MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2018 Activities by Sponsor - Andreas Mershin

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Making Sense of Scent

Andreas Mershin, Research Scientist

Add to Calendar Jan/24 Wed 03:00PM-05:00PM E14-633

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/23
Limited to 60 participants
Prereq: none

In 1914, Alexander Graham Bell said: "If you are ambitious to find a new science, measure a smell".

 This MIT IAP course is designed to give you the knowledge and practical experience necessary to understand why it's 2018 and we still haven't "measured a smell" and why it's more important than ever to do so.

During the lecture part of this activity you will learn how biological and machine noses work. We will cover emerging applications ranging from diagnostics to drug discovery and how new experimental methods are challenging old theoretical models of olfaction.

During the practical session you will be trained on methods to enhance your olfactory intelligence while participating in a blindfolded perfume discrimination exercise. Most perfume novices will be surprised to discover how sensitive their noses become upon minimal training. If you are a perfume aficionado, expect to be surprised that you may actually be able to beat a Gas Chromatographer-Mass Spectrometer. If you are completely anosmic (lack the sense of smell) we direly need you as a control! (and we'll teach you fun tricks such as how to terminally confuse Master Sommeliers or how to cause olfactory hallucinations in yourself and others).  

By the end of the course you will be able to answer Shakespeare's own question better than he did:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Contact: Andreas Mershin, E15-401G, 617 515-4192, MERSHIN@MIT.EDU

Manufacturing with Living Materials

Andreas Mershin, Research Scientist

Add to Calendar Jan/25 Thu 11:00AM-12:00PM E15-359, followed by lab tour 2pm

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)
Limited to 30 participants
Prereq: none

From microns to meters MIT CBA research scientist Andreas Mershin ( and redhouse architect Christopher Maurer ( discuss the state of the art and science of biomaterials. From bricks made by microbial induced calcite precipitation, to Mycotecture (building with mushrooms) to 3D-bioprinting this course covers a wide range of engineering practices and applications of living organisms in the manufacture of new materials and devices. Followed by lab tour and material demos.

Contact: Andreas Mershin, E15-401G, 617 515-4192, MERSHIN@MIT.EDU