Facing the Music: How Systems Like Spotify Know What We’ll Like

Have you ever wondered who is behind music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, and how they are able to predict what kind of songs you will like? That’s exactly what Professor Nick Seaver, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, is interested in. As an anthropologist, Professor Seaver chooses to study the individual people who create and maintain the systems rather than the … Continue reading Facing the Music: How Systems Like Spotify Know What We’ll Like

The Allen Discovery Center: An Interdisciplinary, Novel Approach to Research

What if we could stop cancer without chemotherapy? What if we could have a robot that moves around the bloodstream and scrapes plaque off artery walls, or a machine that learns to regenerate itself when damaged, just as an organism might? These may seem like far off concepts, but are just a few examples of probing questions addressed in the Allen Discovery Center. Dr. Levin, … Continue reading The Allen Discovery Center: An Interdisciplinary, Novel Approach to Research

Story Circles: A Platform for Social Change

Think of a time when you were watching a play and were captivated by the characters onstage. You weren’t questioning what you were seeing, simply enjoying the . A character reveals their true colors, and you see yourself in them. The overwhelming rush of emotion hits you in the chest. You gasp, thinking, “oh, now I understand what this has been about the whole time.” … Continue reading Story Circles: A Platform for Social Change

Child Development: Unraveling the Mystery with Dr. Mistry

When Dr. Jayanthi Mistry first began her career in child development research, people would tease that she would  be studying her entire life.  Yet, Jayanthi doesn’t mind — studying is something she loves. In fact, it’s precisely why she decided to become a professor. She is able  to learn and extend her education while simultaneously pursuing her own interests. According to Jayanthi, “when you become … Continue reading Child Development: Unraveling the Mystery with Dr. Mistry

Speaker Series Recap: Fall 2017

Have you ever been curious about groundbreaking research at Tufts outside of your major, but did not know where to start? Breakthrough, the undergraduate research journal at Tufts, offers a means for students and faculty of different disciplines to connect. In addition to an online blog, Breakthrough hosts the Speaker Series, an initiative through which professors and graduate students can discuss their research and their … Continue reading Speaker Series Recap: Fall 2017

Tufts Professor Receives a Boost from Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

Regeneration of anatomy is foreign to humans, yet common in nature. When a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, it destroys its neural structure to form a new brain. A flatworm Planaria can be cut to 250 pieces, and every piece will regenerate the necessary body parts to become an independent organism. Its tail will regrow a head, while its head will regrow a tail. However, … Continue reading Tufts Professor Receives a Boost from Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)

Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 3)

This is part three of a three-part series taken from an interview between Professor Matthias Scheutz, the director of the Tufts Human-Robot Interaction Lab, and Breakthrough’s Josh Lee. You can read Part One here and Part Two here. Q) Socially autonomous robots with moral competence, as you have stated in your papers, seem to be computationally possible and could indeed be materialized in the future. … Continue reading Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 3)

An Open Letter to Tufts Scientists

Believe it or not, we just can’t do it all. Over the last few years working with Breakthrough, we have observed that science communication is falling by the wayside to our scholastic responsibilities. It appears that each year we receive fewer and fewer submissions for this same reason. This semester, even getting a complete magazine together has been an incredible struggle. We understand and sympathize with our … Continue reading An Open Letter to Tufts Scientists