Add Professor John B. Heywood's name to the MIT faculty members who, in his words, "do other things" besides their academic specialties.
Dr. Heywood's "other thing" is painting, mostly watercolor landscapes, a long remove from his expertise in engines as Sun Jae Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory.
Dr. Heywood, a native of England, said his paintings are in the tradition of 19th century British watercolor artists. He has been painting for the past 10 or 15 years and does a lot of it while traveling, using a portable water color kit.
However, it was a landscape quite close to his home in Newtonville that garnered him an award recently. In an art contest for views of the revitalized Bullough's Pond area in Newton, Dr. Heywood won first prize in the adult division.
Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller, professor of history and philosophy of science, has been named to a commission of 10 international scholars that will consider how the current organization of knowledge-largely into separate disciplines-might be restructured.
The group's special focus, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, will be the social sciences, but its members represent the physical sciences and humanities as well.
The commission, funded by a $200,000 grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Portugal, was convened by Immanuel Wallerstein, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
All toast Mary Agnes Mullowney.
Ms. Mullowney, administrative assistant in the Department of Ocean Engineering, came in first when she represented the Toastmasters chapter from MIT at a regional Toastmasters contest for humorous speeches.
She then went on to take second place in the District Toastmasters contest-an impressive accomplishment in that the district stretches from Falmouth on Cape Cod to the North Shore, with more than 100 clubs and 2,000 members.
The Toastmasters chapter at MIT meets twice monthly and is open to all in the MIT community. It provides a supportive environment for developing public speaking skills.
Aspiring toastmasters can contact Margaret Ann Gray at x3-0217 for information.
Thomas J. Vincent, the 1968 Sloan Fellows graduate, entrepreneur and philanthropist who established a fellowship fund for minority graduate students at the Sloan School, wrote to set the record straight about his first business venture.
A Tech Talk article stated that as a boy Mr. Vincent had hawked newspapers for a profit of 9 cents each, to which he replied:
"Please note there is an error... The newspaper profit was 0.9 (9/10) cents each. In fact, papers then (1945) were 3 cents each. Many people gave a nickel for an actual 2.9 cents profit. The paper price was raised, I think in 1946, as was the profit to 1.25 cents. Very few people gave more than a nickel, so my actual profit went down considerably!"
It was an early lesson in economics to a man who went on to make millions in a number of entrepreneurial initiatives.
What did biology professor David E. Housman do after he and other researchers from MIT and elsewhere finally identified the gene that causes Huntington's disease?
Discovery magazine provides this anecdote in a recent article by Andrew Revkin titled "Hunting Down Huntington's":
"After the final experiment, on February 26 , the triumphal report was sent to the journal Cell. As promised, it was it was signed simply the Huntington's Disease Collaborative Research Group...
"The press conferences and parties followed quickly. A month after the paper was published everyone flew to... the Florida Keys for a communal sigh of relief. They had been going there once a year since 1987, spending their days working on the beach, and their nights at a bar called Woody's, listening to the hard-driving rock and roll of the house band... This time was no exception. When [the band leader] saw the scientists at the bar, he stopped in midsong and called to David Housman, who was wearing a T-shirt printed with the likeness of a tuxedo, `Hey, Doc, why don't you come up here and tell the folks what you did!' Self-consciously but with pride, Housman jumped onto the stage and said, `We're molecular biologists, and we've just found the gene for Huntington's disease..."
The story in the Daily Local News of West Chester, PA, was headlined, "Cheyney students `sMITten.'" It told of the September visit of 13 Cheyney University mathematics and science students to MIT to explore possible graduate studies here. Cheyney, located in Cheyney, PA, was founded in 1837 to train young African-Americans. The students, accompanied by biology professor Eugene Jones, Jr., came to MIT at the invitation of Dr. William G. Thilly, professor of applied biology and civil and environmental engineering. Professors Jones and Thilly had met at a symposium at Clark University in Atlanta, where they discussed their mutual desire to see more minorities attend graduate school. While at MIT, some of the Cheyney students presented their summer research projects.
A version of this article appeared in the January 5, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 18).