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First impressions of Boston and the MIT

September 15, 2010
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As most of you know, I’ve got the opportunity to spend one semester as a visiting PhD Student at the MIT Media Lab, under the supervision of professor Ramesh Raskar, leader of the Camera Culture research group.

I arrived in Boston this Monday, September 13th, and my first impressions of the city are the best possible. It has a very beautiful skyline, not oppressive as São Paulo ou similar large metropolitan areas. The picture bellow was taken today at the bridge on Massachusetts Av. over the Charles River Basin, near the MIT Campus. It was a bright sunny day, and some boats were out.

Boston's skyline over charles river basin

Boston's skyline around charles river basin

The MIT Campus is a vibrant community of students, faculty and families, with a plethora of different activities happening all the time. It’s still summer and a lot of students spend their lunchtime at the open areas of the Campus, which is placed alongside the Charles River Basin.

MIT Campus

Me at the MIT Campus

My stay at the Media Lab starts officially at September 30, but today I went to the lab to meet some people and get to know the space where I’ll spend most of my awake hours for the next sic months. The lab is one of the most impressive building I’ve ever been, characterized by its large open areas, naturally illuminated by sunlight because of the huge glass walls. I really got impressed by the way projects are spread around each research lab, making interactions among groups working on different projects very easy. I’m not allowed to show pictures of the current research projects that I could see, but it’s easy to find images of many of the lab’s layouts on the web.

Tangible media group

One of the Tangible Media Group's many projects on display.

Finally, I met Dr. Ramesh Raskar, my supervisor for my stay at MIT Media Lab. Dr. Raskar was very friendly and we briefly discussed some ideas for my research project,  which I’ll spend the next weeks studying and brainstorming about, while waiting to start working. I’ll probably collaborate with another brazilian PhD visiting student, Victor Pamplona, by investigating further ideas for his NETRA project, an interactive mobile phone application for estimating refraction and focal range.

Dr. Ramesh Raskar and me

Dr. Ramesh Raskar and me at Media Lab

For the next six months, all my other projects are on hold. This unique opportunity to staying among some of the brightest people in the world was possible thanks to the Computer Science Graduate Program of Universidade Federal Fluminense, that chose me to be the visiting student, and CAPES, which is funding my scholarship through the PDEE exchange program.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2010 10:14 pm

    Pretty cool! Keep on sending us news while you´re there!

  2. AJ Munive permalink
    September 15, 2010 10:30 pm

    This is great news Erick! I’m glad you got this great opportunity, and I am sure you will do a great job. Very proud of you!

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