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Awards and honors

Dr. S. Lael Brainard, assistant professor of applied economics in the Sloan School of management, is one of 17 persons selected by President Clinton to serve as 1994-95 White House Fellows.

The program, in its 30th year, places exceptionally talented men and women in full-time paid positions for a year at the White House and Cabinet-level agencies, where they serve as special assistants to senior officers.

Alumni/ae of the program include Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell.

Dr. Brainard, who will begin her fellowship in September, has worked for the Council of Economic Advisors in Washington and the Ford Foundation in Senegal. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1983 and received master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.

Dr. Daniel Z. Freedman, professor of applied mathematics, has been selected as one of the recipients of the 1993 Dirac medals by the International Center for Theoretical Physics. The Dirac medals, named in honor of Paul Dirac, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, have been awarded since 1985 for contributions to theoretical physics.

Professor Freedman, together with Sergio Ferrara of UCLA and CERN and Peter Van Nieuwenhuizen of SUNY, Stony Brook, were honored for their 1976 supergravity theory, on which all current attempts to build grand unified theories including gravity are based. Professor Freedman is also a member of the Center for Theoretical Physics.

A previous MIT prize winner (1991) was Jeffrey Goldstone, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, in recognition of his fundamental contribution in understanding spontaneous symmetry breaking in relativistic field theory.

In an unusual coincidence, two members of the biology faculty were recently elected to honorary foreign membership in the French Society of Microbiology. They are Dr. Arnold L. Demain, professor of industrial microbiology and Dr. Annamaria Torriani-Gorini, professor emerita of biology, now a senior lecturer in the department.

"Literary contributions furthering engineering professionalism" have won kudos from the US Activities Board of the IEEE fior Steven J. Marcus, editor of Technology Review. The selection committee praised Mr. Marcus for encouraging technical professionals to develop and respect their humanitarian roles through his column in Technology Review and a New York Times essay, "Raising the Status of Engineers."

The Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society has selected Dr. Paul E. Laibinis, assistant professor of chemical engineering, to receive the 1994 Victor K. Lamer Award. The award recognizes the best PhD thesis in the field of colloid and surface chemistry within three years of receipt of the doctorate and includes a cash prize of $2,500. Professor Laibinis received SB degrees from MIT in chemical engineering and chemistry in 1985, and both an MA and PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University, in 1987 and 1991 respectively. He did postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology.

A video tape made for MIT's Research Program on Communication Policy-showing how school kids are benefiting by tapping into the information highway-has won a bronze award in the 15th annual national "Telly" competition. Telly awards were founded in 1980 to give recognition to the outstanding non-network, cable and videocassette productions.

The 22-minute video, entitled "Future Schools: Connected to the World," focuses on the Val Verde School District near Riverside, CA, where administrators, teachers and students have interconnected all 12 schools to each other and to the world-wide resources of the Internet.

Christopher A. Willoughby, a doctoral candidate in chemistry, is one of seven graduate students nationally to receive the Roche Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry.

The award is given by Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., a health care company, to showcase the importance of organic chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry.

Each of the students received a certificate and cash prize of $1,500 at a symposium at which they gave presentations on their research projects.

The students were selected on the basis of their academic performance, research progress, creativity and imagination. They were nominated by their faculty advisors and selected by the faculties of their respective departments.

A paper co-authored by Dr. Nam P. Suh, head of the Department of mechanical engineering, and Dr. D. E. Kim, a former student, has been selected by Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as the Best Paper of 1993. The paper is entitled "Molecular Dynamics Investigation of 2-D Atomic Scale Friction."

Two MIT undergraduates-Alexander T. Cheung and Vuong Nguyen-are among 100 US college students chosen for the 1994 Summer Medical and Research Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The 10-week program, designed for students interested in careers in scientific research, offers first-hand experience through work in laboratory or clinical settings.

Mr. Cheung is a mechanical engineering and biology major. Mr. Nguyen is majoring in electrical engineering and computer science.

NASA's Public Service Group Achievement Award, presented to the Hubble Space Telescope Independent Test Review Panel, was accepted on behalf of that group by Dr. Herbert Kottler, who heads Lincoln Laboratory's Aerospace Division. The presentation came at a ceremony in Washington in May.

NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin presented the award and a Hubble Medal in recognition of the in-depth review, undertaken on short notice, that allowed the Hubble Space Telescope to be successful.

Dr. Kottler noted that many dedicated NASA personnel, their suporting contractors and the members of the Test Review Panel all can be proud of their impact in the decision to proceed with the mission launch.

Marc Graham, a junior in mechanical engineering, was a finalist in a nationwide design contest sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering.

The "Imagi-Nations" contest invited women and minority juniors and seniors to submit original ideas for theme parks and attractions in the form of illustrations, models, vieos, photos and storyboards. Mr. Graham was one of three members of the National Society of Black Engineers who entered. Winners from each of five associations that participated received a $2,000 grant and a six-month co-op with WDI, a creative development and engineering subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Hampton University of Hampton, VA was the first-place winner in the university team division.

A version of this article appeared in the July 20, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 1).

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