April 19, 2019

News & Info

MIT Physics Colloquia and Seminars

Upcoming Events

Fellowship Opportunities

Opportunities for All Students

Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

Opportunities for Graduate Students


Upcoming important physics-related academic dates

APR 25 Thursday |

  • Drop Date. Last day to cancel subjects from registration.
  • Last day to change a subject from Credit to Listener.
  • Last day to add a time-arranged subject that started after beginning of the term.
  • Last day to petition for May Advanced Standing Exam (given during final exam period).

MAY 1 Wednesday | Pre-registration for fall term and summer session begins.

MAY 3 Friday | Thesis due for doctoral degrees.

^FINAL REMINDER | GradRat Deadline April 19 | Delivery Event WEDNESDAY

This is a final reminder that if you would like to receive your GradRat ring before commencement, please order it by this Friday, April 19th. We are in the E62 Sloan Lobby this week, Tuesday to Thursday from 11am-4pm, and we are also at the Muddy Charles Spring Night on Tuesday from 6pm-8pm in Walker Memorial where you can check out and buy your ring.

Also, you are all invited to attend our April Ring Delivery Event this Wednesday, April 17th from 6pm-8pm. We will have a delicious Turkish dinner + drinks (21+ IDs) + giveaways. You can also buy your ring at this event. This event is open to all grad students and families

GradRat is officially the largest graduate ring program of its kind in the country, and thank you all for keeping this rich tradition alive! Own one of the most recognizable rings in the world and instantly strike a conversation with a fellow MIT graduate at any social or networking event. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email us at gsc-ring@mit.edu. You can also buy your ring online at our website: http://gradrat.mit.edu.

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Chez Pierre Seminar
Monday, April 22, 2019 at 12:00pm in 4-331 (Duboc room)

Eun-Ah Kim, Cornell University
"Learning Quantum Emergence with AI"

Nuclear and Particle Theory Seminar
Monday, April 22, 2019 at 2:00pm in 6C-442 (Cosman Seminar room)

Joseph Bramante, Queens U and Perimeter
"Gas Clouds as Dark Matter Detectors"

Nuclear and Particle Physics Colloquium
Monday, April 22, 2019 at 4:00pm in 26-414 (Kolker room)

Greg Landsberg, Brown University

LNS Lunchtime Seminar
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 12:00pm in 26-414 (Kolker Room)


Cosmology Seminar
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 2:30pm in MIT (6C-442)

Marco Scalisi, KU Leuven
"de Sitter Vacua, Inflation and the Swampland"

CUA Seminar
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 4:00pm in Harvard-Jefferson 250

Boris Svistunov, UMass Amherst
"When Charge Quantization Leads to the Halon Effect"
Ten Minute Talk: "TBD" by Parth Patel

Astrophysics Colloquia
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 4:00pm in 37-252 (Marlar Lounge)

Dmitri Uzdensky, U. Colorado
"Extreme Plasma Astrophysics: Successes, Opportunities, and Challenge"

PSFC Student Seminar
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 5:00pm in NW17-218

Sam Schaub, MIT
"Dielectric Multipactor with High Power mm-Waves"

String/Gravity Theory Seminar
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 3:00pm in 6C-442 (Cosman Seminar room)

Joint Seminar at Harvard (Thursday)
Ben Freivogel , University of Amsterdam
"How to build a wormhole (How to prepare the thermofield double state)"

iQuISE Seminar
Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 12:00pm in 26-214

Steven Girvin, Yale University
"Quantum Information Processing with Microwave Photons"

The David and Edith Harris Physics Colloquiua
Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 4:00pm in 10-250

HANS-WALTER RIX, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
"Reading physics from stellar spectra"

PSFC Seminar
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 3:00pm in NW17-218

Stanislav Boldyrev, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Role of reconnection in magnetic plasma turbulence"

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Lunar Exploration Expo
Who: All Students
When: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: MIT Museum
Posted: 4/12/2019

In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the moon, join us for a lunar exploration. Take a look at lunar rock and soil samples, explore historical objects from our collection that aided NASA’s Apollo missions, and hear from MIT students as they share their work on current and future explorations of the moon.

