Sunday, May 13, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events - May 13, 2012

Energy (and Other) Events is a weekly mailing list published most Sundays covering events around the Cambridge, MA and greater Boston area that catch the editor's eye.

Hubevents is the web version.

If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe to Energy (and Other) Events email


Monday, May 14

Webinar: System Approach to Prevent Safety and Quality Problems in Modern Automobiles
Monday, May 14, 2012
Web site:
Speaker: Qi Van Eikema Hommes, PhD
MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series 
The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.
About the presentation
Today's automobiles are characterized by complex Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), where numerous embedded devices are networked to control physical hardware components. These systems are software intensive, and typically developed by globally distributed large multidisciplinary teams. Many such systems already experienced quality and safety problems that could not be traced back to component failures. One such example is the recent Toyota Unintended Acceleration case.

In this webinar, Dr. Hommes will address the recently published ISO 26262 Functional Safety for Road Vehicle, the industry's first attempt at providing safety assurance for the complex automotive electronic systems. It is a positive first step, and a number of areas can be improved by taking on a more systems approach. A system theoretic hazard analysis method, developed by Professor Leveson at MIT, is applied to the Adaptive Cruise Control system design, illustrating one of the directions to improve the safety and quality of future automobiles.
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): SDM activities - sponsored by GSC
For more information, contact: 

The role of tropical and subtropical eddy moisture transports in the general circulation 
Monday, May 14, 2012
MIT, Building 54-915, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Speaker: Tiffany Shaw (Columbia Univ)
Abstract: We investigate the seasonal cycle of meridional moisture (latent heat) transport in the tropics and subtropics by disturbances to the zonal mean. Stationary transport by planetary scale waves is found to be large in the subtropical lower troposphere and dominates the overall poleward transport during summer. In addition westward and eastward propagating sub-planetary scale waves dominate in the tropics and midlatitudes, respectively. The analysis reveals that the seamless eddy moisture transport from the deep tropics to the pole represents the transport by distinct dynamical features. 

The statistical transformed Eulerian mean formulation is used to assess the role of eddy meridional moisture transport in the general circulation. Eddy moisture transport increases the total mass transport by a factor of 2 to 3 in the subtropics and midlatitudes. The impacts are largest during Northern Hemisphere summer highlighting the important role of moisture transport by subtropical anticyclones, tropical and baroclinic waves in the general circulation.
MASS Seminar
The MIT Atmospheric Science Seminar (MASS) is a student-run weekly seminar series within PAOC. Seminar topics include all research concerning the atmosphere and climate, but also talks about e.g. societal impacts of climatic processes. The seminars usually take place on Monday from 12-1pm followed by a lunch with graduate students. Besides the seminar, individual meetings with professors, post-docs, and students are arranged. The seminar series is run by graduate students and is intended mainly for students to interact with individuals outside the department, but faculty and post docs certainly participate.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Atmospheric Science Seminars
For more information, contact:  Marty Singh 
BUILDING TECHNOLOGY SPRING LECTURE SERIES: Computational Tools for Modeling and Control of Airflow in Buildings
Monday, May 14, 2012
MIT, Building 7-431, Long Lounge (AVT), 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Dr.Sunil Ahuja, Senior Research Scientist at United Technologies Research Center, CT,

In most building energy modeling tools, indoor air is described by lumped models, assuming it to be well-mixed with a uniform temperature. This assumption tends to fail in buildings equipped with low-energy HVAC terminal units, such as displacement ventilation, radiant ceilings, etc. The air in zones equipped with such systems is often characterized by thermal stratification or buoyancy. We present computational tools for developing models of such flows, using model reduction techniques that have matured over the last few decades in the context of aerodynamic and turbulent flows. We illustrate the application of these models in control design and in assessing energy savings in buildings.

If time permits, the talk will also discuss computational tools for automated calibration of building energy models, otherwise an arduous task, using tools for uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis.

Bio: Dr.Sunil Ahuja is a research scientist at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), where he is involved in research in the areas of model reduction and control of fluid flows, uncertainty quantification, and nonlinear dynamical systems. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, MS from Boston University, and BE from University of Mumbai, all in mechanical engineering. Some of his publications can be found at:

Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): Department of Architecture, Building Technology Program

For more information, contact:  Alexandra Golledge


"Integrating Science for Policy: The Changing Role of Education, and Thoughts from Working with the World Bank, PCAST, the National Climate Assessment and Others"
Monday, May 14, 2012 
2:30pm - 4:00pm
Perkins Room 415, (Rubenstein Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street
A Seminar with Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan
Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), and in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.  She served as Dean of SNRE for 10 years, during which time she oversaw the creation of a new undergraduate Program in the Environment, five new dual Master’s degrees across campus, and tripled interdisciplinary research in the School.

Rosina is a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and provides advice on how science, technology and innovation can lead to responsible and effective policy. Bierbaum is also a board member for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, The Energy Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.  She is also a member of the International Advisory Board for the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment” and the Executive Committee for the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.  Dr. Bierbaum co-directed the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010, which focuses on climate change and development, and is currently leading the Adaptation Chapter for the Congressionally-mandated U.S. National Climate assessment.

