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Two awarded professorships

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Two faculty members have been appointed to named professorships.

Professor Rick L. Danheiser, associate head of the Department of Chemistry, has been named the Arthur C. Cope Professor of Chemistry, effective January 1. The chair is named for the late Professor Cope, who was department head from 1945-65. The previous holder of the professorship was Satoru Masamune, who held the chair from 1991 until his retirement in December.

Professor Danheiser's internationally known research is concerned with the invention of new methods and strategies for synthesizing complex molecules and their application in the total synthesis of natural products. Compounds synthesized in his lab include the neurotoxic alkaloid anatoxin a, the immunosuppressant agent mycophenolic acid and the host defense stimulant maesanin.

Professor Danheiser joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1978 after receiving the PhD the same year from Harvard University. He received his undergraduate education at Columbia, where he received the AB in 1972. At MIT, his educational contributions have been recognized with a MacVicar Faculty Fellowship, the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award, and the School of Science Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Associate Professor Shankar Raman of the literature section in the School of Humanities and Social Science is the next holder of the Class of 1957 Development Professorship, effective January 1, which recognizes "innovative and imaginative teaching by gifted young faculty members."

Professor Raman received two SBs from MIT in 1986 (literature and film, and electrical engineering), the MS in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and the PhD from Stanford University (1994). He joined the MIT faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor of literature and was promoted to associate professor in 1999. He has also been a research scholar at the Universit������t Konstanz since 1996.

Professor Raman specializes in 16th- and 17th-century European culture and history, particularly the connections between colonialism and literature. His first book, Framing "India": The Colonial Imaginary in Early Modern Culture (under contract with Stanford University Press), examines how the "discovery" of India shaped thought, behavior and literary representation in early modern Europe.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2000.

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