CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Eight people who studied or taught at MIT are among the 14 Nobel Prize winners receiving their awards today in historic ceremonies in Sweden. The MIT-related group is one of the largest number of Nobel winners-perhaps the largest-related to a single university in one year.
The MIT-related people received the prize in five of the six fields: physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, economics, and peace. The 2001 Nobel Prize Laureates (MIT-related in bold type) are:
Physics: Eric A. Cornell (MIT PhD 1990), Wolfgang Ketterle (MIT Professor of Physics), Carl E. Wieman (MIT SB, 1973)
Chemistry: William S. Knowles, Ryoji Noyori, K. Barry Sharpless (MIT Professor of Chemistry 1970-77, 1980-90)
Physiology or Medicine: Leland H. Hartwell (MIT PhD 1964), R. Timothy (Tim) Hunt, Sir Paul M. Nurse
Literature: Sir V.S. Naipaul
Peace: United Nations, Kofi Annan (MIT SM 1972)
Economic Sciences: George A. Akerlof (MIT PhD 1966), A. Michael Spence, Joseph E. Stiglitz (MIT PhD 1966)
"It is thrilling and absolutely extraordinary that eight people who have taught or studied at MIT are among the 13 Nobel Prize winners in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, and peace," MIT President Charles M. Vest commented. "This is testimony to the excellence of students and faculty who are attracted to MIT, and to our dedication to intense work in fields of fundamental importance. Among the winners I know personally, the quality and creativity of students at MIT is frequently cited as a great strength of MIT.
"Looking at the history of the Nobel Prizes in recent years, it is noteworthy that in many fields, the basic research done early in an individual's career, shortly after attaining a Ph.D., is the work that is rewarded years later with the Nobel Prize," Vest said.