Bierbaum served in both the executive and legislative branches of Government for two decades--as the Senate-confirmed director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Environment Division, and in multiple capacities at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, ranging from Congressional Fellow to Senior Associate.
Contact Name:  Lauren Bloomberg

Open Pediatrics: A game changer in critical pediatric care
Monday, May 14, 2012
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (ET)
IBM Center for Social Business, 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge

Event Details
The IBM Center for Social Business welcomes Dr. Jeffrey P. Burns, a game changer in pediatric care with an amazing story to tell. He will share a journey that began as a dream to help pediatric medical staff who did not have access to critical knowledge they needed to save kids lives. While watching the Masters in 2009, he saw an interactive "see and do" web site he thought could do exactly what he wanted. As it turned out, this site was designed by IBM Interactive, with a group based in Cambridge. After a three-year collaboration between Dr. Burns and a Cambridge-based IBM Interactive team led by Adam Cutler, Open Pediatrics is a reality.

Open Pediatrics
“OpenPediatrics Project,” the soon-to-be-released web-based educational application, will be a resource for pediatric critical care givers around the world. By harnessing the reach of the Internet, access to the latest knowledge about effective health care will no longer be bottlenecked within the walls of institutions. It can now be shared instantly so that clinicians across the globe can gain access to life-saving information at any time.
The early 2012 beta launch of this comprehensive, continually updated, and peer-reviewed knowledge exchange platform will be dedicated to providing multimedia and interactive educational resources to physicians and nurses on optimal care of the critically ill child.  More specifically, the overall objectives include providing information on demand, curricular learning maps for training clinicians, and a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration between care providers around the world.

This beta release will include 1000 users in hospitals across six continents. A total of 9 modules will cover a range of topics pertinent to the care of critically ill children. Each topic will include expert content, including video lectures and demonstrations, pre- and post- topic knowledge assessments, and best practice protocols and guidelines. When applicable, a module will include a simulator or avatar-based simulations for more comprehensive and interactive learning.

This project is specifically designed to be a knowledge exchange platform, thus contributions in the content provided on the website will come from the best teachers from across the world.

About Jeffrey P. Burns, MD, MPH

Dr. Jeffrey Burns is Chief of Critical Care Medicine and the Shapiro Chair  of Critical Care Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston and Associate Professor of Anesthesia (Pediatrics) at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Program Director for the Fellowship Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at both institutions.



The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity
Monday, May 14, 2012
MIT, Building E62-650, 100 Main Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Joshua Graff Zivin (UC San Diego)
Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): Seminar in Microeconomic Applications

For more information, contact:  Theresa Beneventon


Coal-CO2 Slurry Feed for Pressurized Gasifiers: Heterogeneous Kinetics in a high CO2/CO Environment and Impact on Carbon Conversion
Monday, May 14, 2012
MIT, Building 3-333, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Cristina Botero, Mechanical Engineering Department, MIT
Center for Energy and Propulsion Research Seminar Series

Gasification of carbonaceous feedstocks such as coal produces synthesis gas (CO+H2) which can be used for the production of clean power, synthetic fuels, and chemicals. For high-P, high-T gasifiers of the entrained-flow type in plants with carbon capture, coal-CO2 slurry feed is an attractive alternative to the state-of-the-art coal-water slurry feeding system. System-level studies have shown that CO2 slurry feed leads to 15% lower oxygen-to-coal consumption, relative to a plant with water slurry feed. The gasification of char in CO2 has, nevertheless, been observed to be slower than that in steam. In addition, CO -which is present in larger quantities when the feeding system is CO2 slurry- is known to retard the gasification reactions. This talk will thus address the impact of CO2 slurry feed on the heterogeneous gasification kinetics -and ultimately on carbon conversion and oxygen consumption- in a pressurized, single-stage, entrained flow gasifier. The results from component-level simulations with a reduced order model (ROM) of the reactor will be presented, whereas Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics were used to quantify the gasification rate at high-P, high-T, in a mixed gas environment.

Cristina Botero is a PhD Candidate at MIT's Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab. She earned an MSc. in Chemical and Bioengineering in 2007 from the University of Erlangen in Germany. Prior to coming to MIT, Cristina worked for General Electric's Global Research Center in Munich.

Open to: the general public

Sponsor(s): RGD Lab

For more information, contact:  Jeff Hanna


"Defending Behind the Device: Mobile Application Risks"
Monday, May 14, 2012
6:30 PM
Fidelity Center for Applied Technology - Adjacent to South Station, 245 Summer Street, Boston

The Boston Google Technology Users Group is presenting "Defending Behind the Device: Mobile Application Risks".
On May 14th, Chris Wysopal, CTO of Veracode will talk about mobile app security entitled "Defending Behind the Device: Mobile Application Risks."
The event is hosted by GTUG, Fidelity and Kayak. Hack/Hackers Boston is a community sponsor.
We will also have a couple of developers demonstrate live device  exploits.

