Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hair of the dog

From the Boston Herald, Jul. 27, 2010

‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ a barking good time

They should call it the Running of the Actors – that increasingly popular theater form in which a small acting company takes on a great many roles, and controlled chaos ensues. Many hats are worn and by the end someone assuredly winds up in some kind of absurd petticoat/tuxedo combo outfit.

Steven Canny and John Nicholson’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” plants itself firmly in this category, alongside other recent productions of the same ilk – Patrick Barlow’s four-man “The 39 Steps,” Reduced Shakespeare Company’s three-man “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” and Charles Ludlum’s two-man “The Mystery of Irma Vep.”

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When airplanes make like birds

From MIT News, Jul. 21, 2010

Rick Cory named Boeing Engineering Student of the Year

Photo by Jason Dorfman

The gap between aeronautics and computer science is narrower than you’d think, and Postdoctoral Associate Rick Cory is proof. Though his background is in computer science and robotics, that didn’t stop him from receiving a high honor in the field of aviation. At the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, England, yesterday, Cory was named the 2010 Boeing Engineering Student of the Year.

A member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab’s Robot Locomotion Group, Cory received the award for his work on developing a perching airplane alongside Associate Professor Russ Tedrake. Together, they developed a glider with the ability to land on a wire like a bird.

Before beginning work on the perching-glider project in 2005, neither Tedrake nor Cory had a background in aeronautics. “We were trying to think of a project that could push the limits of robot control, and the idea came up of trying to build a robot that could fly like a bird,” Cory recalls. “For me that was a very inspiring, fantastic idea. From that point on it was literally a matter of picking up Aerodynamics 101 books and learning as much as I could.”

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