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Awards & Honors

Members of Wilson TurboPower Inc. collect the $25,000 grand prize from the Social Ventures business plan competition. Pictured (left to right) are: Richard McRay (S.B. 1961, S.M.), Professor Emeritus David Gordon Wilson of mechanical engineering, John Wasserlein (S.B. 1963), graduate student in management Joern Kallmeyer, friend of the team Fredric Young (S.M. 1960) and Bruce Anderson (S.B. 1970, ...
Members of Wilson TurboPower Inc. collect the $25,000 grand prize from the Social Ventures business plan competition. Pictured (left to right) are: Richard McRay (S.B. 1961, S.M.), Professor Emeritus David Gordon Wilson of mechanical engineering, John Wasserlein (S.B. 1963), graduate student in management Joern Kallmeyer, friend of the team Fredric Young (S.M. 1960) and Bruce Anderson (S.B. 1970, M.Arc.).

The Jewish National Fund honored Institute Professor John Deutch recently at a gala event attended by hundreds of political and communal leaders. Deutch is past director of the CIA and former Deputy Secretary of Defense. At the event, Israel's ambassador to the United States, David Ivry, noted that Deutch can take pride in his years of commitment to making the world a better place.

A company founded by several people with MIT affiliations won the $25,000 grand prize in a nationwide business plan competition that promotes the creation of social ventures, or businesses with both financial and social returns on investment. The business plans were judged on the basis of the feasibility of their business concepts and potential impacts of the ventures' stated social and/or environmental goals.

The winning company, Wilson TurboPower, Inc. develops equipment for distributed power generation based on MIT technology that makes it possible for microturbines to be competitive on both cost and efficiency with big central power plants. WTPI was one of 77 companies entered in last month's National Social Venture Competition.

The WTPI team includes MIT Professor Emeritus David Gordon Wilson of mechanical engineering, and alumni Richard McRay (S.B. 1961, S.M.), John Wasserlein (S.B. 1963), Bruce Anderson (S.B. 1970, M.Arc.) and Douglas Zingale (S.B. 1973). Cambridge-MIT Institute exchange student Peter Eckley, a junior in physics, and Joern Kallmeyer, a graduate student in management, represented the student body in this team.

Also among the contest's finalists was a second MIT team, VasculaRegenesis, led by Simon Chiavarini, an M.B.A. student at Sloan. His company aims to revolutionize pediatric heart surgery by using a tissue-engineering approach to develop heart valves.

John Dower, the Elting Professor of History, was honored at the Boston Public Library's 14th Literary Lights dinner April 14. Dower is author of "War Without Mercy," "Empire and Aftermath" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Embracing Defeat." The Literary Lights dinner was founded to celebrate New England authors and raise awareness of the library's resources. Author and literary critic Harold Bloom gave the keynote address.

A team of M.B.A. students from the Sloan School of Management placed second at the annual Digital Strategy Case Competition at Carnegie Mellon University in February. Shuman Ghosemajumder, Niall Corrigan, Keelan Yang and Michael Banks, all class of 2002, and Ernesto Borbon, class of 2003, made recommendations on a competitive strategy for a health care system and won a cash prize as runners-up.

Professor Richard Larson has just returned from Hong Kong University, where for two weeks he served as the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Visiting Professor. The Youde Professorship, awarded annually, was established in 1995 to provide more opportunities for education and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and the global academic community.

Faculty who receive the professorship conduct lectures locally and explore the possibility of undertaking research with local tertiary institutions. Larson, a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Educational Services, delivered a public lecture on "Beyond the Physics of Queuing." During his stay he also gave several lectures in the fields of operations research and distance learning.

Alla Grishok, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cancer Research, was one of 17 recipients of the 2002 Weintraub Graduate Student Award. The award is presented by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and recoginizes excellence in the biological sciences. Grishok was invited to participate in a symposium with the other winners May 3 and 4.

Grishok also won a three-year Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. The fellowship goes to young scientists whose theoretical and experimental research focuses on cancer prevention and therapies.

The Deloitte Foundation awarded Sloan School doctoral candidate Xu Li $25,000 in March as part of its doctoral fellowship program. The foundation is funded by Deloitte & Touche, a professional services firm, and encourages individuals to "advance both the theory and practice of accounting."

Henry Jenkins, director of the Comparative Media Studies Program, will deliver the commencement address at The New England Insitute of Art and Communications on May 11. The school grants degrees in audio production, broadcasting, graphic design, internet communications and multimedia and web design. Jenkins' work has focused on subjects such as media violence and video games.

Three members of the MIT community have won 2002 Guggenheim Fellowships. Stephen Alter, writer-in-residence; Gang Chen, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Andrew W. Lo, the Harris & Harris Group Professor and director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering were among the 184 artists, scholars and scientists who will share $6.75 million in awards. Past recipients included Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Vladimir Nabokov and Paul Samuelson.

Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical and computer engineering honor society, has presented MIT Beta Theta Chapter faculty adviser John Tucker with the Eminent Member Award. The award is given to "the most outstanding leaders of the electrical and computer engineering profession, who are considered benefactors of mankind."

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has selected 104 young scientists and economists to be Sloan Research Fellows, including nine from MIT. They are Peter H. Seeberger and Andrei Tomakoff of the chemistry department; Hari Balakrishnan, Tommi Jaakkola and Santosh S. Vempala of electrical engineering and computer science; Esther C. Duflo of the economics department; Andras Vasy of mathematics; James DiCarlo of brain and cognitive sciences; and Todadri Senthil of the physics department. Fellows will receive $40,000 to further their current research and pursue new lines of inquiry.

Eric S. Lander, professor of biology and director of the Whitehead Center for Genome Research, is one of eight winners of the 2002 Gairdner International Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in genomic research. Lander won for his "major seminal contributions to sequencing of human and other genomes." He will accept the $30,000 award on Oct. 24 in Toronto.

David Altshuler, director of the Medical and Population Genetics Program at the Whitehead Center for Genome Research, recently won a trio of awards for his work, which applies genomics to the dissection of diseases like diabetes. He is one of four winners of a Charles E. Culpeper Scholarship providing $100,000 a year for three years.

Altshuler also was named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scholar in Translational Research. The award supplies $150,000 a year for five years to "physician-scientists whose work bridges the gap between basic research and patient care." And, the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital gave Altshuler the Stephen Krane Award. The recipient receives $1,000 and gives an honorary lecture at MGH.

Dominik Rabiej, a sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science, is one of 16 United States undergraduates to be named a Goldman Sachs Global Leader. Rabiej has done artificial intelligence research in the Media Lab and has helped construct community web sites such as A ceremony was held on April 25 to honor the winners, each of whom received $2,000.

Yukie Tanino, a junior in environmental engineering, has been selected as a 2002-2003 Tau Beta Pi Scholar, the national engineering honor society. Tanino will receive $2,000 toward future engineering study.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 8, 2002.

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