Robert M. O'Donnell, a senior staff member at Lincoln Laboratory, was recently elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. (He was elected concurrently with David Martinez, as announced in the Dec. 18 issue of MIT Tech Talk.) O'Donnell was recognized for contributions to advanced surveillance and tracking radar systems. Election to IEEE Fellow is one of the organization's most prestigious honors.
David R. Karger, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has received the NAS Award for Initiatives in Research. The $15,000 prize is awarded annually in a field supporting information technology (algorithms and computation in 2003) to recognize innovative young scientists and to encourage research likely to lead toward new capabilities for human benefit. Karger was chosen "for the elegant use of randomness to design improved algorithms for classically studied problems such as network flow, graph coloring, finding minimum trees, and finding minimum cuts." The award, presented since 1981, was established by AT&T Bell Laboratories in honor of William O. Baker.
Jack Frailey was presented the Medal of Honor by the U.S. Rowing Association, given to one who "rendered conspicuous service or accomplished extraordinary feats in rowing." Frailey held several management positions in the MIT administration during 41 years of service, retiring in 1996 as director of Registration and Student Financial Services. The U.S. Rowing Association is a national confederation of clubs and colleges devoted to the growth of the sport of rowing and is responsible for the selection of the Olympic Team. Frailey (S.B. 1944, S.M., A.E.) rowed on the lightweight crew as a student and served as head coach from 1959-72. His crews won several national titles as well as the Thames Challenge Cup from the British Henley Royal Regatta in 1954 and 1955. He co-coached the Olympic team in 1968 and was its head manager in 1976. He was inducted into the Rowing Hall of Fame in 1998.
The American Mathematical Society has recognized Professor Victor Guillemin with the AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement, one of the highest distinctions in mathematics. Guillemin is being honored for playing a critical role in the development of a number of important areas in analysis and geometry.
Daniel Hastings, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems, was honored with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Losey Award, the organization's oldest award. Hastings received the honor for "significant achievements in space plasma interactions with space systems and for astute leadership in USAF aerospace programs." Former chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, Hastings is also acting director of the Engineering Systems Division and director of ESD's Technology and Policy Program.
Eve Sullivan, senior editorial assistant in the Laboratory for Computer Science, was selected as the Daily Point of Light for Jan. 14. The award is given by the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network to honor individuals and groups who have made a commitment to service to aid their communities and the nation. In 1991, Sullivan co-founded Parents Forum, a nonprofit organization that lets parents share their experiences and exchange advice and resources.
A portion of "Beyond the Big Dig," a year-long public information campaign convened by The Boston Globe and MIT in conjunction with WCVB-TV, has won prestigious national recognition. WCVB's "Chronicle" newsmagazine won a 2003 duPont-Columbia Award winner for its five-part series (part of "Beyond the Big Dig") examining public open space options for the 30 acres of land to become available when the Central Artery elevated highway in downtown Boston is removed. The series started on Jan. 15. The duPont Award is TV's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.
"Beyond the Big Dig" includes research by MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), reporting by the Boston Globe and four special editions of "Chronicle." Thomas Piper, a DUSP principal research scientist, is the project's executive director and was co-executive producer of the Chronicle programs (Chris Stirling was executive producer of the Chronicle series). The programs took viewers to Paris, Barcelona and San Francisco to explore lessons they hold for future parks in Boston. The Internet component of "Beyond the Big Dig" can be accessed here.
David E. Pritchard, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, received the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize from the American Physical Society. He was recognized for "groundbreaking studies of coherent atom optics and pioneering work on laser cooling and trapping of atomic gases." His pioneering observation of the Kapitza-Dirac effect and Bragg scattering of atoms opened the field of atom optics and led to his group's development of nanofabricated diffraction gratings for atoms, with which they made a versatile atom interferometer. His group operates the world's most accurate mass spectrometer that now compares the masses of two individual trapped ions of different species. With his son, he wrote the online "Mastering Physics" tutorial and homework service by Addison Wesley.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 29, 2003.