News and Announcements

Townsend Delivers AFA Distinguished Keynote Lecture
February 1, 2020

Professor Robert M. Townsend presented the American Finance Association’s Distinguished Lecture on January 4, 2020 at their annual meeting in San Diego, CA. Townsend, who was introduced by Program Chair Kenneth Singleton (University of Chicago), spoke on “Distributed Ledgers: Design and Regulation of Financial Infrastructure and Payment Systems.”

Townsend thanked the AFA for the lecture opportunity, citing it as a great chance to share “what I’ve been thinking about rather intensively over the last couple of years.” Townsend’s lecture focused on the role emerging distributed ledger technology plays in the global financial system and seeks to align the economic and financial underpinnings with the computer science ones driving the cryptocurrency fields. “I could have put ‘Bitcoin’ on the title or maybe ‘blockchain,’” observed Townsend, but he felt that doing so could be intellectually misleading. “Distributed ledgers are at the root, they came first.”

The video of the lecture can be watched here.

Townsend Receives Seed Grant from J-WAFS to Examine Weather-Contingent Crop Insurance
May 29, 2019

Agricultural productivity technologies for small-holder farmers; food safety solutions for everyday consumers; sustainable supply chain interventions in the palm oil industry; water purification methods filtering dangerous micropollutants from industrial and wastewater streams — these are just a few of the research-based solutions being supported by the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at MIT.

J-WAFS is funding these and other projects through its fifth round of seed grants, providing over $1 million in funding to the MIT research community. These grants, which are funded competitively to MIT principal investigators (PIs) across all five schools at the Institute, exemplify the ambitious goals of MIT’s Institute-wide effort to address global water and food systems challenges through research and innovation. 


<Read more from MIT News>