Associate Professor of Biology Angelika Amon delivered MIT's annual Sigma Xi lecture on May 5. Amon, an investigator in both the Center for Cancer Research and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, spoke about her work in "Understanding Chromosome Segregation," research that has revealed how normal cells apportion genetic material during cell division and how cancer cells can lose regulation of chromosome segregation during this process.
Amon, who joined the faculty in 1999, has received a Presidential Young Investigator Award and the NSF's Alan T. Waterman Award for the country's most outstanding scientist or engineer under 35. Sigma Xi was established in 1886 as a counterpart to Phi Beta Kappa in the fields of science and engineering.
The MIT chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, each year honors a junior faculty member whose research shows exceptional promise to contribute to human understanding and well-being. Recent awardees have been Linda Griffith, Dava Newman, Seth Lloyd and Franz-Josef Ulm.
March 19 was officially "Dr. Jonathan David Farley Day" in the City of Cambridge, as decreed by Mayor Michael Sullivan and the city council. On that day, Harvard University's Harvard Foundation presented Farley, visiting associate professor of applied mathematics at MIT, with its Distinguished Scientist of the Year award for outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of mathematics.
Farley's most recent accomplishments include the solution to a problem posed by Professor Richard Stanley of MIT in 1981, and a problem dating to 1971 posed by mathematician Richard Rado. His previous work included the solution to a problem posed by algebraist George GrÃ¤tzer in 1964. His work applying lattice theory to counterterrorism was recently profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Science News Online.
Farley, who earned degrees from Harvard and Oxford universities, was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in England in 2001-02, one of only four Americans to win the award that year.
Two MIT faculty members have received awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus of physics and electrical engineering is the recipient of the IEEE Founders Medal "for leadership across many fields of science and engineering through research and education, and for exceptional and unique contributions to the profession."
Professor Barbara H. Liskov, the Ford Professor of Engineering and associate head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been named the IEEE John von Neumann Medal recipient "for fundamental contributions to programming languages, programming methodology and distributed systems." Past winners from MIT include Dresselhaus, who won in 2003; the late Jerome B. Wiesner; and Corporation member Raymond S. Stata (S.B. 1957).
Howard Brenner, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering, received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 111th Commencement on May 9. The degree was awarded for "his outstanding intellectual achievements during a distinguished half-century career as a chemical engineering academic, and for his boldness in questioning the most basic assumptions of continuum fluid mechanics."
Five MIT faculty members have received Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The awards ($40,000 for a two-year period each) went to 166 young scientists and economists based on nominations by department chairs and other senior scholars. MIT's newest Sloan Fellows are assistant professors Timothy F. Jamison of chemistry, Michael J. Collins of electrical engineering and computer science, Jeffrey Viaclovsky of mathematics, and Hong Liu and Iain W. Stewart of physics.
Nancy L. Rose, professor of economics, has won a Guggenheim Fellowship. The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation appointed 185 U.S. and Canadian Fellows from more than 3,200 artists, scholars and scientists who applied. Her Guggenheim project is entitled "Regulatory Reform and Restructuring."
Three MIT researchers have received three-year fellowships from the Damon Runyan Cancer Research Foundation. Recipients are young scientists conducting research relating to the search for cancer causes, mechanisms, therapies and prevention. The three from MIT are Sokol A. Haxhinasto, a postdoctoral fellow working in Assistant Professor Luk Van Parijs' lab on synergy between self-antigen and the oncogene c-MYC in lymphomagenesis; Pardis Sabeti (S.B. 1997), a Harvard Medical School student and MIT Corporation member is a visiting scientist in Professor Eric Lander's Broad Institute lab on detecting rapidly evolving immunologic variants in the human genome from haplotype structure; and research affiliate Alice Tsang Shaw, working in Professor Tyler Jacks' lab on Ras signaling in embryogenesis and oncogenesis.
Sabeti and Sheila Tandon, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, have each received a $20,000 grant from the L'OrÃ©al USA for Women in Science Fellowship Program, launched in 2003 to help promising young women scientists at the beginning of their careers. The program is an extension of the L'OrÃ©al Group's global Women in Science initiative, which recognizes the contributions by women scientists and encourages more women to adopt science as a career. Tandon earned her bachelor's degree from Cooper Union and is working on novel optical devices at MIT on a Presidential Fellowship.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 19, 2004 (download PDF).