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Three from MIT awarded 2024 Guggenheim Fellowships

MIT professors Roger Levy, Tracy Slatyer, and Martin Wainwright appointed to the 2024 class of “trail-blazing fellows.”
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Headshots of Roger Levy, Tracy Slatyer, and Martin Wainwright
2024 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellows include (left to right) Roger Levy, Tracy Slatyer, and Martin Wainwright.
Photos courtesy of the faculty.

MIT faculty members Roger Levy, Tracy Slatyer, and Martin Wainwright are among 188 scientists, artists, and scholars awarded 2024 fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Working across 52 disciplines, the fellows were selected from almost 3,000 applicants for “prior career achievement and exceptional promise.”

Each fellow receives a monetary stipend to pursue independent work at the highest level. Since its founding in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has awarded over $400 million in fellowships to more than 19,000 fellows. This year, MIT professors were recognized in the categories of neuroscience, physics, and data science.

Roger Levy is a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Combining computational modeling of large datasets with psycholinguistic experimentation, his work furthers our understanding of the cognitive underpinning of language processing, and helps to design models and algorithms that will allow machines to process human language. He is a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Tracy Slatyer is a professor in the Department of Physics as well as the Center for Theoretical Physics in the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. Her research focuses on dark matter — novel theoretical models, predicting observable signals, and analysis of astrophysical and cosmological datasets. She was a co-discoverer of the giant gamma-ray structures known as the “Fermi Bubbles” erupting from the center of the Milky Way, for which she received the New Horizons in Physics Prize in 2021. She is also a recipient of a Simons Investigator Award and Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

Martin Wainwright is the Cecil H. Green Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics, and affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and Statistics and Data Science Center. He is interested in statistics, machine learning, information theory, and optimization. Wainwright has been recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Medallion Lectureship and Award from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the COPSS Presidents’ Award from the Joint Statistical Societies. Wainwright has also co-authored books on graphical and statistical modeling, and solo-authored a book on high dimensional statistics.

“Humanity faces some profound existential challenges,” says Edward Hirsch, president of the foundation. “The Guggenheim Fellowship is a life-changing recognition. It’s a celebrated investment into the lives and careers of distinguished artists, scholars, scientists, writers and other cultural visionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on and generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture as they do so.”

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