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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Keeping scoreToday’s Spotlight features a photograph, taken by Allegra Boverman, of Michael Cuthbert, associate professor of music at MIT, in the Lewis Music Library.

One of the most successful composers of late 14th-century Italy was an unusual figure named Zachara da Teramo. A secretary to popes, despite being described as having no more than 10 fingers and toes combined, Zachara also wrote songs — including an ode to Pluto, god of the underworld, of all things.

In recent years Michael Cuthbert, an associate professor of music, has taken a deep dive into the compositions of Zachara and his 14th- and early 15th-century contemporaries, using the ear of a highly trained scholar and the data-analysis of a scientist.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
The secret life of cheese

The secret life of cheese

Today’s Spotlight uses a stock editorial image of a rural farm.

Crafting high‑quality artisanal cheese is not complicated, but it’s also not easy. Basically, heat a lot of milk, add bacterial cultures and enzymes to thicken it into a curd, drain it, salt it, and let it ferment and age. Of course, to make cheese like this, you must first buy fresh milk or own a farm and stock it with cows or sheep or goats plus equipment, and spend endless strenuous hours carrying around heavy pails and obsessively cleaning equipment to make sure it’s sanitary. Do this day after day, until you have enough cheese to distribute, market and sell in a crowded marketplace. Then repeat the whole process.

Does this sound like a job you would enjoy? For a growing subculture of Americans, it does: The number of independent cheese‑makers in the United States has doubled since 2000.

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