The Department of Physics has announced winners of the 1999 Orloff Awards for excellence in undergraduate physics research, scholarship and service, and the Alan H. Barrett Prize for Excellence In Astrophysics. Also announced are the Deutsch, Lockett and Vazquez Prizes for graduate students. The undergraduate awards were presented at the department's Senior Dinner on June 1; the graduate awards will be presented at a reception on September 9.
Eric B. Ford, a senior from Brandon, MS, has won the Barrett Prize for his contributions to a number of different projects in theoretical astrophysics involving the analysis of extensive sets of astronomical data, as well as large scale numerical calculations on supercomputers. The $1,000 award honors the late Professor Alan H. Barrett's outstanding influence in the education of physicists and his fundamental contributions to the science and technology of astrophysics.
Jeffrey C. Gore of Corvallis, OR won the scholarship award, given to the physics senior with the highest GPA in physics courses. Eric B. Ford received the research award, given to the physics senior with the most outstanding senior thesis, in recognition of his research into the dynamics of extrasolar planetary systems.
Raeghan M. Byrne of Naperville, IL and Tanya Zelevinsky of East Lansing, MI received the service award, given to students with the most outstanding service to the department, Institute or community. Ms. Zelevinsky was recognized for her active participation in departmental activities, particularly in revitalizing the Society of Physics Students, of which she was president. Ms. Byrne was honored for serving on the Departmental Education Committee for three terms, for being a strong advocate to restore the general tutoring service, for mentoring of women physics majors, and for her initiative in the design and development of the Physics Education Office home page. The awards, which carry a prize of $1,000, were established by Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Orloff in memory of their son Joel, a physics major who died in an automobile accident shortly after graduation from MIT in 1978.
Shin Inouye of Tokyo won the $1,000 Deutsch Award for Excellence in Experimental Physics for his contributions to the observation of the first Feshbach resonance and superradiance in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Mr. Inouye works with Professor Wolfgang Ketterle in the Atomic Physics Group.
The Deutsch Award was established by the Institute in honor of Professor Martin Deutsch for his outstanding contributions to nuclear physics and for his influence as an educator of physicists of the highest caliber.
Leonardo Rastelli of Terme, Italy, won the $1,000 Lockett Award for Excellence in Theoretical Physics in recognition of his contributions to the AdS/CFT correspondence. He works with Professor Daniel Freedman in the Center for Theoretical Physics. The award was established in memory of Andrew M. Lockett (PhD 1954) by his widow Lucille Lockett Stone and his friends.
Raissa D'Souza of Morgan Park, IL is the winner of the $1,000 Vazquez Minority Graduate Award in recognition of her participation in the debate of science and society issues and of her contributions to computational physics, particularly for the introduction of the dynamics of heat particles to demonstrate the apparent presence of irreversibility in a fully reversible Cellular Automata Machine. Ms. D'Souza works with Professor Mehran Kardar in the Condensed Matter Theory Group and with Dr. Norman Margolus in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
The Vazquez Award was established in memory of Sergio Vazquez, a graduate student in the Center for Theoretical Physics who was killed in an automobile accident in 1990.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 32).