This link will provide further information

Tuesday, May 15

Microbial Facebook: Probing Bacterial Social Networks

WHEN  Tue., May 15, 2012, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard Medical School, Warren Alpert Building, Room 563, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Health Sciences, Lecture, Science
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  Hosted by the Graduate Students
SPEAKER(S)  Marvin Whiteley, University of Texas, Austin


Going Feral on the Net: the Qualities of Survival in a Wild, Wired World
Tuesday, May 15, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor, Cambridge
RSVP required for those attending in person at
This event will be webcast live at 12:30 pm ET at and archived on our site shortly after.

Matthew Battles, Managing Editor and Curatorial Practice Fellow at metaLAB (at) Harvard

How do we balance the empowering possibilities of the networked public sphere with the dark, unsettling, and even dangerous energies of cyberspace? Matthew Battles blends a deep-historical perspective on the internet with storytelling that reaches into its weird, uncanny depths. It's a hybrid approach, reflecting the web's way of landing us in a feral state—the predicament of a domestic creature forced to live by its imperfectly-rekindled instincts in a world where it is never entirely at home. The feral is a metaphor—and maybe more than just a metaphor—for thriving in cyberspace, a habitat that changes too rapidly for anyone truly to be native. This talk will weave critical and reflective discussion of online experience with a short story from Battles' new collection, The Sovereignties of Invention.

About Matthew
Matthew Battles is program fellow with metaLAB (at) Harvard, an academic and creative collaborative devoted to the exploration of technology in the arts and humanities, hosted by the Berkman Center. He writes about the historical, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions of cyberspace for such publications as The Boston Globe and The Atlantic Monthly. He spent eight years as a scholarly editor at Harvard's Houghton Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; as cofounder of the blog he has helped generate innovative literary publishing projects in print and online. The author of Library: an Unquiet History(Norton 2004), his forthcoming books include Letter by Letter (W. W. Norton), a sentimental and natural history of writing, and a short story collection, The Sovereignties of Invention (Red Lemonade).


Sparse Recovery over Networks 
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
4:00 PM (reception following)
MIT, Stata Center, Room 32-141, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

A. Kevin Tang, Cornell
LIDS Seminar

Abstract  Given that large scale networks such as the Internet and power grids have become ever more crucial for our society, it is critical to keep monitoring states of such networks to avoid possible system failure and to optimize performance. The scale and complexity of such systems raise the need to quickly infer component characteristics from indirect aggregate measurements.
Motivated by tomography problems in information networks, we first discuss sparse recovery with graph constraints in the sense that we can take additive measurements over nodes only if they induce a connected subgraph. We provide explicit measurement constructions for several special graphs including line, 2-D grid and tree. A general measurement construction algorithm is also proposed and evaluated. For any given graph G with n nodes, we derive order optimal upper bounds of the minimum number of measurements needed to recover any k-sparse vector over G.
Second, to deal with bad data detection in power grids, an iterative mixed L1 and L2 convex programming is used to estimate the true state by locally linearizing the nonlinear measurements. We give conditions under which the solution of the iterative algorithm converges to the true state. We also numerically evaluate our solution to perform bad data detections in nonlinear electrical power networks problems.
Besides their applications, both formulations significantly generalize the current compressive sensing framework: from complete graph to arbitrary graph (first part of the talk) and from additive linear measurements to nonlinear measurements (second part of the talk).
Biography  A. Kevin Tang received his undergraduate degree in electronics engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a minor in applied and computational mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell, where his research interests focus on control and optimization of networks, including communication networks, power networks, and on-chip networks. His recent awards include a Michael Tien'72 Excellence in Teaching Award from the college of engineering at Cornell in 2011 and a Young investigator award from the US Air Force's Office of Scientific Research in 2012.
"Towards the principles of self assembly"
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
MIT, Building 3-370, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Michael Brenner, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
MMEC SEMINAR SERIES (Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, Computation)
Web site:
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MechE Seminar Series
For more information, contact:  Ray Hardin 


"Addressing the Challenges Facing Public Education" by Kathleen McCartney
WHEN  Tue., May 15, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.
WHERE  Cambridge Public Library, Main Library, 449 Broadway Street, Cambridge, MA
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Education, Lecture, Social Sciences, Special Events
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  Harvard University and Cambridge Public Library
SPEAKER(S)  Kathleen McCartney, dean of the Faculty of Education and the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education
COST  Free and open to the public
CONTACT INFO, 617.495.4955
NOTE  Part of the John Harvard Book Celebration. McCartney will discuss the challenges and issues facing the public education system.
Limited seating available. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please or call 617.495.4955.


MIT $100K Finale
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
MIT, Kresge Auditorium, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Come see the hottest MIT startups compete for the $100K grand prize at the MIT $100K Finale.

Startup showcase starts at 6pm
Finale show at 7pm

Event is free, no tickets required and open to the public!
Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, The MIT 100K

For more information, contact:


Using mapping to inform the world
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
6:00 PM
450 Dodge Hall, Northeastern University, 324 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Mapping has exploded over the last few years as new tools have made it much easier to show trends and explore changes, from the global level to local neighborhoods. Join us as experts show how maps can bring together citizens and journalists.

Speakers: Ben Berkowitz, co-founder and CEO of SeeClickFix of New Haven, which uses mapping and crowdsourcing to bring together citizens, public officials and journalists to identify and solve community problems.
Holly St. Clair and Christian Spanring of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, who will talk about how journalists can make use of MAPC data and maps.
Moderator: Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University, blogger at Media Nation and media commentator for "Beat the Press" on WGBH-TV, the Huffington Post and other outlets.



