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Awards and honors

Two MIT faculty members have been awarded National Science Foundation grants to purchase new laboratory equipment for improving instruction in undergraduate science courses.

They are Dr. Richard P. Binzel, associate professor of planetary sciences, and Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, John G. Sheehan Professor of Toxicology, professor of chemistry and director of the Whitaker College Division of Toxicology.

Dr. Binzel's grant of $29,364 will be used for laboratory courses in observational and planetary science. Dr. Stubbe's $56,698 grant will purchase equipment for a laboratory course in biological chemistry.

The awards from NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education are highly competitive; only 25 percent of the proposals submitted to the program in fiscal 1993 were funded.

Dr. Merritt Roe Smith, Cutten Professor of the History of Technology and director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society, has received the 1994 Leonardo da Vinci Medal from the Society for the History of Technology. The medal is the society's highest recognition for scholarship and service to the profession. Dr. Smith is the second MIT faculty member to receive the award. The first was the late Institute Professor Cyril Stanley Smith.

Dr. Jonathan A. Fox, Mitsui Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science, has been awarded an International Affairs Fellowship for 1995 from the Council on Foreign Relations, a private policy research organization.

Dr. Jun Liu, assistant professor of biology, is one of 18 researchers in the chemical and biological sciences named Searle Scholars by the Chicago Community Trust. Each scholar's institution receives a three-year grant of $180,000 to help support his or her research.

Professor Liu was cited for his work in the application of thalidomide to study the molecular mechanism of immunoregulation.

Mavroidis Constantinos, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, received the Best Paper Award at the 1994 Design Technical Conference of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The paper, titled "Analysis and Synthesis of Overconstrained Mechanisms," was co-authored by Professor Bernard Roth of Stanford University.

Laurence A. Jacobs, research affiliate with the Center for Theoretical Physics and a senior scientist with the Thinking Machines Corp. of Cambridge, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1994. He was one of 29 Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean chosen from among 309 applicants.

The fellowships are awarded to persons who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

His fellowship is for research into the characterization of cardiac arrhythmogenic states.

The Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Adminstrators has announced that Yvonne L. Gittens, associate director of financial aid at MIT, will become its president in 1995. Now its president-elect, Ms. Gittens will be the first African-American woman to head the regional group which includes the northeastern states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 8).

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