Included with Museum admission.

This event is part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

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^2019 David M. Lee Historical Lecture in Physics - Anton Zeilinger
Who: All Students
When: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Where: Harvard - Jefferson Laboratories 250
Website: https://ces.fas.harvard.edu/events/2019/04/austrian-academy-of-sciences---charles-maier-organizing
Posted: 4/12/2019

Anton Zeilinger, Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, University of Vienna Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences
"Quantum Information and Quantum Communication, Foundations and Prospects"

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*Making your research reproducible
Who: All Students
When: Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Where: 14N-132
Website: Register
Posted: 4/19/2019

Reproducibility has become a hot topic. In October 2018, a Nature special issue on challenges in irreproducible research noted that "there is growing alarm about results that cannot be reproduced." What do we mean by reproducible or replicable research? What are some ways that you can make your own research reproducible, for yourself and for peer researchers? What are the dimensions of reproducibility for different stages of your work, including data collection, analysis, visualization, interpretation and presentation?

This workshop will give an overview of reproducibility concepts and explore strategies and tools to document, manage and share your work to facilitate reproducible research.

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^*Optimize Your Presentation using Three Critical Skills: A Mini-Course
Who: Graduate Students and Postdocs (if space permits)
When: Fridays April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17 from 1-2pm
Website: Registration is required on CareerBridge
Posted: 4/19/2019

This 4-week (1 hr/week) mini-course is a hands-on course for designing and optimizing your presentation, whether it be for a conference, job talk, or presentation of science to the public. We will spend about 20 minutes of each class in lecture format and the remaining time actively doing exercises and working on your presentation with feedback. Evidence-based practices will be highlighted so that you understand how your audience absorbs information. By the end of the last class you will have created an effective presentation for your audience. Please register only if you will attend all four sessions as enrollment is limited to 20. This course will have a wait list and is not for credit.

Sessions held: 1-2 pm on Fridays April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17

Eligibility: Graduate students, postdocs if space permits (please email sacton@mit.edu to be placed on the wait list)

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Our Extravagant Universe: The Undiscovery of Cosmic Deceleration
Who: All Students
When: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 5:00pm
Where: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard - Knafel Center
Website: www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/event/2019-robert-kirshner-lecture
Posted: 4/5/2019

Lecture by Robert P. Kirshner, Clowes Professor of Science, emeritus, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of over 200 research papers dealing with supernovae and observational cosmology. His work with the “High-Z Supernova Team” on the acceleration of the universe was dubbed the “Science Breakthrough of the Year” by Science Magazine. Kirshner is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, and American Astronomical Society.

Astronomers have known about the expansion of the universe for nearly a hundred years. Twenty years ago, we set out to use exploding stars to measure gravity’s predicted effect: the slowing down of cosmic expansion. Amazingly, when we actually made the measurement, the expansion of the universe turned out to be speeding up! The astonishing (un)discovery of cosmic acceleration has now been confirmed from many directions. We attribute it to a “dark energy” that dominates the universe, whose nature is a deep mystery at the heart of physics.

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18th Annual Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics Symposium
Who: All Students
When: Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Where: Pappalardo Community Room (4-349)
Website: http://web.mit.edu/physics/events/symposium.html
Posted: 3/8/2019

Five members of the Department's premier postdoctoral fellowship program, the Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics, will present highlights from their independent research projects.The talks are designed for the enjoyment of all members of the MIT physics community.

