Tim Berners-Lee, a research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), will be made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. The announcement was made on Dec. 31 by Buckingham Palace as part of the 2004 New Year's Honours list. The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire. Berners-Lee, 48, a British subject, is being knighted in recognition of his "services to the global development of the Internet" through the invention of the World Wide Web. His book "Weaving The Web" (HarperCollins, 1999) describes the web's birth and evolution.
Three juniors have been awarded IAP Kelly-Douglas Fellowships, and all three will work on humanitarian medical issues in the Far East. Piali Mukhopadhyay, a brain and cognitive sciences major and political science minor, and Shauna Mei, a double major in computer science and management and a double minor in political science and economics, will work on AIDS/HIV research in Chiang Mai, Thailand. J. Helen Tang, a mathematics major and economics minor, will work on international health issues at the First Hospital in Changsha, China, where her aunt heads the Internal Medicine Unit. Their follow-up plans include lectures, diaries, short stories and web sites about their experiences.
Professor Barbara Liskov has received the John von Neumann Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Liskov is the Ford Professor of Engineering and associate head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She was cited "for fundamental contributions to programming languages, programming methodology and distributed systems." The Neumann Medal, which has been given annually since 1990 for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology, is named for the mathematician whose work led to the building of the IAS binary stored program computer in 1952.
Professor of Physics Bruno Coppi was awarded the Laurea ad Honorem in Fisica (honorary degree in physics) by the University of Milano in Italy. The citation was "to Bruno Coppi, inexhaustible explorer of plasma physics, brilliant conceiver of theoretical models and of a concrete path towards controlled thermonuclear fusion, wise inspirer and promoter, particularly in Italy, of research on magnetically confined fusion and on astrophysical plasmas." At the Nov. 13 ceremony, Coppi lectured on "Humility and Arrogance in Research: Lessons from the Exploration of Space and from the Problem of Energy." Coppi, who holds a degree in nuclear engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, has been on the MIT faculty since 1968.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2004.