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Awards and Honors

��������� A new novel by Anita Desai, professor in the program in writing, was named a finalist in 1999 for England's prestigious Booker Prize. The book, Fasting, Feasting, has been widely and enthusiastically reviewed in the United States and in Great Britain by critics at the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times, the Independent and the Wall Street Journal. Gabriella Stern of the Wall Street Journal described the book as a "splendid novel" and its main character, Una, as a "marvel."

Fasting, Feasting is the third novel by Professor Desai to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The others were Clear Light of Day and In Custody.

��������� Five from MIT are studying abroad as Fulbright Scholars this year. They are Institute Professor Peter A. Diamond, at the University of Siena in Italy; Sloan Automotive Laboratory research assistant Alan L. Shihadeh, at Birzeit University in the West Bank; Janet L. Slifka, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, at the University of Lisbon in Portugal; Professor of Anthropology Susan Slyomovics, at the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco; and Professor of Literature Stephen J. Tapscott at the University of Lodz in Poland. There are also 10 Fulbright Scholars from around the world who are at MIT this year.

��������� The MIT-developed WAM (whole arm manipulator) has been named the Most Advanced Robotic Arm by the Guinness Book of World records. WAM, a slender metal robotic arm and claw that can catch and throw light objects, was developed by an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory group headed by Professor Jean-Jacques E. Slotine and Dr. Kenneth Salisbury and is licensed by Barrett Technology in Cambridge. Researchers are increasingly looking to "adaptive" engineering concepts such as those behind WAM as possible models for brain function (MIT Tech Talk, March 11, 1998).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 8, 2000.

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