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Starmus Festival V: A Giant Leap
Who: All Students
When: June 24-29, 2019
Where: Zurich, Switzerland 
Website: http://starmus.com
Posted: 3/8/2019

The Starmus Festival V highlights a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with seven Apollo astronauts as well as astronauts and cosmonauts from other missions. This year the festival features 12 Nobel Laureates, many more internationally-known scientists from a wide range of disciplines, and award-winning musicians and other artists. All these guests come together to celebrate science with talks, concerts, debates, parties, and learning, with the goal of facilitating discussions across disciplines and bringing an understanding and appreciation of science to the public at large. 

For more information visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarmusFestival/.

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Save the Date: Computational Physics School for Fusion Research, 8/26-31
Who: All Students
When: August 26-31, 2019
Where: Cambridge, MA
Contact: info@psfc.mit.edu
Posted: 3/8/2019

The MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center is pleased to host the 1st Computational Physics School for Fusion Research, scheduled for August 26-31, 2019 in Cambridge, MA.

The purpose of this summer school is to provide young researchers with critical skill sets to tackle modern fusion energy research challenges. The school will cover essentials of: computational statistics, machine learning, optimization methods, parallel programming and High-Performance Computing. 

Please feel free to contact us for further information at info@psfc.mit.edu.

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Four full time summer student fellowships in MIT's Office of Sustainability
Who: All Students
Deadline: ASAP
Website: http://sustainability.mit.edu/about#!jobs%20and%20fellowships
Posted: 3/1/2019

The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) is currently seeking student applicants for 4 full-time paid Sustainability Fellowships for Summer 2019. Join a dynamic, collaborative office that is developing MIT’s next generation vision of campus sustainability. Each position is for 10 weeks from June to August, and is open to MIT and non-MIT upper-level undergraduate and graduate students.

Open Positions

  1. Analytics and Visualization
  2. Climate Resiliency
  3. Communications, Design, and Digital Outreach
  4. Sustainable Procurement

For detailed information about each position visit: MITOS Jobs and Fellowships

To apply: Send a resume and cover letter to mitosjobs@mit.edu with the name of the position in the subject line. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Send inquires to mitosjobs@mit.edu.

Find more information on our current fellows here.

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Apply for the 2019-20 Presidential Fellows Program
Who: All Students
Deadline: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Website: https://www.thepresidency.org
Contact: Barbara DeLaBarre at barbarad@mit.edu
Posted: 3/29/2019

We are looking for the next MIT undergraduate to represent MIT as the 2019-20 Presidential Fellow in the Program at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) in Washington, DC. The selection committee will choose one MIT undergraduate student, usually a senior, to serve as a Presidential Fellow. This is a highly distinguished non-residential fellowship requires two trips to Washington D.C. during the school year and other activities as outlined in the attached document.

The Fellows participate in three-day leadership conferences in Washington, DC during the Fall and Spring semesters, in addition to completing a research paper that is eligible for publication and awards. While attending the conferences, the Fellows participate in workshops where they present and receive constructive criticism on their research papers. The Fellows also have the opportunity to engage with policy experts, government officials, and leaders in the legislative process.

The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress pays for all Washington, DC related costs, and the Technology and Policy Program will reimburse travel expenses to and from Washington, D.C.

To apply, send a copy of your MIT grade transcript, resume, and a statement of interest including reasons why you would be an outstanding candidate and a commitment to completing the program to Barbara DeLaBarre at barbarad@mit.edu.

The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, April 30th. Applicants may be US or non-US Citizens.

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MIT TLO Internship Opportunities
Who: All Students
Deadline: Open until filled
Contact: tlo-internships@mit.edu
Posted: 3/8/2019

The TLO is seeking current MIT Undergrad or PhD students with a strong interest in technology transfer to join our internship program. The TLO internship program is open to applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents and who have a background in life sciences, physical sciences, or business disciplines. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit any questions about the internship program or application process to tlo-internships@mit.edu.


