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Awards and Honors

Three MIT researchers have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: F. Thomson Leighton, professor of applied mathematics; Silvio Micali, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; and Mriganka Sur, head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience. They were among 187 Fellows elected to join the 2003 class. The group, which includes 29 foreign honorary members, includes four college presidents, three Nobel Prize winners and four Pulitzer Prize winners.

Sophomore Patrick C. De Suza and junior Atif Z. Qadir finished first and second, respectively, in the fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. oratorical competition. In his winning talk, De Suza, an electrical engineering and computer science major from Queens, said, "How long will it be before we can stop talking about illusions of full inclusion and nightmares of reality? Or are we destined to wait in perpetual anticipation for a time when racism ceases to exist? I don't know when it will happen or how long it will be, but the one thing I know for sure is that if everyone sits back and does nothing, then nothing is sure to happen." De Suza and Qadir, an urban studies and planning major from East Patchogue, N.Y., both received cash prizes.

The 2003 Levitan Prize in the Humanities has been awarded to Joseph Dumit, associate professor of anthropology in the Program in Science, Technology and Society. Dumit, who has been at MIT since 1998, describes his current work as, "a combination of ethnography, oral history and archival research that examines how the social environment shapes and is in turn shaped by notions of what constitutes mental illness." With this award, he will conduct research for his book, "Mental Illness Movements: Facts and Experience in the Information Age." The $25,000 prize was established through a gift from James A. Levitan (S.B. 1945 in chemistry).

MIT's new logo has received a design award from the Boston chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the country's professional graphic design organization. The logo was selected from a group of more than 750 entries. Led by Publishing Services Bureau design manager Tim Blackburn, the design team for the Institute logo included Matthew Carter, an internationally recognized font designer and the man behind such widely used fonts as Verdana and ITC Galliard.

"The World's Numerical Recipe" by Frank Wilczek, the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, has been chosen for inclusion in "The Best American Science Writing 2003" (Ecco/HarperCollins). The article was published in the winter 2001 issue of Daedalus and is based on public lectures Wilczek gave at MIT and the University of California at Santa Barbara. The MIT lecture is available as a webcast from MIT World at

Samuel C.C. Ting, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics and a 1976 Nobel laureate, received the Distinguished Science and Technology Award from the Chinese Institute of Engineers/USA.

Two faculty members in the Department of Political Science have received honors. Associate ProfessorMelissa Nobles is the president-elect of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists; her two-year term begins in 2005. "Committees and the U.S. Congress, 1789-1946," a four-volume work co-compiled and co-edited by Professor Charles Stewart III (associate dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) has been named a Best Reference Source 2002 by Library Journal.

Andrew C. Kadak (S.M. 1972, Ph.D.), professor of the practice of nuclear engineering, was awarded the National Award of Nuclear Science. Kadak, former president and CEO of Yankee Atomic Electric Co., oversaw all Yankee operations, including the decommissioning of the Yankee plant in Rowe, Mass., and engineering, licensing, environmental and operational support to all eight nuclear plants in New England. His present interest is in a modular high-temperature gas-cooled pebble bed reactor that he and several MIT faculty and students have been developing.


A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 14, 2003.

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