October 2014 Director’s Fellows Updates

By phewing, 3 years ago



There has been lots of exciting activity amongst the Director’s Fellows this month! Here’s a recap of some of the news and events:

Maurice Ashley successfully organized and executed The Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas last week (October 9 – 14). Maurice hosted over 550 chess-playing competitors from around the world in an event that was webcast live. Greg Borenstein, a Masters student in Kevin Slavin’s Playful Systems group, designed an algorithm that gathered data on the chess players’ playing styles and probabilities of winning  in realtime. The goal? To make chess a spectator sport much like poker is today. Read more about this collaboration and the event here.

Sultan Al Qassemi wrote an article about the Director’s Fellows on Wamda — a leading platform for entrepreneurial news in the Middle East — in which recaps a monumental time during the peak of the Arab Spring in March 2011. Following a devastating earthquake in Japan, Sultan was in Joi’s home in Dubai tracking the aftermath via Joi’s “international media hub.” Read the full story here.

Joi often reminds us that the ‘media’ in Media Lab is plural for ‘medium’; basically “anything that you can express yourself in whether it’s synthetic biology, opera, or robots.” The Media Lab is imagination realized.

Baratunde Thurston is now co-hosting and producing TakePart Live, an interactive news show designed for audience participation in debates and discussions on current, hot topics. Catch Baratunde on live TV, weeknights at 10e/7p!

Baratunde also joined Shaka Senghor and Van Jones as guest speakers at the Justice Rising fundraiser in Oakland, CA this past Tuesday (10/21). This event was designed to support the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in their mission to end mass incarceration and build safe communities.

Philipp Schmidt will be a keynote speaker at next week’s 8th Eden Research Workshop in Oxford, UK focused on Challenges for Research into Open & Distance Learning: Doing Things Better: Doing Better Things.