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Awards and Honors

The collaboration between architect, musician and designer that resulted in the renovated Rosalind Denny Lewis Music Library has been recognized with a Building of the Year Award in the category of Spatial Planning and Interior Furnishings. The awards, honoring leaders in the field of facilities management, were presented earlier this month at the Facilities Management Expo in Boston.

In addition to expanding the library's space, the renovation incorporated architectural details which echo shapes found in musical instruments, and it included a specially composed canon by Institute Professor John Harbison etched into the glasswork panels lining the mezzanine.

Hispanic Business magazine has included two MIT faculty members in its October listing of 100 Most Influential Hispanics. They are Rafael L. Bras, the Bacardi-Stockholm Water Foundations Professor and head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who also holds an appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Institute Professor Mario J. Molina of EAPS and chemistry, the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies and a 1995 Nobel laureate in chemistry. Also listed is alumnus Richard L. Carrion (SM '77 in management), the chairman, president and CEO of Banco Popular, Puerto Rico's largest bank.

The American Academy for the Advancement of Science has elected three from MIT among this year's group of 270 new Fellows. Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry Stephen L. Buchwald, Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering Woodie Flowers and Professor of Physics Rainer Weiss were among those elected "because of their efforts toward advancing science or fostering applications that are deemed sscientifically or socially distinguished."

MIT's Graduate Student Council has won three awards from the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. Both winners in the NAGPS's program category were from MIT&emdash;the Career Fair and the Grocery Shuttle. Eva Moy, a graduate student in mechanical engineering and former secretary of the GSC, was one of seven individuals cited "for outstanding service to graduate and professional students in their community, state or nation." The organization has a Web site at <>.

Students and researchers associated with Robert Langer, the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, have received a Whitaker Senior Bioengineering Design Award for 1997. The project on "Differential Effects of Growth Factors on Tissue Engineering of Cartilage" by Professor Langer, senior Alisha Sieminski, postdoctoral fellow Torsten Blunk (all of the Department of Chemical Engineering), research scientist Lisa Freed of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and Whitaker College research scientist Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic was presented in a poster session at the annual meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society earlier this month.

Professor Langer also received the Controlled Release Society's Pharmaceutical Graduate Student Outstanding Research Award for 1997 for a paper that he and colleagues wrote, entitled "Porous Dry-Powder PLGA Microspheres Coated With Lung Surfactant for Systemic Insulin Delivery Via the Lung."

The next president of the Biophysical Society will be Professor Jonathan A. King of biology, beginning in February 1998. He currently serves as a National Councillor of the 5,000-member organization, which serves as an arena for collaboration among physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and biological scientists who apply physical techniques to the study of biological structure and function. Professor King, whose research looks at how amino acid sequences direct the folding and assembly of proteins into three-dimensional structures, is director of MIT's Biomedical Electron Microscopy Laboratory.

The American Academy of Microbiology has elected Professor H. Robert Horvitz of the Department of Biology to fellowship in the organization. Each of its 1,300 Fellows from more than 27 countries has demonstrated "scientific excellence, originality and leadership; high ethical standards; and scholarly and creative achievement."

Thomas Brown Sheridan, Ford Professor of Engineering emeritus and applied psychology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and also a professor of aeronautics and astronautics, is the most recent recipient of the Rufus Oldenburger Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), an award which recognizes achievement in the field of automatic control. ASME cited professor Sheridan's "pioneering work in human supervisory control, telerobotics, virtual reality, automated systems requiring reduced human involvement and preview control." He is head of the Human Machine Systems Laboratory.

ASME International also recognized Alan J. Grodzinsky, professor of electrical, mechanical and bioengineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with the 1997 Melville Medal, the society's highest honor for a technical paper. Professor Grodzinsky, the associate director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering, co-authored "A Molecular Model of Proteoglycan-Associated Electrostatic Forces in Cartilage Mechanics."

The Computer Clubhouse, a program of Boston's Computer Museum with origins in the MIT Media Lab, has won the seventh annual Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. The $25,000 award is given each year by the Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management to a nonprofit organization to "an innovative program or project that has made a difference in the lives of the people it serves." The Clubhouse lets inner-city youth work together on design projects and develop their own animations, simulations, Web sites, robotic constructions and musical creations (see MIT Tech Talk, September 17, 1997).

Among those accepting the award later this month are Mitchel Resnick, professor of research in education at the Media Lab. He is one of the founders of the Computer Clubhouse and a Computer Museum trustee. He and other Media Lab researchers act as consultants and mentors, and they have used the Clubhouse as a testing ground for new technologies and educational ideas they are developing.

Several faculty members and researchers in the Department of Physics have won awards. Professor Takashi Imai of the Atomic, Condensed Matter and Plasma Physics Division was presented with the Michael and Philip Platzman Award for his contribution to the experimental studies of strongly correlated electrons, magnetism and superconductivity. He has built a nuclear resonance spectrometer in which the field is fixed and the frequency is varied. While the field is generated by a persistent superconducting magnet kept at liquid helium temperature, the sample can be studied at temperatures as high as 1000���������K.

Assistant Professor Craig Ogilvie and Professor John Joannopoulos were both awarded the 1997 faculty Buechner Teaching Prize, established in 1987 by the late Mrs. Christina Buechner in memory of her husband, Professor William Buechner, who served as physics department head from 1962-67. Professor Ogilvie was recognized for outstanding undergraduate teaching in the freshman physics courses 8.01X and 8.02X, and Professor Joannopoulos for outstanding graduate teaching in several subjects. The graduate student Buechner Teaching Prize went to Paul Westbrook for 8.01L and 8.01 recitations.

Professor Eddie Farhi and Assistant Professor Tom������������������s Arias have been awarded 1997 School of Science teaching prizes. Professor Farhi was recognized for graduate-level teaching in quantum mechanics and general relativity. Professor Arias was recognized for his innovations in undergraduate teaching, particularly interactive problem-set tutorials associated with his Web site for 8.04 (Quantum Physics).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 1997.

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