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What’s your MATLAB superpower?

During this time, when so much of what we see in the news is bleak, I’m taking a bit of advice from the New York Times columnist, Kevin Roose. In his article, “How to Stop Coronavirus ‘Doomsurfing’,” he offered tips on how to make the internet a less scary space.

I chose one of his tips: actively using social media makes us feel better than consuming it passively. I am inviting you to actively share your MATLAB superpower.

Here’s what I mean: How does your work make the world better?

I’m borrowing this idea from Battelle. I recently saw their ad where they shared their superpower: Restoring mobility to paralyzed patients.


Image Credit: Battelle


This reminded me of my blog post from 2016, where we profiled how Battelle used machine learning to restore movement in Ian Burkhart’s arm. Of all the “tech-for-good” stories I’ve shared, this one is still my favorite. Here’s a link to the original post.

Image credit: BBC.


Engineers and scientists across the globe are involved in some amazing work.

So, I’ve picked a couple more “superpower” examples from my blog to share with you.

Superpower: Understanding what animals are saying

A team of researchers from the University of Washington turned to artificial intelligence to decipher what rat chatter to gain better insights into the emotional state of an animal. The original post is here.

Image Credit: Alice Gray


This Dr. Doolittle superpower only applies to rodents. Sorry, you won’t be able to learn what Fido is thinking while you’re working from home. Although, I’m pretty sure my canine companions are really confused about our sudden omnipresence in their lives.


Superpower: Reading a book through its cover

Yes, with this superpower from MIT’s Camera Culture Group, you’ll be able to read our textbooks during your remote schooling without ever opening them.  Here’s the original blog post.

The stack of paper is raster-scanned with THz pulses in reflection geometry. Image credit: MIT Media Lab.


Superpower: Helping an amputee drummer return to drumming

A team of researchers from Georgia Tech created a robotic prosthetic that enabled a drummer to return to drumming after losing his arm in an industrial accident.  Their superpower? Not only giving Mr. Barnes the ability to drum again but also to drum faster than humanly possible.  The prosthetic has motors that power two drumsticks, each capable of drumming at speeds up to 20 beats per second.  Here’s the original post.

It’s your turn to share your superpower!

Please leave me a comment about your project. What’s your MATLAB superpower?

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