convenience and connectivity—is worth it. Who benefits from smart technology?
In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith Broussard argues that our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a tremendous amount of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work.
This event is by one of the authors of Mage Merlin's Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries.
Most people think of mathematics as a set of useful tools designed to answer analytical questions, beginning with simple arithmetic and ending with advanced calculus. But, as Mage Merlin's Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries shows, mathematics is filled with intriguing mysteries that take us to the edge of the unknown. This richly illustrated, story-driven volume presents sixteen of today's greatest unsolved mathematical puzzles, all understandable by anyone with elementary math skills. These intriguing mysteries are presented to readers as puzzles that have time-traveled from Camelot, preserved in the notebook of Merlin, the wise magician in King Arthur's court.
The visual surrounds us, some of it invited, most of it not. In this visual environment, everything we see—color, the moon, a skyscraper, a stop sign, a political poster, rising sea levels, a photograph of Kim Kardashian West—somehow becomes legible, normalized, accessible. How does this happen? How do we live and move in our visual environments? This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers a guide for navigating the complexities of visual culture, outlining strategies for thinking about what it means to look and see—and what is at stake in doing so.
Paola Bonifazio examines the “convergence culture” of Italian media as photoromance magazines dispersed their content across multiple formats, narrative conventions, editorial and business strategies, and platforms. Bonifazio discusses the media habits of photoromance readers; the use of photoromances to promote political, religious, and social agendas, including a campaign for “birth control in comics”; and long-term fandom. While publishers built lifelong relationships with their readers, the readers built a common identity and culture.
Sullivan chronicles her early life as a “Sputnik Baby,” her path to NASA through oceanography, and her initiation into the space program as one of “thirty-five new guys.” (She was also one of the first six women to join NASA's storied astronaut corps.) She describes in vivid detail what liftoff feels like inside a spacecraft (it's like “being in an earthquake and a fighter jet at the same time”), shows us the view from a spacewalk, and recounts the temporary grounding of the shuttle program after the Challenger disaster.
Watch Previously Recorded Sessions
Support for the MIT Press Live! series is made possible by the MindandHeart Innovation Fund which seeks to leverage the enthusiasm and problem-solving skills of the MIT community to find new and inventive ways of increasing awareness about mental health, building communities of support, and promoting life skills.