Toy Product Design PLAYsentations!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
MIT, Building 10-250, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
The students and staff of MIT's 2.00b Toy Product Design class would like to invite you to the PLAYsentations 2012! At the PLAYsentations, teams of students will present 16 new toy product prototypes, all inspired by the theme of "imagination".

This year, the PLAYsentations are on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 in Room 10-250 at MIT. The presentations will run from 7:30???10:00PM with a reception to follow. We encourage you to invite other colleagues, friends, and family. The PLAYsentations are centered around toy products, so kids are especially welcome!
Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): 2.00b Toy Product Design
For more information, contact:  2.00b Course Instructors 

Greenport Forum:  Does Change Have to Mean Sacrifice?  Finding fulfillment in an already full world
Tuesday, May 15
7 pm
Cambrdigeport Baptist Church, 459 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge (corner of Magazine St and Putnam Ave)

Cambridge City Councillor Craig Kelley

Concerned about environmental issues, in 1989 Craig Kelley went from being a Marine Corps Infantry Officer to canvassing for Greenpeace, from being a meat eater to being a vegetarian, from driving a four-wheel drive pickup truck to riding a bike.  For the past 20 years, he's tried to figure out how much of a difference those actions have made for him, for his family and how the world as he consistently falls short of his own expectations for living a climate changed life.  Join Craig and other environmentally concerned individuals for a discussion about lifestyle changes in a changing world.

For more information, contact Steve Wineman at

Wednesday, May 16

Bicycle Appreciation Breakfast
WHEN  Wed., May 16, 2012, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
WHERE  Au Bon Pain in Holyoke Center, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Athletic, Special Events, Sustainability, Wellness/Work Life, Working@Harvard
COST  Free
NOTE  Please join the CommuterChoice Program at its annual Bicycle Appreciation Breakfast.
Bring your helmet for a complimentary breakfast, bike tune-up, raffle prizes & giveaways including a membership for Hubway, Metro-Boston’s public bike share system.
During Bay State Bike Week, please join our team at the 2012 MassCommuter… by selecting “Harvard University” from the Employer/Institution dropdown menu.


Geography of baroclinic instability and eddy mixing in the ocean
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Time: 12:10p–1:00p
MIT, Building 54-915, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Speaker: Ross Tulloch

Sponsor(s): Oceans & Climate Sack Lunch Seminar
Web site:
Open to: the general public

For more information, contact: Dan Goldberg


Private Sector Employment and Labor Demand in China: Evidence from Urban Housing Reforms
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
MIT, Building E51-376, 2 Amherst Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Lakshmi Iyer (HBS)

Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Development and Environmental Economics Workshop
For more information, contact:  Theresa Benevento

Towards mechanically-tunable materials inspired by nature
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
SEMINAR 3:30 to 4:45 PM, RECEPTION 3:00 to 3:30 PM
MIT, Building 66-110, 25 Ames Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Prof. LaShanda Korley (Case Western Reserve University)

MIT Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST) Polymer Seminar Series 

PPST sponsors a series of seminars covering a broad range of topics of general interest to the polymer community,featuring speakers from both on and off campus. 

We invite the polymer community at MIT and elsewhere to participate.

Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: FREE
Sponsor(s): MIT Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST)
For more information, contact: Gregory Sands
(617) 253-0949 


Opening Reception -- Through the Lens: Growth
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
MIT, Building E14, Mit Media Lab Complex, 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge
A photography exhibit by MIT students

The exhibited projects, realized by students of 4.343 Advanced Photography and Related Media, artistically explore systemic, socio-political, and psychological issues around concepts of growth.

Throughout the spring semester, MIT students investigated aspects of the ongoing transformation of the human environment since industrialization--on physical, psychological and systemic levels--and grappled with the concept of limited growth on a finite planet. The projects test photography's potential to understand and reflect our current state and possible systemic problems that originate from our modes of existence.

Exhibiting Students: Reem Abuzeid, Widya Anggraini, Lawrence Barriner, Feifei Feng, Danielle Hicks, Maggie Jordan, Sing Yeung Lau, Bin Li, Jeffrey H. Lin, Walter Menendez, Farre Nixon, Adam Sachs, William Sorensen, Misha Sra

This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of Charles Fendrock.

Also on view on the 5th floor of E14:
Final Projects of 4.341 Introduction to Photography and Related Media
Exhibiting Students: Jason U. Chiu, Aimee C Harrison, Kyle Hounsell, Linsey E. Jackson, Andy D. Kalenerian, Ryan O. Keating, Kameron L. Klauber, Bryan H. Lee, Naomi Lynch, Larry Pang, Alan Kwesi Phillips, Javier Ramos, Denise A. Rivas, Robin S. Shin, Evan P. Wang, Wei Zhao
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Department of Architecture
For more information, contact: Laura Anca Chichisan

Science in the News Spring Lecture Series:  Neglected Diseases of the Bottom Billion
WHEN  Wed., May 16, 2012, 7 – 9 p.m.
WHERE  Harvard University, Pfizer Auditorium, Mallinckrodt Building, 12 Oxford St, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Classes/Workshops, Science
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  Science in the News, sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the Graduate Student Council
SPEAKER(S)  Presentations given by groups of graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
COST  Free
NOTE  Hosted by Science in the News, a student run group at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, our evening seminar series is free to the public! Discuss today’s hottest scientific topics, with seminars presented by current graduate students and aimed at a general audience. It's an interactive environment, so feel to ask questions at any point in the lecture! Hosted at Harvard University, Pfizer Auditorium, biweekly Wednesdays. See our website for the full schedule.

