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The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth (MIT Press)
This comprehensive overview of the modern Chinese economy by a noted expert on China's economic development offers a quality and breadth of coverage not found in any other English-language text. In The Chinese Economy, Barry Naughton provides both an engaging, broadly focused introduction to China's economy since 1949 and original insights based on his own extensive research. The book will be an essential resource for students, teachers, scholars, business people, and policymakers. It is suitable for classroom use for undergraduate or graduate courses.After presenting background material on the pre-1949 economy and the industrialization, reform, and market transition that have taken place since, the book examines different aspects of the modern Chinese economy. It analyzes patterns of growth and development, including population growth and the one-child family policy; the rural economy, including agriculture and rural industrialization; industrial and technological development in urban areas; international trade and foreign investment; macroeconomic trends and cycles and the financial system; and the largely unaddressed problems of environmental quality and the sustainability of growth.The text is notable also for placing China's economy in interesting comparative contexts, discussing it in relation to other transitional or developing economies and to such advanced industrial countries as the United States and Japan. It provides both a broad historical and macro perspective as well as a focused examination of the actual workings of China's complex and dynamic economic development. Interest in the Chinese economy will only grow as China becomes an increasingly important player on the world's stage. This book will be the standard reference for understanding and teaching about the next economic superpower.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 10/27/2006
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 544 pages

Cloud Computing (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)
Most of the information available on cloud computing is either highly technical, with details that are irrelevant to non-technologists, or pure marketing hype, in which the cloud is simply a selling point. This book, however, explains the cloud from the user's viewpoint -- the business user's in particular. Nayan Ruparelia explains what the cloud is, when to use it (and when not to), how to select a cloud service, how to integrate it with other technologies, and what the best practices are for using cloud computing. Cutting through the hype, Ruparelia cites the simple and basic definition of cloud computing from the National Institute of Science and Technology: a model enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Thus with cloud computing, businesses can harness information technology resources usually available only to large enterprises. And this, Ruparelia demonstrates, represents a paradigm shift for business. It will ease funding for startups, alter business plans, and allow big businesses greater agility. Ruparelia discusses the key issues for any organization considering cloud computing: service level agreements, business service delivery and consumption, finance, legal jurisdiction, security, and social responsibility. He introduces novel concepts made possible by cloud computing: cloud cells, or specialist clouds for specific uses; the personal cloud; the cloud of things; and cloud service exchanges. He examines use case patterns in terms of infrastructure and platform, software information, and business process; and he explains how to transition to a cloud service. Current and future users will find this book an indispensable guide to the cloud.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 05/06/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 280 pages

Innovating: A Doer's Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong (MIT Press)
Innovation is the subject of countless books and courses, but there's very little out there about how you actually innovate. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not one and the same, although aspiring innovators often think of them that way. They are told to get an idea and a team and to build a show-and-tell for potential investors. In Innovating, Luis Perez-Breva describes another approach -- a doer's approach developed over a decade at MIT and internationally in workshops, classes, and companies. He shows that to start innovating it doesn't require an earth-shattering idea; all it takes is a hunch. Anyone can do it. By prototyping a problem and learning by being wrong, innovating can be scaled up to make an impact. As Perez-Breva demonstrates, "no thing is new" at the outset of what we only later celebrate as innovation.In Innovating, the process -- illustrated by unique and dynamic artwork -- is shown to be empirical, experimental, nonlinear, and incremental. You give your hunch the structure of a problem. Anything can be a part. Your innovating accrues other people's knowledge and skills. Perez-Breva describes how to create a kit for innovating, and outlines questions that will help you think in new ways. Finally, he shows how to systematize what you've learned: to advocate, communicate, scale up, manage innovating continuously, and document -- "you need a notebook to converse with yourself," he advises. Everyone interested in innovating also needs to read this book.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 02/10/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 424 pages

