The Japan Society of Boston bestowed its 2000 John E. Thayer III award on Patricia Gercik, managing director of the MIT Japan Program. Japan Society President Peter Grilli told Ms. Gercik that she is "an extraordinary bridge between the United States and Japan... the passion you exude for the Japanese culture and your genuine desire to share that with others are inspiring." Ms. Gercik, who grew up in Japan, came to the MIT Japan Program in 1984 and was instrumental in making it the country's largest program of applied Japanese studies. She is author of On Track with the Japanese (Kodansha), which uses the experiences of MIT interns to teach executives poised to go to Japan about the challenges they will face.
Professor Dimitri P. Bertsekas of electrical engineering and computer science won the Greek National Award on Operations Research and the ACC John R. Ragazzini Education Award. He was also recently honored with a Faculty Club reception for his election earlier this year to the National Academy of Engineering. Professor Bertsekas (PhD 1971, system science) has done research in the areas of estimation and control of stochastic systems; linear, nonlinear and dynamic programming; data communication networks; parallel and distributed computation; and neural networks.
Moana Minton, a junior majoring in creative writing with a minor in literature, has been awarded a Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship. The program, which provides $32,000 for 20 students planning graduate study in the humanities, arts and social sciences, aims to help students "be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study." The award is named for Edwin, Frederick and Walter Beinecke, who assumed the leadership of the Sperry and Hutchinson Co. in the 1920s and built it from a small enterprise to one with revenues exceeding $350 million by 1970.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 23, 2001.