  • Throughout the course of the year-long program, acquire an introduction to the field of technology transfer, intellectual property management, and marketing
  • Develop a network of professionals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem including interactions with TLO professional staff who have years of industry experience and connections with other researchers who are interested in commercializing scientific technology
  • Acquire marketable skills and learn about viable career paths
  • Participate in special training and seminars on intellectual property and technology transfer topics

The following positions are currently available:

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Seeking course instructor (and TA) for summer program physics course
Who: All Students
Deadline: April 30, 2019
Website: https://oeop.mit.edu/programs/mites
Posted: 3/29/2019

The MITES program is a six-week long summer program at MIT aimed at diversifying the field of STEM. We are looking for an instructor and TA to teach our Physics 3 course to highly motivated and talented rising high school seniors from across the country. Check out more about our office at https://oeop.mit.edu/programs/mites.

We are looking to fill the following temporary positionsbefore June 2019:

  • Course instructors (summer)
  • Teaching assistants (summer full-time or part-time)
  • Residential advisors (for week-long conference at MIT)
  • Workshop leaders
  • Online mentors (about 5 hours per week, summer and fall)

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Apply for CPS-FR 2019 summer school
Who: All Students
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Website: https://sites.google.com/view/mit-psfc-cps-fr2019/home
Posted: 4/5/2019

The MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center is pleased to host the 1st Computational Physics School for Fusion Research (CPS-FR 2019), scheduled for August 26-31, 2019 in Cambridge, MA.

The purpose of this summer school is to provide young researchers with critical skill sets to tackle modern fusion energy research challenges. The school will cover essentials of: computational statistics, machine learning, optimization methods, parallel programming and High-Performance Computing. Application is open to U.S. and international advanced graduate students and early-career postdoc colleagues whose work involves significant computational elements.

For more information about the CPS-FR, and the online application, browse to: https://sites.google.com/view/mit-psfc-cps-fr2019/home.

Important Dates:
Application opens – April 5th, 2019
Application closes – May 31st, 2019
Acceptance responses – mid-June, 2019
Event dates – August 26th-31st, 2019

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NECSI Summer School: Scholarships Available
Who: All Students
Deadline: June 2-14, 2019
Website: https://necsi.edu/financial-assistance
Posted: 3/29/2019

June 2-14, 2019
Complexity and Data Analytics Summer Courses Scholarships Available

We have funding for a limited number of partial scholarships for the NECSI Summer School. Apply online: https://necsi.edu/financial-assistance.

The NECSI Summer School offers two intensive week-long courses on complexity science, modeling and networks, and data analytics. The format of the courses is modular and you may register for either or both of the weeks. Each week also includes a one-day lab session. If desired, arrangements for credit at a home institution may be made in advance.

The schedule for the summer school is as follows:

  • Week 1: June 2-7 CX201B: Concepts and Modeling
  • Week 2: June 9-14 CX202B: Networks and Data Analytic

For more information, go to our registration page: https://necsi.edu/summer-school.

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Summer UROP: interdisciplinary study of acoustical physics and human auditory perception
Who: Undergraduate Students
Deadline: 4/20/2019
Contact: mcusi@mit.edu
Posted: 4/12/2019

Summer UROP Position in Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department!

We seek to understand how the human brain makes sense of natural sounds. To this end we make acoustic measurements including the sounds of everyday objects being struck, scraped, rolled, cracked and (occasionally) shattered. We track the motion of objects, measure nanoscale depth maps of surfaces, and measure objects’ vibrational resonances. With these measurements, and synthetic sounds that we will create, we design perceptual experiments to assess the ability of listeners to infer physical parameters from sound. 

This interdisciplinary project combines audio engineering, signal processing, physics, acoustics, perceptual psychology and cognitive science. Tasks include making recordings (motion tracking, audio, video, vibrational), analyzing and editing recordings, and testing and running perceptual experiments. 

There are no specific prerequisites other than an interest in perception and/or acoustics. Experience with Matlab, audio recording, git, audio/video editing, perceptual experiments, acoustics, and signal processing are a plus. 