Metadata (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)
When "metadata" became breaking news, appearing in stories about surveillance by the National Security Agency, many members of the public encountered this once-obscure term from information science for the first time. Should people be reassured that the NSA was "only" collecting metadata about phone calls -- information about the caller, the recipient, the time, the duration, the location -- and not recordings of the conversations themselves? Or does phone call metadata reveal more than it seems? In this book, Jeffrey Pomerantz offers an accessible and concise introduction to metadata.In the era of ubiquitous computing, metadata has become infrastructural, like the electrical grid or the highway system. We interact with it or generate it every day. It is not, Pomerantz tell us, just "data about data." It is a means by which the complexity of an object is represented in a simpler form. For example, the title, the author, and the cover art are metadata about a book. When metadata does its job well, it fades into the background; everyone (except perhaps the NSA) takes it for granted.Pomerantz explains what metadata is, and why it exists. He distinguishes among different types of metadata -- descriptive, administrative, structural, preservation, and use -- and examines different users and uses of each type. He discusses the technologies that make modern metadata possible, and he speculates about metadata's future. By the end of the book, readers will see metadata everywhere. Because, Pomerantz warns us, it's metadata's world, and we are just living in it.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 11/13/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 252 pages

Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds (MIT Press)
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, "the modern Prometheus," tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life. Although the novel is most often discussed in literary-historical terms -- as a seminal example of romanticism or as a groundbreaking early work of science fiction -- Mary Shelley was keenly aware of contemporary scientific developments and incorporated them into her story. In our era of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and climate engineering, this edition of Frankenstein will resonate forcefully for readers with a background or interest in science and engineering, and anyone intrigued by the fundamental questions of creativity and responsibility. This edition of Frankenstein pairs the original 1818 version of the manuscript -- meticulously line-edited and amended by Charles E. Robinson, one of the world's preeminent authorities on the text -- with annotations and essays by leading scholars exploring the social and ethical aspects of scientific creativity raised by this remarkable story. The result is a unique and accessible edition of one of the most thought-provoking and influential novels ever written.Essays byElizabeth Bear, Cory Doctorow, Heather E. Douglas, Josephine Johnston, Kate MacCord, Jane Maienschein, Anne K. Mellor, Alfred Nordmann
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 04/28/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Neuroplasticity (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)
Fifty years ago, neuroscientists thought that a mature brain was fixed like a fly in amber, unable to change. Today, we know that our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lifetimes. This concept of neuroplasticity has captured the imagination of a public eager for self-improvement -- and has inspired countless Internet entrepreneurs who peddle dubious "brain training" games and apps. In this book, Moheb Costandi offers a concise and engaging overview of neuroplasticity for the general reader, describing how our brains change continuously in response to our actions and experiences.Costandi discusses key experimental findings, and describes how our thinking about the brain has evolved over time. He explains how the brain changes during development, and the "synaptic pruning" that takes place before brain maturity. He shows that adult brains can grow new cells (citing, among many other studies, research showing that sexually mature male canaries learn a new song every year). He describes the kind of brain training that can bring about improvement in brain function. It's not gadgets and games that promise to "rewire your brain" but such sustained cognitive tasks as learning a musical instrument or a new language. (Costandi also notes that London cabbies increase their gray matter after rigorous training in their city's complicated streets.) He tells how brains compensate after stroke or injury; describes addiction and pain as maladaptive forms of neuroplasticity; and considers brain changes that accompany childhood, adolescence, parenthood, and aging. Each of our brains is custom-built. Neuroplasticity is at the heart of what makes us human.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 08/16/2016
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 193 pages

