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    8 things to know about MIT professor Neri Oxman, who has been linked to Brad Pitt

    Boston, MA 082712 Neri Oxman (Cq) was photograpahed on August 29, 2012 at her Brookline home for this year's Boston Globe Magazine's 25 Most stylish. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G Assistant: Cecille Avila
    Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff
    Neri Oxman was photograpahed on August 29, 2012 at her Brookline home.

    No one has validated the chatter that Brad Pitt is dating a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. But you can’t keep the rumors from flying.

    Neri Oxman, an architect and professor at the MIT Media Lab, reportedly became friends with Pitt over an architecture project, and Pitt has since been seen on the MIT campus a few times.

    An unnamed source told the New York Post’s Page Six for a story last week that the relationship is “best described as a professional friendship . . . Their friendship has not turned into romance . . . as both are cautious.”

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    So we don’t know much about Oxman and Pitt’s connection. But here are 8 things we know about Oxman:

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    1. Oxman founded and directs the Mediated Matter research group at MIT, which researches the “intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science, and synthetic biology,” according to the program’s website. Their creations aim to connect the dots between human-made and natural environments.

    2. While receiving her Ph.D in design computation as a presidential fellow at MIT, she coined the phrase “Material Ecology” to describe the topic she was researching. The approach “considers computation, fabrication, and the material itself as inseparable dimensions of design,” the MIT program website states.

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    3. Oxman’s work can be seen around the world, from local locations like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Museum of Science, to museums in other countries, like the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston exhibition: #techstyle. Pictured: Anthazoa 3D Cape and Skirt, Voltage Collection (detail). Designed by: Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born in 1984). Designed by: Neri Oxman (Israeli, born 1976). Printed by: Stratasys. Group shot: 2013.1487.1-2. Dutch, 2013. 3D-printed polyeurethane rubber and acrylic, steel cage, and cotton twill inner lining and silk satin lining. *Museum purchase with funds donated by the Fashion Council, Museum of Fine Arts Boston. * M. Zoeter x Iris van Herpen (c) *Photography by Ronald Stoops. *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston exhibition #techstyle. Anthazoa 3D Cape and Skirt, Voltage Collection (detail). Designed by Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born in 1984). Designed by Neri Oxman (Israeli, born 1976). Printed by Stratasys. 3D-printed polyeurethane rubber and acrylic, steel cage, and cotton twill inner lining and silk satin lining.

    4. Oxman was born in Haifa, Israel, and completed mandatory military service in the Israel Air Force, according to Haaretz. She left Israel partly through studying for her bachelor’s degree, finishing her degree in London. She then moved to the United States to do her graduate work at MIT, Haaretz reported.

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    5. Oxman was honored in 2015 at On Cue, a private gathering for more than 300 people in the fields of entrepreneurship, technology, arts, and design. At the event, she was recognized for her work in environmental design.

    Cambridge, MA., 10/30/14, Designer/artist/archetict Neri Oxman, left, and David Edwards, founder of Le Laboratoire, in front of her piece. Cate McQuaid on Tod Machover's new doings at Le Laboratoire in Cambridge, launching with special projects that transcend technical concerns to touch on spiritual notions, Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff (The Boston Globe.
    Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff, file
    Designer-artist-architect Neri Oxman, left, and David Edwards, founder of Le Laboratoire, in front of one of her pieces in 2014.

    6. Several years ago, Oxman worked with Dutch designer Iris van Herpen to theorize about a potential future for 3-D printing clothing. “The capabilities of 3-D printing enable designers to reinterpret age-old couture traditions and replace needlework with code,” Oxman wrote in an e-mail to the Globe in September 2014. “Imagine, no seams.”

    7. Oxman has won countless awards for her work, including the International Earth Awards for Future-Crucial Design in 2008, a 40 Under 40 Building Design+Construction award in 2012, and the Boston Society of Architects Women in Design award in 2014. She was also named “Revolutionary Mind” by SEED Magazine in 2008, according to her biography on MIT’s website.

    8. Because her work is so complex, Oxman likes to keep her clothing simple, she told the Globe in 2012. “[G]iven the work that I do, the world that engages my thinking is so complex and multifaceted, I like to simplify it in the way that I dress. I like to mostly wear very simple clothes,” she said, adding at the time that she was appreciating Celine and Jil Sander in particular.

    Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.