Thursday, May 17

The Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit Presented by MassBike and WalkBoston
Thursday, May 17, 2012
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (ET)
24 Beacon Street, Boston

We are pleased to announce Massachusetts’ first ever Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, May 17th from 10am -1pm in Nurses Hall at the State House. This event will be the central MassBike event for Bay State Bike Week and is co-sponsored by the two statewide biking and walking organizations, MassBike and WalkBoston (respectively). It will give local advocates from all corners of the state a chance to tell their legislators how important bike/pedestrian issues and legislation are for Massachusetts.

We’re looking forward to a great event that will provide a unique opportunity for citizens to come together and let their voices be heard (the specific legislative agenda is still being worked on). You can find some more tentative details here. This event is free and open to the public, and we highly recommend anyone interested in bicycling here in Massachusetts to participate. If you have any questions, please email More details to come soon!


Civic Media Lunch: Vinay Bhargava, "Citizens Fighting Corruption: Roles and Challenges for Civic Media"
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Time: 12:00p–1:03p
MIT, Building E15-344, 20 Amherst Street, Cambridge
Web site: RSVP:
RSVP required below to get food.
Speaker: Vinay Bhargava
Corruption, a universal problem, victimizes the poor bottom billion of the global population. These poor are bypassed by trickle-down growth strategies. They suffer chronic poverty. Corruption robs them of services and social safety benefits intended to alleviate their plight. Decades of efforts to reform government's own accountability systems to control corruption have shown limited results. The new frontier is to empower citizens and communities to hold the state accountable and make it responsive to their needs.

Drawing on his world-wide experiences, Dr. Vinay Bhargava will present examples of communities fighting corruption and share ideas on the huge unfulfilled roles and challenges for civic media to make a difference in this important movement.

Vinay Bhargava is currently Chief Technical Advisor and a Board Member at an international anti-corruption NGO -- the Partnership for Transparency Fund -- which supports CSOs to promote citizen engagement in fighting corruption.

He volunteers at the Partnership for Transparency Fund and is managing their "Citizens Against Corruption in South Asia" program which funds NGOs for anti-corruption projects.

He is a visiting professor at the Hiroshima and Kobe Universities in Japan delivering courses and seminars in foreign aid effectiveness.
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Center for Civic Media
For more information, contact:  Andrew Whitacre

Quantification of Connectivity in the Coastal Ocean and its Ecological and Societal Application
Thursday, May 17, 2012
MIT, Building 48-316, Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Dave Siegel, Earth Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara
Environmental Fluid Mechanics/Hydrology
Join us for a weekly series of efm/hydrology topics by MIT faculty and students, as well as guest lecturers from around the globe.
Many important science problems in coastal marine ecology and their related management applications require knowledge of the connectivity of one nearshore site with a nearby one. These connections can be via the transport of dissolved constituents from a pollution spill or by the transport of planktonic larvae linking metapopulations of a valued fish stock. Yet the quantification of coastal connectivity is often something not often considered by marine scientists. Here, we use high resolution numerical model solutions of the Southern California Bight to quantify Lagrangian transition probability density functions (PDFs) quantify connectivity among nearshore locations. These PDFs provide an encapsulation of the net transport of water masses consistent with known oceanographic patterns. We then use these source-sink determinations to explain the spatial structuring of nearshore marine communities and to place an economic value on spatial marine fishery management.
Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: free
Sponsor(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering
For more information, contact:  Roberta Pizzinato 
Science & Democracy in Turmoil: Restoring a Great American Relationship
Thursday, May 17, 2012 
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Norton's Woods Conference Center at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 200 Beacon Street, Somerville
Register at

President Kevin Knobloch and Board Chair James McCarthy invite you to join the Union of Concerned Scientists in celebrating the launch of the Center for Science and Democracy.
Welcoming remarks by Leslie Berlowitz, President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Featuring a conversation moderated by Steve Curwood, host of National Public Radio's Living on Earth, with distinguished guests:
Lawrence S. Bacow, President Emeritus, Tufts University
Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate and Director, National Cancer Institute
Honoring Lewis M. Branscomb, Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management (emeritus), John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
THE CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND DEMOCRACY is a bold new initative of the Union of Concerned Scientists to restore the essential role of science, evidence-based decision making, and constructive debate to American democracy as a means to improve the health, security, and prosperity of all Americans.
Contact Name:  Kathy Rest


Algorithms in nature: From systems biology to distributed computing and back
Thursday, May 17 2012
4:00PM to 5:30PM
MIT, Building 32-G449 (Kiva), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge

Speaker: Ziv Bar-Joseph, CMU
Abstract:  Computer science and biology have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship for decades. Computational methods are widely used to analyze and integrate large biological data sets, while several algorithms were inspired by the high-level design principles of biological systems. In this talk I will discuss the similarities and differences between the mechanisms and objectives of biological and computational systems with a special emphasis on the distributed nature of both. Relying on these similarities, I will present a few example where studying in detail how biological systems solve computational problems leads to both, efficient algorithms and better understanding of biology. These examples include fault tolerance in distributed regulatory networks, the selection of a Maximal Independent Set (MIS) during fly development and routing in neural networks. In a number of these cases, the biological algorithm employs novel ideas that have not been widely explored computationally which improve upon state of the art computational methods.