The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected (MIT Press)
A catastrophic earthquake is followed by a tsunami that inundates the coastline, and around the globe manufacturing comes to a standstill. State-of-the-art passenger jets are grounded because of a malfunctioning part. A strike halts shipments through a major port. A new digital device decimates the sales of other brands and sends established firms to the brink of bankruptcy. The interconnectedness of the global economy today means that unexpected events in one corner of the globe can ripple through the world's supply chain and affect customers everywhere. In this book, Yossi Sheffi shows why modern vulnerabilities call for innovative processes and tools for creating and embedding corporate resilience and risk management. Sheffi offers fascinating case studies that illustrate how companies have prepared for, coped with, and come out stronger following disruption -- from the actions of Intel after the 2011 Japanese tsunami to the disruption in the "money supply chain" caused by the 2008 financial crisis.Sheffi, author of the widely read The Resilient Enterprise, focuses here on deep tier risks as well as corporate responsibility, cybersecurity, long-term disruptions, business continuity planning, emergency operations centers, detection, and systemic disruptions. Supply chain risk management, Sheffi shows, is a balancing act between taking on the risks involved in new products, new markets, and new processes -- all crucial for growth -- and the resilience created by advanced risk management.
Author: Yossi Sheffi
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 09/15/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 484 pages

How to Write a Thesis (MIT Press)
By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis -- from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English. Eco's approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual. It reads like a novel. It is opinionated. It is frequently irreverent, sometimes polemical, and often hilarious. Eco advises students how to avoid "thesis neurosis" and he answers the important question "Must You Read Books?" He reminds students "You are not Proust" and "Write everything that comes into your head, but only in the first draft." Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco's index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data.How to Write a Thesis belongs on the bookshelves of students, teachers, writers, and Eco fans everywhere. Already a classic, it would fit nicely between two other classics: Strunk and White and The Name of the Rose.ContentsThe Definition and Purpose of a Thesis • Choosing the Topic • Conducting Research • The Work Plan and the Index Cards • Writing the Thesis • The Final Draft
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 02/27/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 256 pages

Machine Translation (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)
The dream of a universal translation device goes back many decades, long before Douglas Adams's fictional Babel fish provided this service in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Since the advent of computers, research has focused on the design of digital machine translation tools -- computer programs capable of automatically translating a text from a source language to a target language. This has become one of the most fundamental tasks of artificial intelligence. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers a concise, nontechnical overview of the development of machine translation, including the different approaches, evaluation issues, and market potential. The main approaches are presented from a largely historical perspective and in an intuitive manner, allowing the reader to understand the main principles without knowing the mathematical details. The book begins by discussing problems that must be solved during the development of a machine translation system and offering a brief overview of the evolution of the field. It then takes up the history of machine translation in more detail, describing its pre-digital beginnings, rule-based approaches, the 1966 ALPAC (Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee) report and its consequences, the advent of parallel corpora, the example-based paradigm, the statistical paradigm, the segment-based approach, the introduction of more linguistic knowledge into the systems, and the latest approaches based on deep learning. Finally, it considers evaluation challenges and the commercial status of the field, including activities by such major players as Google and Systran.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 09/22/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 298 pages

Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press)
Driverless cars are hitting the road, powered by artificial intelligence. Robots can climb stairs, open doors, win Jeopardy, analyze stocks, work in factories, find parking spaces, advise oncologists. In the past, automation was considered a threat to low-skilled labor. Now, many high-skilled functions, including interpreting medical images, doing legal research, and analyzing data, are within the skill sets of machines. How can higher education prepare students for their professional lives when professions themselves are disappearing? In Robot-Proof, Northeastern University president Joseph Aoun proposes a way to educate the next generation of college students to invent, to create, and to discover -- to fill needs in society that even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence agent cannot.A "robot-proof" education, Aoun argues, is not concerned solely with topping up students' minds with high-octane facts. Rather, it calibrates them with a creative mindset and the mental elasticity to invent, discover, or create something valuable to society -- a scientific proof, a hip-hop recording, a web comic, a cure for cancer. Aoun lays out the framework for a new discipline, humanics, which builds on our innate strengths and prepares students to compete in a labor market in which smart machines work alongside human professionals. The new literacies of Aoun's humanics are data literacy, technological literacy, and human literacy. Students will need data literacy to manage the flow of big data, and technological literacy to know how their machines work, but human literacy -- the humanities, communication, and design -- to function as a human being. Life-long learning opportunities will support their ability to adapt to change.The only certainty about the future is change. Higher education based on the new literacies of humanics can equip students for living and working through change.
Published by: The MIT Press | Publication date: 08/18/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 216 pages
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