The Levitan Prize in the Humanities has been awarded to composer Peter Child of the music and theater arts section. Child has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1986 and served as chair of music and theater arts from 1996-99.
The $25,000 prize was established through a gift from James A. Levitan, a 1945 MIT graduate in chemistry, member of the Corporation and Of-Counsel at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom of New York. The prize, first awarded in 1990, supports innovative and creative scholarship in the humanities by faculty members in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Child plans to work on his book, "Tonal Music: an Introduction to Analysis," which will examine western music of the so-called common practice period (roughly 1600-1900)--music that professional musicians characterize as tonal. "It will develop the idea that tonality is a confluence of several interrelated structural dimensions--rhythm and grouping, melodic structure, harmony, and motivic structure--and it will concern itself with the varying conditions of interdependence and independence that exist among them," he said.
Joel Hirschhorn, an associate member of the Broad Institute, has received the Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award. The award recognizes the achievements of scientists and physician scientists embarking on careers investigating the diseases that affect children. Hirschhorn, who is also an assistant professor of genetics and pediatrics at Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has gained recognition for his research on the inherited factors leading to increasingly common childhood diseases including obesity and type-2 diabetes. At the Broad Institute, he is a member of the Medical and Population Genetics Program.
Professor of Biology Eric S. Lander published the greatest number of Hot Papers (eight) in 2002-03, according to the latest issue of Science Watch newsletter. Hot Papers are those that are most frequently cited by other researchers in their work. Lander's research on the initial sequencing of the mouse genome for Nature is currently ranked the second-hottest paper in biology with 62 citations from September to October 2003. Another Lander paper published in Science, which examines haplotype blocks in the human genome, ranked 10th in biology. This is Lander's fourth consecutive appearance among the year's "hottest" authors.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 7, 2004.