Bio:   Ziv Bar-Joseph is an Associate Professor in the Lane Center for Computational Biology and the Machine Learning Department at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His work focuses on the analysis and integration of static and temporal high throughput biological data for systems biology and on improving algorithms for distributed computational networks by relying on our increased understanding of how biological systems operate and what makes them robust and adaptable. Dr. Bar-Joseph has been the co-chair of the RECOMB meeting on Regulatory Networks and Systems Biology and is currently on the editorial board of Bioinformatics. He received his Ph.D. from the MIT in 2003. He was the recipient of the DIMACS-Celera Genomics Graduate Student Award in Computational Molecular Biology and the NSF CAREER award. Most recently he was named the 2012 recipient of the Overton prize in computational biology which is awarded annually by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

Host: Nancy Lynch, CSAIL
Contact: Alex Cornejo,


Thursday, May 17th
7 pm
243 Broadway, Cambridge   

Superpower */illustrates how the US has leveraged its position to ensure unilateral world domination through absolute economic and military superiority and government deception. It allows viewers to understand the US quest for global dominance through economic and  military strategy exposed through review of historical events, personal  interviews, and analysis of US foreign policy.

Superpower/ presents a view of US foreign policy that lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits, and US heads of state. Should citizens trust that their government will keep them safe, a government that keeps secrets, and lies, in the name of national security? Does the simple act of withholding information lead to a world of eroding civil liberties and corruption?

Superpower /shows a consistent pattern of US government deception.

Please join us for a stimulating night out; bring your friends!
free film, free refreshments, & free door prizes. [donations are accepted]

Why should YOU care? It's YOUR money that pays for US/Israeli wars - on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Libya. Syria, Iran, So America, etc etc - for billionaire bailouts, for ever more ubiquitous US prisons, for the loss of liberty and civil rights...
Friday, May 18

EAPS Senior Thesis Presentatons
Friday, May 18, 2012
MIT, Building 54-915, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Each senior in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science will give a 20 minute talk presenting the results of his/her senior thesis.
Open to: the general public
Sponsor(s): Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS)
For more information, contact:  Vicki McKenna
617- 253-3380 
Languages for Social Computation
Friday, May 18 2012
2:00PM to 3:00PM
Refreshments: 1:45PM
MIT, Patil/Kiva Seminar Room (32-G449), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge
Relevant URL:

Speaker: Sep Kamvar, MIT Media Lab

Abstract:  Some of the most interesting and useful technologies in the past few years have involved the large-scale coordination of people and machines. Programming languages, however, tend to focus on the machines.

Traditional programming language design assumes that people play one of two roles: programmers or end-users, not members of a decentralized computing system. As a result, programming -- or even thinking about -- such human-machine systems is awkward and laborious.

In this talk, I will discuss the challenges in developing a language that is intended to be executed by both computers and people. I'll present Dog, an instance of such a language, and Jabberwocky, the development stack in which it resides. And finally, I'll show some applications that are written simply in Dog, but would be difficult to write in other existing languages.

Bio:  Sep Kamvar is the LG Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, and Director of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on social computing and information management.

Prior to MIT, Sep was the head of personalization at Google and a consulting professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Kaltix, a personalized search company that was acquired by Google in 2003.

Sep is the author of two books and over 40 technical publications and patents in the fields of search and social computing. He is on the technical advisory boards of several companies, including Clever Sense and Etsy. His artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Musem in London, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens.

Sep received his Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics from Stanford University and his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.

Contact: Juho Kim,

Saturday, May 19
The 2012 Jr Solar Sprint race for Eastern Mass 
Saturday May 19th ( rain-date Sunday May 20th)
11 am to 2:45 pm
MIT, Henry Steinbrenner Stadium & Track Cambridge


Playing for the Planet:  World Flutes Against Climate Change
Saturday, May 19
7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston
Regular Admission: $20
Student/Senior Admission: $15

Steve Gorn (Hindustani bansuri),
Elizabeth Reian Bennett (Japanese shakuhachi),
Renaissonics (Renaissance music, featuring recorder virtuosi John Tyson and Miyuki Tsurutani)

Advance Ticket Orders Are Accepted Until 3 pm on May 19. Orders received after Wednesday, May 16 will be held at the door.

