We went to the MIT museum tour as a group, and were able to explore the many exhibits the museum had on display including one of AI, one of holography, another on gesture sculptures, and a few others.
We met with MIT admissions partial director Quinton McArthur, and learned a lot about the MIT program. We were then given a tour by an MIT graduate student, who showed us around the campus and answered all of our questions about what's it's like to be a student at MIT.
Went to the MIT student center for dinner, and experienced more of what it's like to be an MIT student.
We interviewed and asked questions to current and graduated MIT students who are members of Engineers Without Borders. They told us a lot about their program, and the initiatives in Honduras and Kenya. We also were able to pick their brains about what it's like to go to school for engineering.
We took the T to Fanneuil Hall, and got to pick out our lunch from the hundreds of options available in all of the shops.
Took a tour of the Artists for Humanity's building, named the Epicenter, which is a LEED platinum certified building. We were able to learn a lot of what it means to be certified in the highest LEED level.
Multiple Perspectives on Sustainable Engineering MIT Admissions "MIT looks towards the future, not just the past" in their studies" -Quinton McArthur As a staff member of MIT, he acknowledges the enormous amount of scientific talent present at the school, and in order to insure a secure future, the young minds that enter MIT through the admissions office will inevitably be solving the engineering problems of today and tomorrow, and therefore admissions is all the more selective to make sure the future is in the right hands. MIT Graduate Student She is currently getting masters degree in mechanical engineering at MIT. The shift towards sustainable building and mechanical advances has definitely made progress. As she is about to enter the career world outside of MIT, her future in research science will revolve strongly around the large demand for the planet conscious sciences. Engineers Without Borders The engineers from Engineers Without Borders are working in Honduras and Kenya, and to them sustainable engineering not only means supporting and sustaining the planet, but the people that inhabit it as well. They work hard to come up with alternatives to the depressed conditions the people of the third world countries live in, and have to make sure that the solutions not only provide an instant fix, but a long term solution. sustainability for the engineers without borders means a supportive and efficient foundation of technology for not only the world, but it's people. Artists for Humanity Sustainable energy for the people of the artists for humanity is efficient energy. In the beginning, they did not understand the benefits of a LEED certified building and looked towards getting their LEED certification for financial benefits, not for the protection of our environment. After the engineer of their building educated them more and more about not only the financial benefits of sustainable engineering that they as the consumer would receive, but how they would be directly effecting the health of the planet, the artists of humanity proudly offered their space for the expansion of sustainable engineering's notoriety.
LEED Certification Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a very prestigious program. If you are part of the LEED certification system, it means your building meets a certain amount of requirements specified by the checklist above. The 1's on the left mean they did meet that requirement, and the 1's on the right mean they didn't meet that requirement. The Artists for Humanity EpiCenter is platinum LEED certified. To bee platinum certified, you need to have at least 52 of these points. This is a very hard, and expensive feat. These requirements range from having an innovative elevator design to having 20% renewable energy. The EpiCenter is the only platinum LEED certified building within the actual city of Boston. They also are in the top 10 for most solar panels on their building, totaling at 159.
We visited the EpiCenter on the second day of our Junior Urban Adventure. The EpiCenter is built to provide teens with an opportunity to paint, print, photograph, and draw whatever they want to after school. When the teens have completed what they were working on, they are brought to galleries and stores and sold. These teens get paid by the hour and get a percentage of the amount they sell the project for. There are a few different views to LEED certification. One view is the consumer who can get money from other people or already have enough money to invest in getting all the requirements. These people are usually all for LEED certification because it will save them money in the long run and also will help out the environment. Another view is the construction manager or company of a building. These people are usually against really trying to make buildings efficient unless the client specifically tells them to. The reason is they don't want to spend too much money on a project, so they just install all the basic things, not necessarily the most efficient things. The third view is from the consumer who doesn't have much money and can't get any people to help them with paying. These people may be all for environmental engineering and helping the environment, but they don't have the money to invest in all the requirements, therefore, the building is built normally. The last view is from the engineers and architects. They usually like to build buildings that are LEED certified as long as the client wants it to be.
Examples of LEED certification points
Artificial Intelligence At the MIT museum, we saw robots that were developed with multiple resembles to humans. The line of emotional robot, Kismet, interacts emotionally with humans. It can recognize and display emotional responses very accurately. The designers hypothesized that humans will teach robots in the same manner as we teach our young. Kismet is the first step to making artificially intelligent and sociable robots. Opinions on Artificial Intelligence Development Advocates of AI development: AI in robotics has potentially great benefits to ordinary people because robots already have a solid influence on human culture. Robotic surgeons have been purchased by hospitals, and have proved their worth. Robot arms equipped with tools such as tweezers of scalpels are steadier than a human arm and also more precise. Doctors manually control the arm as a large tool or control it remotely with a 3D interface. Despite the high cost of the robotic surgeons, the robots are minimally invasive and do a better job operating on the patient.
Opponents of AI development: People fear robots would not be treated as individuals. They will be treated as tools for humans and they will be regarded as slaves. Then people fear later on, robots would realize that they are oppressed by humans, and they would cross over the restrictions that were set to make robots obey humans since they have emotions in them. As a result of the hypothesized fears, the robots would rebel against human. Robot production financial sponsors: Robots will cost a lot of money but robots would be bought a lot more money back to us. We will mass produce robots which will benefit our pocket later on.
Group Consensus What does sustainable engineering mean to us as a group? Sustainable engineering means the future. It means efficient technology that saves the environment, our world, and benefits humanity. Do we think Artificial Intelligence is beneficial? Artificial Intelligence is beneficial because it will add to our understanding of the world, and the way we address technology. Realistically, they will not rise up against us, and as humans, we will not instill reason and conscience inside the robots in order to insure our safety. Robots are made to meet the needs of humans, so our general wellbeing will not be threatened, and our safety will be kept in mind during programming. Do we agree with LEED Certification? LEED certification is a great standardization of engineering that is both economical and green. It will insure that we are building a sustainable future. What LEED is doing is giving people a set of rules to be rewarded monetarily, morally, ethically, and politically.