Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Twenty-nine members of the Media Lab staff are in the process of being laid off as a result of fiscal difficulties.
Executive Director Walter R. Bender said, "In terms of research, this has been a banner year for the Lab. The recent article titled 'MIT researchers control biological materials with radio waves' is an example of that.
"At the same time, it has been a difficult year for the lab fiscally. We may see a $1 million to $2 million shortfall that can be attributed to 'forward spending' on some initiatives that have yet to become self-sustaining. Therefore, we have taken measures to improve our financial stability so we can continue to support great students doing great research."
"Human Resources is making aggressive efforts to try to place people within the MIT community," said Debra J. Gratto, director of Human Resources. "We are asking MIT departments, labs and offices to consider these employees for openings they may have.
"If the employee is leaving MIT, we are providing support through our career center," she said.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 30, 2002.