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UROP: Si(Li) detectors for the GAPS dark matter experiment with Prof. Kerstin Perez
Who: Undergraduate Students
Deadline: ASAP
Contact: Kerstin M. Perez
Posted: 3/15/2019

Prof. Perez's group uses cosmic particles to look for beyond the Standard Model physics, in particular evidence of dark matter interactions. This group is leading the silicon detector fabrication and testing program for the GAPS experiment, an Antarctic balloon-borne instrument that aims to detect antideuteron and antiproton evidence of dark matter processes. Prof. Perez is currently looking for students interested in hardware development projects during summer 2019.

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UROP in Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry Group
Who: Undergraduate Students
Deadline: ASAP
Contact: Professor S. T. Ceyer at stceyer@mit.edu
Posted: 3/15/2019

A UROP position is available in a chemical physics/physical chemistry group that explores the atomic level dynamics of the interactions of molecules with surfaces of materials that serve as nanocatalysts relevant to energy production and environmental sustainability or as templates for epitaxy or nanodevices. Using a variety of electron spectroscopies and beam techniques, the surfaces are probed in an ultra-high vacuum environment that enables fundamental principles to be unambiguously and quantitatively revealed. Current projects investigate a novel pathway for direct methane conversion in which energy is supplied where it counts as well as non-equilibrium interfacial phenomena in spin forbidden oxidation.

This position is a match for you if you enjoy tinkering, trouble shooting, mechanical engineering and electronics as well as exploring and imagining chemical reactions at a microscopic level! Preference given to students who are interested in a long-term commitment to this project and laboratory, including summers.

Please contact Professor S. T. Ceyer at stceyer@mit.edu for more information.

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HKU International Conference of Undergraduate Research in Science 2019
Who: Undergraduate Students
Deadline: Sunday, May 5, 2019
Website: https://www.scifac.hku.hk/events/ugreconf2019
Posted: 3/29/2019

HKU International Conference of Undergraduate Research in Science 2019:Meeting of Young Intellectual Minds (July 3 - 5, 2019)

It is with great pleasure that I write to let you know that The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Faculty of Science is going to organize the International Conference of Undergraduate Research in Science from July 3 - 5, 2019 (Wed - Fri) in our campus in Hong Kong.

This is a new initiative of HKU Science which aims to bring together outstanding science students from all over the world to have an academic exchange on research projects of diverse disciplines.  The three-day conference covers a wide array of activities ranging from specialist lectures, presentation sessions, academic and cultural exchanges to a campus tour and laboratory visits.  It provides an exciting opportunity for participants to gain experience in science communication, inspire and get inspired by exchanging ideas with fellow students and distinguished scientists, explore the pathway in pursuing research postgraduate study at HKU Science, and know more about the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (a HK government scheme aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in HK).

Undergraduate students in their penultimate year or students studying a Master degree from local, mainland and overseas universities who are currently conducting science research or interested in pursuing science research at postgraduate study are welcome to apply.  Free meals and accommodation will be provided to successful applicants.  Airfare will be partially supported to selected students with sound academic record.  Please refer to the event poster appended below or visit the event website for more information.

Online registration: https://webapp.science.hku.hk/event/servlet/ugrconf_reg.

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*Discover UChicago: Expenses-Paid Visit Program Application Now Open
Who: Undergraduate Students
Deadline: August 15, 2019
Website: grad.uchicago.edu/admissions/discover/
Posted: 4/19/2019

The University of Chicago is now accepting applications for our Discover UChicago program, an expenses-paid visit weekend to be held November 7-9, 2019 for candidates traditionally underrepresented in their fields. This program is intended for individuals planning to apply to graduate school in the fall of 2019 with the intention of matriculating in the fall of 2020. This exciting event combines workshops on applying to graduate school, individual meetings with faculty, and opportunities to connect with current UChicago students, as well as to explore our community and the city of Chicago.