On Saturday, May 19, the sixth “Playing For The Planet” benefit concert will showcase master musicians from three widely different musical traditions in a rare evening of pan-cultural flute styles, with all proceeds going to benefit the environmental advocacy group The performers include Steve Gorn(Hindustani bansuri), Elizabeth Reian Bennett (Japanese shakuhachi), and the acclaimed Renaissance ensemble, Renaissonics, featuring the recorder virtuosity of John Tyson and Miyuki Tsurutani. The music begins at 7:00 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston. Admission is $20; $15 students & seniors. For information, please call 781-396-0734. “Playing For The Planet” can be found on Facebook.

More information at

“Playing For The Planet: World Flutes Against Climate Change” is the sixth concert in an ongoing series of cross-cultural events produced by Boston-area musician and environmental activist Warren Senders. These concerts were conceived as a way for creative musicians to contribute to the urgent struggle against global warming. Their choice of beneficiary,, is focused on building global consensus on reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels — action which climatologists agree is necessary to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Because the climate problem recognizes no national boundaries, the artists represent musical styles from three different parts of the globe. While the performers present different melodic and rhythmic concepts, they share key musical values: listening, honesty, creativity, and respect. And, of course, they are all committed to raising awareness of the potentially devastating effects of global warming. It’ll be an evening of powerful and evocative music — from some of the finest musicians in New England and the world.

Monday, May 21

Did Democracy Promotion Cause the Arab Spring?
WHEN  Mon., May 21, 2012, 12:15 – 2 p.m.
WHERE  Malkin Penthouse, 4th Floor Littauer Building, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge
GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION  Lecture, Social Sciences
ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR  International Security Program
SPEAKER(S)  Heidi Lane, research fellow, International Security Program


"Colony Collapse Disorder."
Follow the Honey, 1132 Mass Avenue, Cambridge

Chensheng Lu

Tuesday, May 22

2012 GoGreen Awards 
Tuesday, May 22
8:00 am to 9:30 am
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

The annual presentation of awards to businesses and organizations for their sustainability initiatives.  A light breakfast will be served.

RSVP to 617-349-4604 or


D-Lab Open Hours
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
MIT, Building E34, 2nd floor, 42 Hayward Street
Come chat with D-Lab staff or tour around the lab to learn about our work. D-Lab focuses on international development, appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions for low-income communities, mostly in developing countries. There are currently 16 academic offerings that make up the suite of D-Lab classes, falling into the broad categories of Development, Design and Dissemination.
Web site:
Open to: the general public
Cost: Free
Sponsor(s): D-Lab
For more information, contact: 


The Age of Limits:  Conversations on the Collapse of The Global Industrial Model

Friday May 25th thru Monday May 28th, 2012

Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary, 190 Walker Lane Artemas PA

Dedicated to the pioneering work of Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers & Dennis Meadows
and their epochal 1972 report "The Limits to Growth."

Editorial Comment:  This is a way outside my geographic limits and is a conference that costs money but one of the subscribers suggested it and the subject and speakers are worthy of attention.


Data Therapy: Creative Ways to tell your Story with Data
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
6:00 PM
MIT Media Lab, E14-525, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge

Got data? Tired of using the same old bar charts to tell your story?
You need some Data Therapy!
Join MIT Media Lab researcher Rahul Bhargava for a workshop on making creative and compelling presentations of data.
We will cover: a process for picking appropriate data presentation techniques; real-world examples of various creative techniques; online tools to help you while designing your presentation; "group therapy" time to brainstorm about your specific needs.



June 2 
Launch Party for Co-op Power Boston Metro East Local Council

Contact Lynn Benander at for further information

Resilience Circle Webinar: Small Group Organizing 101

Want to start a Resilience Circle or small group for your community? Join this conversation for tips, tools, and inspiration!
Tuesday, June 5
3pm EDT / 12pm PDT
Register at

A talk by Don Alberto Taxo
Master teacher from Ecauador

WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE 2012, 7.30 P.M.

Refreshments will be served

Don Alberto is a teacher and healer of the Andean Quechua peoples.  He speaks of the need for head and heart to unite, and to bring technology and wisdom together in healing our earth. He brings simple, ancient practices that open the doors of perception to our connection with all life, through gratitude and enjoyment.

NOTE: there are other opportunities to meet Don Alberto:

For more intormation:
Events in Eastern Mass.--to make reservations etc.: Dori Smith,   978-835-5568
Don Alberto’s work:


Saturday, June 9, 2012
Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

All community activists and residents, environmental justice advocates, lawyers, policymakers and others interested in public health and the environment in low income communities and communities of color are invited to attend.

Individuals may register for the event online by visiting the online registration page:  There is no cost to attend the event. Food, childcare, and great company are included. The deadline to register is May 18, 2012. Travel scholarships are available for individuals and groups that need assistance to attend.

For the first time in New England, residents of low income communities and communities of color, together with community organizers, attorneys, public health and environmental professionals and government officials will assemble for a one- day summit on environmental justice.  At the Summit attendees will share ideas, learn from one another and plan future work to address environmental and public health issues that especially affect low income communities and communities of color. NEEJF is a collaboration of Alternatives for Community and Environment, Connecticut Coalition for   Environmental Justice and Rhode Island Legal Services.

