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Awards and honors

Four MIT faculty members are among 100 outstanding young scientists and economists selected to receive Sloan Research Fellowships this year.

The MIT winners are: Dr. Glenn D. Ellison, Ford Career Development Associate Professor of Economics; Dr. Earl K. Miller, assistant professor of visual neuroscience; Dr. Frederic Rasio, assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Uwe-gens Wiese, assistant professor of physics.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation said the new fellows, "highly qualified young scientists in the early stages of their careers," were selected "on the basis of their exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge."

Since 1955, the Sloan Foundation has devoted some $72 million to support more than 3,100 young researchers, 19 of whom have gone on to win Nobel prizes. The program provides grants of $35,000 for a two-year period. The recipients are permitted to employ fellowship funds in a wide variety of ways to further their research aims.

A committee of distinguished scientists chose the 1996 fellows from among more than 400 men and women nominated by department chairs and other senior scholars familiar with their talents.

A design team led by Andrew M. Scott, an associate professor of architecture at MIT, and Paul Donnelly, a visiting associate professor, was awarded a First Prize Citation in a national architectural design competition organized by the American Institute for Architectural Research and sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory through support from the US Department of Energy. Other team members were Chih-Jen Yeh, a recent graduate in the MArch program at MIT, and Karl Daubman and Natasha Sandmeier, both recent architecture graduates of Roger Williams College in Rhode Island.

The competition called for the design of a Visitor Pavilion for American Sport in the heart of Washington, DC. It was to be based upon the innovative application of photovoltaics cells for energy supply and the use of nonmechanical passive-based environmental systems.

The Scott-Donnelly design used the competition project to research a technical synthesis that integrated architectural form in its urban context with natural light and ventilation, thermal mass, passive cooling and renewable energy technology. The integration of formal architecture ideas with environmental technology and structure was regarded as essential to establishing new directions in sustainable design.

The design proved that the pavilion could be self-sufficient in energy supply and also generate electricity for the utility grid on an annual basis. Certain aspects of the project will now be developed further for the purpose of sustainable environmental design research.

The competition project will form part of an exhibition that will be displayed at the American Institute of Architects annual convention in May, a Department of Energy Showcase in Atlanta in July, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in late summer and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York in 1997.

Professor Peter A. Diamond will co-chair a newly formed expert panel to study proposals to "privatize" Social Security and a second faculty member, Professor Frank Levy, will serve on the panel.

Dr. Diamond, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, is president of the National Academy of Social Insurance, which formed the study group. His co-chair will be Dr. Michael J. Boskin, professor of economics at Stanford University who served as chair of President George Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. Dr. Levy is Daniel Rose Professor of Urban Economics in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

The panel will study proposals that would shift all or part of Social Security taxes to a type of "individual savings" account, with the buildup in these accounts replacing some or all of existing Social Security benefits for future retirees.

The National Academy of Social Insurance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization devoted to the study of income security and health care finance, and related public and private programs.

Six members of the faculty are among 159 new Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are Professor David A Vogan (mathematics), Professor Boris Altshuler (physics), Professors Thomas H. Jordan and Alan P. Lightman (astronomy and earth sciences), Professor Gerald J. Sussman (engineering sciences and technologies) and Professor James M. Poterba (economics).

Dr. Howard Brenner, Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering, will receive the 1996 ASEE General Electric Senior Research Award "for his many distinguished accomplishments." It will be presented during the annual conference of the American Society of Engineering and Education (ASEE) in June.

The award covers all branches of engineering. Professor Brenner is the first Department of Chemical Engineering faculty member to receive the award, whose Previous recipients include Dr. Charles S. Draper, founder of the Draper Laboratories, formerly affiliated with MIT.

MIT submitted its allowed maximum of four student nominees for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship program-and all four were awarded scholarships. The MIT winners, all juniors, are Timothy A. Chklovski of electrical engineering and computer science, David Y. Jao of mathematics, Youssef M. Marzouk of mechanical engineering, and Raylene J. Sanchez of chemistry. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986 in honor of the Arizona senator to foster careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. It confers one- and two-year awards of up to $7,000 per year to sophomores and juniors. Of the 1,200 nominees for 1996-97, 264 received scholarships.

Ruth K. Seidman, head of the Engineering and Science Libraries, has been elected a Fellow of the Special Libraries Association in recognition of her leadership in special librarianship and outstanding contributions to the field. Ms. Seidman, a former president of the association and of its Boston chapter, is the author of a monograph, "Building Global Partnerships for Library Cooperation," and is the editor of the quarterly publication, Science and Technology Libraries.

Dr. Ronald C. Baird, who has been a member of the MIT Sea Grant State/Industry Advisory Council during the past year, has been named director of the National Sea Grant College Program, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced.

Dr. Baird, currently vice president of university relations at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will go to his new post in June.

Dr. Baird, who has had a long relationship with the MIT program, was a member of the National Sea Grant Review Panel, an independent citizens advisory committee, from 1990-95. He received the PhD in biological oceanography from Harvard University in 1969.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 1, 1996.

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