Elizabeth A. Thomson’s picture

By: Elizabeth A. Thomson

In research that could jump-start interest in an enigmatic class of materials known as quasicrystals, MIT scientists and colleagues have discovered a relatively simple, flexible way to create new, atomically thin versions of the materials that can be tuned for important phenomena. They describe doing just that to make the materials exhibit superconductivity—and more—in work published in a recent issue of Nature

The research introduces a new platform for not only learning more about quasicrystals, but also exploring exotic phenomena that, while difficult to study, could lead to important applications and new physics. For example, a better understanding of superconductivity, in which electrons pass through a material with no resistance, could allow more efficient electronic devices.

Mike Figliuolo’s picture

By: Mike Figliuolo

Most companies fail due to dumb mistakes made by senior managers. The biggest mistake of all: a hubristic unwillingness to accept that there’s plenty you don’t already know.

As we get more senior in our organizations, we get a lot smarter. Our wisdom grows. We understand the business better than those around us. Newfangled management ideas come and go, but we’re now wise enough to believe we know everything we already need to know.

Then—wham! The world smacks us upside the head with a powerful, “Didn’t know that, didja?” Your business is in turmoil. Chaos. Confusion. Cows raining from the sky. Armageddon.

There’s only one thing I know that can prevent those kinds of moments: Learning. Ever heard the adage, “The day you stop learning is the day you die,” thrown around before? Yeah. That. (Or, as Yoda might say, “Die you will that day when stop learning you do,” or something like that.)


Learning is a lifelong sport. The minute you stop, you die.

Jones Loflin’s picture

By: Jones Loflin

Okay, so I’m a little—actually, very—late to the whole #sharktanknation. Shark Tank first aired in 2009, and I’m almost ashamed to say I’d never watched an episode until last year. Interestingly enough, after watching just one episode I was hooked.

In case you aren’t familiar with this “structured” reality show, here’s how it works, according to the ABC website: “The sharks — tough, self-made millionaires and billionaire tycoons — are looking to invest in America’s best businesses and products. The sharks will give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream, and potentially secure business deals that could make them millions.”

In short, you make a pitch, and if they “bite” (i.e., choose to invest), you have the chance of a lifetime.

Silke von Gemmingen’s picture

By: Silke von Gemmingen

The manufacturing sector is currently facing a number of challenges. Technological change, pressing environmental issues, and globalization require a number of adjustments, such as investing in new technologies, conserving resources, and optimizing and securing supply chains.

Shifting production back to the domestic market is increasingly an option. This requires not only resilience, but also compliance with strict environmental regulations and cost-efficient strategies to make domestic manufacturing competitive. Moreover, those who want to ensure the competitiveness of domestic production must overcome personnel bottlenecks.

Automation through robotics has long since become the driving force here, and artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly taking on a key role. This technology is developing just as rapidly as the pressure for automation is increasing. In order to map production processes in one’s own company with AI, simplifying AI integration and shortening training phases are already decisive factors.

Donna McGeorge’s picture

By: Donna McGeorge

Nano Tools for Leaders—a collaboration between Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management—are fast, effective tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes, with the potential to significantly improve your success.

The goal

Invest your energy strategically to improve productivity and results.

Nano tool

Many of our productivity problems manifest because we’re operating on autopilot. We don’t think about what, when, or even why we’re doing things; we just do them in the order in which the tasks come to us, or how they’re written on our to-do list. Add to that a near-constant inflow of information and problems to solve, and it can feel like time evaporates without you ever getting to the tasks that matter most.

Phil Chadderdon’s picture

By: Phil Chadderdon

Workforce challenges these days are never-ending, not just for manufacturers but across the business spectrum. You have to be on top of your game to be successful building a talent pipeline, recruiting and hiring, onboarding and training, creating an engaging workplace culture, and promoting career development. Leadership skills in manufacturing are paramount, as is the need for standardized training. The turnover of experienced leaders and other subject matter experts only amplifies that need.

You may have an old standby in your workforce toolbox that addresses manufacturing-specific issues while also arming your new leaders with skills to meet current workforce challenges. Training within industry (TWI) has been around since the 1940s, and it’s designed to expand supervisor knowledge in ways that help your business drive continuous improvement. For instance, the idea of lean manufacturing has roots in TWI.

Andrew Maynard’s picture

By: Andrew Maynard

The 2023 Nobel Prize for chemistry isn’t the first Nobel awarded for research in nanotechnology. But it is perhaps the most colorful application of the technology to be associated with the accolade.

Angie Basiouny’s picture

By: Angie Basiouny

If you want to brag about your accomplishments at work without sounding self-absorbed, take a lesson from professional athletes.

From the sidelines and at postgame press conferences, the most admired players talk about their own performance but always mention the strength of their opponents, the skill of their teammates, and the support of their coaches.

“They’ll thank and acknowledge other people and talk about their accomplishments in ways that make them appear much more likeable,” Wharton management professor Maurice Schweitzer says during an interview with Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast.)

Multiple Authors
By: Scott A. Hindle, Douglas C. Fair

We are one year away from the 100th anniversary of the creation of the control chart: Walter Shewhart created the control chart in 1924 as an aid to Western Electric’s manufacturing operations. Since it’s almost prehistoric, is it now time to leave the control chart technique—that started out using pen and paper—to the past? Or, in this digital era, is the control chart still relevant to enable manufacturers to improve their competitive position by improving quality and productivity, and reducing waste?

Read on to see the story of two plants. Some key words to look out for:
• Predictable process
• Actionable insights
• Improvement
• Cost savings
• Waste


The annotated control chart above is from the Tokai Rikka plant in Japan more than 40 years ago.

Javeria Salman’s picture

By: Javeria Salman

While data science isn’t a new subject, there’s been growing interest recently in helping students—in both K-12 and higher education—gain data science skills.

One reason is the shifting job market, says Zarek Drozda, director of Data Science 4 Everyone, a national initiative based at the University of Chicago. “The top skills in demand today are data analysis, data interpretation, being able to communicate about data,” says Drozda. “It’s hard to find a career or a sector of the economy where data skills are not important.”

With the rise of artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT that rely on data sets, students also need to understand how to use AI in a responsible way, he says.

The adoption of data science education hasn’t been without controversy. In 2020, some of California’s public universities allowed applicants to skip Algebra II and substitute data science. The universities walked back the effort this year after experts argued that students were taking less challenging coursework that limited their post-secondary opportunities.

Syndicate content