Students interested in doctoral programs, as well as master’s programs in the majority of our schools and divisions, are encouraged to apply online by August 15, 2019. In particular, students from underrepresented backgrounds, first generation students, women in STEM fields, and undocumented students are invited to apply. A full list of participating programs, as well as application requirements and additional guidance, may be found at grad.uchicago.edu/admissions/discover/.

We hope you will share the attached material with your students and colleagues and encourage them to Discover UChicago. Any questions may be directed to our office at gradadmissions@uchicago.edu.

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Research position in Microwave engineering and biomedical Antenna
Who: Graduate Students
Deadline: ASAP
Website: https://deblina-sarkar.mit.edu/research-positions-available
Posted: 3/29/2019

The Nano Cybernetic Biotrek research group at MIT has an opening in the area of Microwave engineering and biomedical Antenna design. Seeking postdocs or experienced PhD students. Strong background in electromagnetism and microwave engineering is required. Experience in biology is good to have but NOT necessary.

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Teach Data Science/Statistics online and in Uruguay
Who: Graduate Students
Deadline: ASAP
Website: https://jwel.mit.edu/facilitators-data-science-uruguay
Posted: 3/22/2019

Are you knowledgeable in statistics and data science?
Are you interested in generous compensation and an opportunity to travel?
Are you interested in teaching an important new online learning program?

J-WEL Higher Education is hiring graduate students and postdocs to lead online recitations for a group of Latin American students taking the course “Introduction to Probability” (6.431x), offered by edX, from May to August 2019.

You will receive:
• A competitive stipend
• A leadership role in a major MIT project in online learning
• An opportunity to travel to Uruguay in May 2019

Permission from your advisor will be required.

More info is available here. Please send your CV and questions to datafacilitators@mit.edu.

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Summer Teaching Opportunity
Who: Postdocs
Deadline: April 30, 2019 
Contact: s_kalloo@mit.edu
Posted: 3/15/2019

Interphase EDGE is a two-year scholar enrichment program that includes a seven-week summer session as well as programming during the academic year. The focus of the summer program is to give scholars an introduction to the MIT experience by exposing them to the rigors of a full subject load and to life on campus. In addition, the Interphase EDGE curriculum is uniquely designed to impart pivotal concepts that will increase long-term academic success. Every summer, the program begins by bringing admitted first-year students to MIT’s campus. These scholars have diverse cultural backgrounds and come from various academic backgrounds representing many parts of the United States which include Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We are looking for highly qualified, enthusiastic, and talented staff to teach them how to successfully navigate their academic career at MIT. 

Each Physics Instructor (there are three total) will have two undergraduate residential facilitators, performing the role of teaching assistants, dedicated to their class. The number of students in each course varies greatly depending on the subject. Our goal is to prepare scholars for the material covered in 8.01 and some parts of 8.02.

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DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications
Who: Graduate Students
Deadline: May 9, 2019 by 5pm EST
Website: https://science.energy.gov/wdts/scgsr/
Posted: 3/1/2019

The Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program provides doctoral dissertation/thesis research opportunities for graduate students at DOE national laboratories, in science and engineering areas of importance to DOE Office of Science mission. Applications are due 5:00pm Eastern Time on May 9, 2019.

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Women in STEM Database at MIT (WiSDM)
Who: Graduate Students and Postdocs
Deadline: December 31, 2019
Website: http://wisdm.mit.edu/
Posted: 3/15/2019

The Women in STEM Database at MIT (WiSDM) is an initiative designed to promote the visibility of women in our academic community. The goal of WiSDM is to provide a curated searchable online database of MIT women, making it easier to find talented and diverse speakers for conference talks, panels, news stories, and outreach events. WiSDM is currently building its database, and will include MIT faculty, postdocs, research staff, and graduate students from all STEM fields. Speaking opportunities are an incredibly effective way to engage with your academic community, and contribute to your professional advancement. Make your voice, your story, and your perspective a part of the conversation by joining WiSDM today.

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