For more information, please contact Steve Fischbach: or 401-274-2652 ext.182




CEA Solar Hot Water Grants
Cambridge, through the Cambridge Energy Alliance initiative, is offering a limited number of grants to residents and businesses for solar hot water systems.  The grants will cover 50% of the remaining out of pocket costs of the system after other incentives, up to $2,000.

Applications will be accepted up to November 19, 2012 and are available on a first come, first serve basis until funding runs out.  The Cambridge grant will complement other incentives including the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center solar thermal grants.  For more information, see


Cambridge Residents: Free Home Thermal Images

Have you ever wanted to learn where your home is leaking heat by having an energy auditor come to your home with a thermal camera?  With that info you then know where to fix your home so it's more comfortable and less expensive to heat.  However, at $200 or so, the cost of such a thermal scan is a big chunk of change.

HEET Cambridge has now partnered with Sagewell, Inc. to offer Cambridge residents free thermal scans.

Sagewell collects the thermal images by driving through Cambridge in a hybrid vehicle equipped with thermal cameras.  They will scan every building in Cambridge (as long as it's not blocked by trees or buildings or on a private way).  Building owners can view thermal images of their property and an analysis online. The information is password protected so that only the building owner can see the results.

Homeowners, condo-owners and landlords can access the thermal images and an accompanying analysis free of charge. Commercial building owners and owners of more than one building will be able to view their images and analysis for a small fee.

The scans will be analyzed in the order they are requested.

Go to  Type in your address at the bottom where it says "Find your home or building" and press return.  Then click on "Here" to request the report.

That's it.  When the scans are done in a few weeks, your building will be one of the first to be analyzed. The accompanying report will help you understand why your living room has always been cold and what to do about it.

With knowledge, comes power (or in this case saved power and money, not to mention comfort).


Free solar electricity analysis for MA residents


HEET has partnered with NSTAR and Mass Save participating contractor Next Step Living to deliver no-cost Home Energy Assessments to Cambridge residents.

During the assessment, the energy specialist will:

Install efficient light bulbs (saving up to 7% of your electricity bill)
Install programmable thermostats (saving up to 10% of your heating bill)
Install water efficiency devices (saving up to 10% of your water bill)
Check the combustion safety of your heating and hot water equipment
Evaluate your home’s energy use to create an energy-efficiency roadmap
If you get electricity from NSTAR, National Grid or Western Mass Electric, you already pay for these assessments through a surcharge on your energy bills.  You might as well use the service.

Please sign up at or call Next Step Living at 866-867-8729.  A Next Step Living Representative will call to schedule your assessment.

HEET will help answer any questions and ensure you get all the services and rebates possible.

(The information collected will only be used to help you get a Home Energy Assessment.  We won’t keep the data or sell it.)

(If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to call HEET’s Jason Taylor at 617 441 0614.)




Sustainable Business Network Local Green Guide

SBN is excited to announce the soft launch of its new Local Green Guide, Massachusetts' premier Green Business Directory!

To view the directory please visit:
To find out how how your business can be listed on the website or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Adritha at


Massachusetts Attitudes About Climate Change – An opinion survey of Massachusetts residents conducted by MassINC and sponsored by the Barr Foundation found that 77% of respondents believe that global warming has “probably been happening” and 59% of all respondents see see it as being at least partially caused by human pollution.  Only 42% of the state’s residents say global warming will have very serious consequences for Massachusetts if left unaddressed. The 18 to 29 age group is more likely to believe global warming is appearing and caused by humans compared to the 60+ age group.  African-American (56%) and Latino residents (69%) are more likely than white residents (40%) to believe global warming will be a very serious problem if left unaddressed.  The MassINC report, titled The 80 Percent Challenge:  What Massachusetts must do to meet targets and make headway on climate change (, contains many other findings.


Free Monthly Energy Analysis

CarbonSalon is a free service that every month can automatically track your energy use and compare it to your past energy use (while controlling for how cold the weather is). You get a short friendly email that lets you know how you’re doing in your work to save energy.


Boston Food System

"The Boston Food System [listserv] provides a forum to post announcements of events, employment opportunities, internships, programs, lectures, and other activities as well as related articles or other publications of a non-commercial nature covering the area's food system - food, nutrition, farming, education, etc. - that take place or focus on or around Greater Boston (broadly delineated)."

The Boston area is one of the most active nationwide in terms of food system activities - projects, services, and events connected to food, farming, nutrition - and often connected to education, public health, environment, arts, social services and other arenas.   Hundreds of organizations and enterprises cover our area, but what is going on week-to-week is not always well publicized.

Hence, the new Boston Food System listserv, as the place to let everyone know about these activities.  Specifically:
Use of the BFS list will begin soon, once we get a decent base of subscribers.  Clarification of what is appropriate to announce and other posting guidelines will be provided as well.

It's easy to subscribe right now at


Artisan Asylum

Sprout & Co:  Community Driven Investigations

Greater Boston Solidarity Economy Mapping Project
a project by Wellesley College students that invites participation, contact

------------------------'s Guide to Boston


Links to events at 60 colleges and universities at Hubevents

Thanks to

Fred Hapgood's Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the Boston Area

Boston Area Computer User Groups

Arts and Cultural Events List

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