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Awards and honors


John Maeda, associate professor of media arts and sciences, has received the 2001 National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The award recognizes excellence and innovation in American design and is a career award given for a body of realized work.

Maeda's award, in the communications category, is for "exceptional and exemplary work in graphic and multimedia design." The award announcement read: "If design is the marriage of function and form, the union of science and aesthetics, then artist-mathematician John Maeda is the ideal designer. Maeda's work emerges from a rarified mix of geometry problems and algebraic equations to create exquisitely detailed, infinitely mutable patterns of information." Maeda serves as associate director of the Media Laboratory and heads its Aesthetics and Computation research group. He is the author of "Maeda@Media" and "Design by Numbers."

Professor of Biology and Whitehead Institute member Gerald Fink was recently awarded the 2001 George W. Beadle Medal by the Genetics Society of America. The award is named in honor of acclaimed geneticist and Nobel laureate George Wells Beadle. It recognizes Fink for his scientific excellence and his support of collegiality and the exchange of ideas within the genetics community, as well as his contribution to Cold Spring Harbor's yeast genetics course and his impact on other educational programs. Fink received the first honorary doctorate awarded by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1999.

The Fink lab analyzes baker's yeast to explore critical pathways in cell growth and metabolism. Applications include cancer research and the development of new antifungal drugs. He also directs a plant research group heralded for new insights into root growth and salt metabolism.

Professor of Biology Graham Walker has been awarded the new American Cancer Society Research Professorship, the organization's most prestigious award, given to outstanding mid-career scientists who have made seminal contributions to their field. The award, which recognizes Walker's basic research on the "SOS" DNA repair system in bacteria, provides five years of unrestricted research support at $80,000 per year. Walker's award brings the number of ACS Research Professors to 21.

Professor Stephen Lippard, head of the Department of Chemistry, will receive the 2002 Theodore William Richards Award and Medal in recognition of his conspicuous achievements in bioinorganic chemistry. The award, first presented in 1932, is given every two years by the northeastern section of the American Chemical Society.

Professor Kit Cummins of chemistry received the Dannie-Heineman Preis, the highest award of the G��ttingen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Academy of Sciences). This year's ceremonies coincided with the 250th anniversary of the academy, and Bundespresident Johannes Rau attended. Previous award recipients include Wolfgang Ketterle of MIT (1999), P.W. Anderson (1975) and Nobel laureate Georg Wittig (1965).

Professor Andrei Tokmakoff of chemistry will receive the 2002 Coblentz Award, given to an "outstanding young molecular spectroscopist under the age of 36." Tokmakoff wil receive the award and give the Coblentz Award Lecture in June at the Ohio State University International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has awarded scholarships to five MIT freshmen: Jessica Chiafair, Orlando Jaquez, Dominik Rabiej, Swati Saini and David Wang. They are among the 250 high school seniors chosen for the awards each year from more than 106,000 applicants. Since 1989, 39 entering MIT freshman have received these scholarships.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 12, 2001.

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