The American Mathematical Society awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement to Professor Michael Artin at its annual meeting in San Diego in January. "Michael Artin has helped to weave the fabric of modern algebraic geometry," said the citation. "He has contributed spectacular results in classical algebraic geometry. For 20 years he has worked to create and define the new field of non-commutative algebraic geometry. Artin has supervised 30 doctoral students and influenced a great many more."
In an autobiographical note included in the awards program, Artin said, "I had decided to study science when I began college, but fields such as chemistry and physics gradually fell away until biology and mathematics were the only ones left. I loved them both, but decided to major in mathematics. I told myself that changing out of mathematics might be easier, since it was at the theoretical end of the science spectrum, and I planned to switch to biology at age 30 when, as everyone knew, mathematicians were washed up. By then I was too involved with algebraic geometry. My adviser Oscar Zariski had seen to that."
Artin said in his response to the award citation, "It has been a privilege to teach at MIT, where the students are gifted and motivated, and where my colleagues are as deserving of an award for lifetime achievement as I am."
Artin is the second MIT professor to be so honored in recent years. Isadore M. Singer received the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2000.
The Massachusetts Lodging Association presented Michael Fitzgerald, the general manager of MIT Endicott House in Dedham, with an award for "Outstanding Lodging General Manager of the Year" in the small properties category, at the association's annual meeting in January. Fitzgerald was nominated by his industry colleagues and employees, who said he put forth a vision of "positive thinking and growth." During his five years as the general manager, Fitzgerald is credited with establishing "new levels of professionalism" and implementing systems that encourage employees to become a vital part of Endicott's growth.
Joel Schultz, a research engineer at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center , was presented the Fusion Technology Award at the 19th Symposium on Fusion Engineering held January 22-25 in Atlantic City, N.J. The award was established to recognize outstanding contributions to research and development in the field of fusion technology. Schultz, who received a plaque and a $1,500 check, was selected for his many contributions to fusion engineering and superconducting magnet technology. The symposium was organized by the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers .
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 20, 2002.