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Awards & Honors

Hyunjune Sebastian Seung, a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, has been honored with the Ho-Am Prize for his pioneering work on developing the Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (NMF) for unsupervised learning in artificial intelligence. The prizes are given to individuals who have contributed to academics, the arts and social development.

Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology faculty member Steven E. Locke was awarded the Ronnie Stangler Award for Innovation by the American Association of Technology in Psychiatry, an affiliate of the American Psychiatric Association, at its annual meeting held May 3 in Washington, D.C. The AATP Technology Innovation Award is presented to "individuals who have shown creativity and innovation in applying technology to the practice of psychiatry and medicine."

Two MIT professors--John Charles Marshall, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and Roger Everett Summons, professor of geobiology--were among the 44 newly elected fellows of Britain's Royal Society.

MIT Federal Credit Union recently announced the recipients of its People Helping People Award and Memorial Scholarships, which included two current members of the MIT community.

Marta Fernandez Suarez, a doctoral candidate in chemistry, is this year's People Helping People Award recipient. While conducting important cellular imaging research within the chemistry department, she also serves as a formal mentor for other MIT students. In addition, she volunteers her time as a teaching assistant at science labs in the Cambridge Public Schools.

Troy Rurak, an MIT sophomore, received one of six $1,000 Memorial Scholarships from MIT's Credit Union. Rurak plans to spend the summer in Thailand conducting biological research. After completing graduate and medical school down the line, he intends to become an anesthesiologist at a Boston-area hospital. The other five scholarship winners included high school students from across the country.

Arthur J. Conner Professor of History Harriet Ritvo '68, PhD '75, will be honored with a Graduate Society Award from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University during its annual Radcliffe Day, which is the Institute's annual celebration of women, as well as the alumnae and fellows of Radcliffe College and the Radcliffe Institute.

The American Society for Microbiology has presented MIT professors Dianne K. Newman and Edward F. DeLong with the Eli Lilly and Company Research Award and the Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, respectively.

Newman, the Wilson Professor of Biology and Geobiology, was recognized for fundamental research of unusual merit in microbiology or immunology by an individual on the threshold of his or her career.

DeLong, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and biological engineering, was recognized for distinguished achievement in research and development in applied and environmental microbiology.

The MIT weather forecasting team again won first prize in the national collegiate weather-forecasting contest, WxChallenge, run by the University of Oklahoma. This year's team was young, including nine undergraduates, four graduates and two staff members. For more details see

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 2008 (download PDF).

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