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Seven from MIT elected to National Academy of Sciences

Seven MIT faculty members are among the 72 newly elected members and 18 foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Election to the NAS--a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to advancing science and its use for the general welfare--is considered a top honor for those in the science and engineering fields. Established in 1863, the NAS acts as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

The new NAS members from MIT are:

  • Edward A. Boyle, professor of ocean geochemistry, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Boyle's research focuses on trace metals and trace metal isotope ratios in the oceans, estuaries, rivers, and ice cores.
  • Stephen L. Buchwald, Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry. Buchwald's research combines techniques of organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry and organometallic chemistry to devise catalytic processes of use to organic synthesis.
  • Edward F. DeLong, professor of civil and environmental engineering and biological engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Delong's research is currently focused on applying contemporary genomic technologies to dissect complex microbial assemblages.
  • Marc A. Kastner, dean of the School of Science and Donner Professor of Science. Kastner's research interests include studying the motion of electrons in nanometer-size semiconductor structures and in transition-metal oxides.
  • Frank T. Leighton, professor of applied mathematics, Department of Mathematics. Leighton is one of the world's preeminent authorities on algorithms for network applications. He holds numerous patents involving cryptography, digital rights management and algorithms for network.
  • Timothy M. Swager, head of the Department of Chemistry and John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry. Swager's research looks into supramolecular and materials chemistry with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies.
  • Jack L. Wisdom, professor of planetary sciences, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Wisdom's research includes long-term evolution of the orbits and spins of the planets and natural satellites, qualitative behavior of dynamical systems, chaotic behavior and dynamics of planetary rings.

Today's election brings the total active number of NAS members to 2,041, with 397 active, non-voting foreign associates.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 7, 2008 (download PDF).

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