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March 2010
MIT Press
Order Book

Reinventing the Automobile

William J. Mitchell, Christopher E. Borroni-Bird
and Lawrence D. Burns
Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century
This book provides a long-overdue vision for a new automobile era. The cars we drive today follow the same underlying design principles as the Model Ts of a hundred years ago and the tail-finned sedans of fifty years ago. In the twenty-first century, cars are still made for twentieth-century purposes. They're well suited for conveying multiple passengers over long distances at high speeds, but inefficient for providing personal mobility within cities—where most of the world's people now live. In this pathbreaking book, William Mitchell and two industry experts reimagine the automobile, describing vehicles of the near future that are green, smart, connected, and fun to drive. They roll out four big ideas that will make this both feasible and timely.

First, we must transform the DNA of the automobile, basing it on electric-drive and wireless communication rather than on petroleum, the internal combustion engine, and stand-alone operation. This allows vehicles to become lighter, cleaner, and "smart" enough to avoid crashes and traffic jams. Second, automobiles need to be linked by a Mobility Internet that allows them to collect and share data on traffic conditions, intelligently coordinates their movements, and keeps drivers connected to their social networks. Third, automobiles must be recharged through a convenient, cost-effective infrastructure that is integrated with smart electric grids and makes increasing use of renewable energy sources. Finally, dynamically priced markets for electricity, road space, parking space, and shared-use vehicles must be introduced to provide optimum management of urban mobility and energy systems.

The fundamental reinvention of the automobile won't be easy, but it is an urgent necessity—to make urban mobility more convenient and sustainable, to make cities more livable, and to help bring the automobile industry out of crisis.

Four Big Ideas That Could Transform the Automobile:
  • Base the underlying design principles on electric-drive and wireless communications rather than the internal combustion engine and stand-alone operation
  • Develop the Mobility Internet for sharing traffic and travel data
  • Integrate electric-drive vehicles with smart electric grids that use clean, renewable energy sources
  • Establish dynamically priced markets for electricity, road space, parking space, and shared-use vehicles

March 2010
Harvard University Press
Order Book

Brand New China

Jing Wang
Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture
One part riveting account of fieldwork and one part rigorous academic study, Brand New China offers a unique perspective on the advertising and marketing culture of China. Jing Wang’s experiences in the disparate worlds of Beijing advertising agencies and the U.S. academy allow her to share a unique perspective on China during its accelerated reintegration into the global market system.

Brand New China offers a detailed, penetrating, and up-to-date portrayal of branding and advertising in contemporary China. Wang takes us inside an advertising agency to show the influence of American branding theories and models. She also examines the impact of new media practices on Chinese advertising, deliberates on the convergence of grassroots creative culture and viral marketing strategies, samples successful advertising campaigns, provides practical insights about Chinese consumer segments, and offers methodological reflections on pop culture and advertising research.

Jing Wang is S. C. Fang Professor of Chinese Language and Culture at MIT, Chair of the International Advisory Board of Creative Commons China Mainland, and the author of High Culture Fever and The Story of Stone.

March 2010
Cambridge University Press
Order Book

Pricing Carbon

A. Denny Ellerman, MIT; Frank J. Convery, University College Dublin; Christian de Perthuis
Université de Paris IX (Paris-Dauphine)
The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the world’s largest market for carbon and the most significant multinational initiative ever taken to mobilize markets to protect the environment. It will be an important influence on the development and implementation of trading schemes in the US, Japan, and elsewhere. However, as is true of any pioneering public policy experiment, this scheme has generated much controversy.

Pricing Carbon provides the first detailed description and analysis of the EU ETS, focusing on the first ‘trial’ period of the scheme (2005–7). Written by an international team of experts, it allows readers to get behind the headlines and come to a better understanding of what was done and what happened based on a dispassionate, empirically based review of the evidence. This book should be read by anyone who wants to know what happens when emissions are capped, traded, and priced.

March 2010
MIT Press
Order Book

Street-Fighting Mathematics

Sanjoy Mahajan
The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving
In Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan builds, sharpens, and demonstrates tools for educated guessing and down-and-dirty, opportunistic problem solving across diverse fields of knowledge—from mathematics to management. Mahajan describes six tools: dimensional analysis, easy cases, lumping, picture proofs, successive approximation, and reasoning by analogy. Illustrating each tool with numerous examples, he carefully separates the tool—the general principle—from the particular application so that the reader can most easily grasp the tool itself to use on problems of particular interest.

Street-Fighting Mathematics grew out of a short course taught by the author at MIT for students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students ready for careers in physics, mathematics, management, electrical engineering, computer science, and biology.

Sanjoy Mahajan is Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory and a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Before coming to MIT, he was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a Lecturer in Physics in the University of Cambridge.

May 2008
MIT Press
Order Book

Digital Apollo

David A. Mindell
Human and Machine in Spaceflight
As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer’s software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine.

In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers. Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA's extensive archives.

Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight—a lunar landing—traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.

David A. Mindell is Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing, Professor of Engineering Systems, and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. He is the author of Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics and War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor.