Awards & Honors


The Leonardo Da Vinci Medal, the highest recognition from the Society for the History of Technology, was bestowed on Leo Marx in October. The medal is presented to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology through research, teaching, publications and other activities. Marx, who taught at the University of Minnesota and Amherst College before coming to MIT in 1976, is a senior lecturer and the Kenan Professor of American Cultural History Emeritus in the Program in Science, Technology and Society. His work examines the relationship between technology and culture in 19th- and 20th-century America.

An MIT team of John Danaher (a junior in electrical engineering and computer science), Reid Barton (a sophomore in mathematics), and freshmen Velin Tzanov and Mihai Patrascu (reserve member) finished third out of 13 universities in the regionals of the ACM Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest. The Nov. 9 regionals at the Rochester Institute of Technology challenged teams of three students and a single computer with eight or more complex, real-world problems and a five-hour deadline. The MIT team, coached by Associate Professor Martin Rinard of EECS finished behind first-place Harvard (which goes on to the world finals) and second-place University of New Brunswick. Last year's team from MIT, which included Barton and Danaher, finished second in the contest's world finals and won it all in 1978 (see MIT Tech Talk, April 10 ).

Mitsuko Barker has received the MIT Japan Program Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding for her work as head of the program's lunch table. Barker has headed the weekly lunch table since 1995 and has developed programs such as Japanese language exchanges, a tea ceremony and flower arrangement classes that bring together students and Japanese spouses and researchers.

Boyce Rensberger , director of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at MIT, was honored at the National Press Club in Washington by the American Chemical Society, which presented him with the James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. Previous recipients of the award include Isaac Asimov and Don Herbert ("Mr. Wizard"). In a career spanning more than 32 years, Rensberger has been a science writer or science editor for The Detroit Free Press, The New York Times, PBS and The Washington Post.

Junot Di������z , who will join the MIT faculty as associate professor in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies in February, shares with Ursula Leguin the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, given for a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of the short story. Previous winners include John Updike, Saul Bellow, Eudora Welty and Joyce Carol Oates. Di������z's stories have appeared in Story, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Time Out, Glimmer Train, African Voices, and four annual volumes of Best American Fiction between 1996 and 2000. His story collection "Drown" was published in 1996. Diaz has taught at Syracuse University since1997.

Peter Roth , a lecturer in architecture, received the 2002 Preservation Award from the Massachusetts Historical Commission for his restoration of the Upham's Corner Marketplace in Dorchester. Roth co-teaches "Design for Development," a core course in the Center for Real Estate's S.M. program, and is a member of the real estate program's first graduating class in 1984. He is principal of New Atlantic Development, which does community-oriented development with a focus on affordable housing and mixed-use development. The Upham's Corner Marketplace is on the site of the country's first supermarket and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. Empty for 15 years, it now contains retail space and 45 units of affordable housing, including 14 units for formerly homeless seniors.

The president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau, has awarded Professor Wolfgang Ketterle the Knight Commander's Cross (Badge and Star) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his outstanding research accomplishments in the field of atomic physics. In 2001, Ketterle, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics, shared the Nobel Prize for a major breakthrough in research on Bose-Einstein condensate.

Professor Dimitri A. Antoniadis , the Ray and Maria Stata Professor in Electrical Engineering, has received the Andrew S. Grove Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The award recognizes outstanding work in the field of solid-state devices and technology. "Antoniadis has had a tremendous effect on the design of modern computing and electronics devices, especially in microelectronics technology; field-effect-controlled, quantum-effect devices; and silicon process modeling," the IEEE said. Antoniadis co-founded and was the first director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

Professor Emeritus Ira Dyer of ocean engineering has received the Per Bruel Gold Medal for Noise Control and Acoustics from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dyer (S.B. 1949, S.M. 1951, Ph.D. 1954) was honored for contributions to understanding underwater acoustics, flow-generated noise, ocean ambient noise and structural acoustics. He was head of the Department of Ocean Engineering from 1971-81, developed the graduate degree program in ocean acoustics, and helped develop the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute joint program.

The Cambridge City Council officially thanked the residents of 70 Pacific St. for the residence hall's bike rental program and commended MIT and Anke Hildebrandt , a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering who coordinated the program. The council noted in a proclamation adopted on Oct. 7, that the goals of the program "work in unison with the City Council goal to reduce dependency on motorized vehicles and reduce congestion."

The program rents bicycles to residents for $1 a day; the bikes were acquired for $175 apiece from Bikes Not Bombs (see MIT Tech Talk, Sept. 25).

David R. Martinez , an associate division head of Lincoln Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers effective Jan. 1. Martinez was recognized "for technical leadership in the development of high-performance embedded computing for real-time defense systems." Election to IEEE Fellow is one of the organization's most prestigious honors.

A paper by a research group in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory led by graduate student Ertan Yilmaz and alumnus Benoist Thirourd (Ph.D. 2001) won the Society of Automotive Engineers Award for Research on Automotive Lubricants. The paper showed through engine experiments, use of laser-induced fluorescence visualization and detailed computer modeling why oil consumption increases during nonsteady engine operating conditions. Other authors of the paper were lecturer and research scientist Tian Tian (Ph. D. 1997), lecturer and principal research scientist Victor Wong and Professor John Heywood . Wong also received the award in 1991.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 18, 2002.

Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships

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