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Awards, honors and fellowships

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Forbes

MIT has been rated the world’s best university by the QS World University Rankings for the 11th year in a row, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. “MIT’s success takes the spotlight as the world’s preeminent university and the US shines as the world’s superlative higher education system,” says Ben Sowter, QS Senior Vice President.

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe honored a number of MIT faculty and alumni in their Tech Power Players 50, a list of the “most influential – and interesting – people in the Massachusetts technology scene.” MIT honorees include Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, Senior Lecturer Brian Halligan, Professor Tom Leighton, Professor Silvio Micali, Katie Rae (CEO and managing partner for The Engine), and Professor Daniela Rus (director of CSAIL and deputy dean of research for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing). 

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights the work of Prof. Silvio Micali, who has been honored as one of The Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 for his work in computer science and cryptography. “Micali decided to come up with a more elegant version of the underlying [cryptocurrency] technology, the public database of transactions known as the blockchain,” writes Pressman. “He formed a new startup, Algorand, to pursue a blockchain that would go far beyond bitcoin while reducing costs and electricity usage and speeding up transaction processing.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert ’77 has been selected as one of The Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 for his work in artificial intelligence and robotics, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. Raibert recalls how his fascination with developing robot legs was cultivated at MIT. “I went to a presentation where someone showed a very slow-moving legged robot,” said Raibert. “I thought, wow, people and animals aren’t anything like that. ... People and animals have such fantastic locomotion. That was a thing to try to emulate and achieve.”

The Nobel Podcast

Prof. Joshua Angrist speaks with The Nobel Podcast host Adam Smith about his career in economics and how winning the Nobel Prize has impacted his life. “I never stop thinking about my work,” says Angrist.

WHDH 7

MIT was ranked the best value college in Massachusetts by SmartAsset, reports Frank O’Laughlin for WHDH 7. The ranking compared “educational institutions across five metrics, including scholarships, starting salary, tuition, living costs, and retention rate to identify colleges in the Bay State that offer the best return on student investment,” writes O’Laughlin.

Stat

STAT has named Noubar Afeyan ’87, Cornelia Bargmann PhD ’87, Prof. Regina Barzilay and Prof. Sangeeta N. Bhatia to their list of trailblazing researchers working in the life sciences. “Many of the STATUS List are well-known as change makers; others are largely unheralded heroes. But all have compelling stories to tell,” writes STAT.

AP- The Associated Press

Astrophysicist Kelly Korreck will be honored at The Smithsonian during Women’s History Month as they commemorate women who have excelled in STEM fields, reports Ashraf Khalil for the AP. “3-D printed statues will be displayed in the Smithsonian Gardens and in select museums in the Smithsonian network from March 5-27,” writes Khalil.

Science

Prof. Mircea Dincǎ, Prof. Evelyn Ning-Yi Wang, Prof. Ian W. Hunter, Prof. Guoping Feng, and Senior Research Scientist David H. Shoemaker were elected as Fellows of AAAS for their efforts on behalf of the advancement of science and its applications to better serve society, reports Science.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Stephanie MacConnell spotlights the work of research affiliate Shriya Srinivasan PhD '20 in a roundup of women under the age of 30 who are transforming U.S. healthcare. Srinivasan is “working on technology that will enable patients to control and even ‘feel’ sensation through their prosthetic limb,” notes MacConnell.

Physics World

A number of MIT researchers were named as top ten finalists for the Physics World 2021 Breakthrough of the Year. Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle and his colleagues were honored for their work in “independently observing Pauli blocking in ultracold gases of fermionic atoms” and astronomers with the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration were honored for “creating the first image showing the polarization of light in the region surrounding a supermassive black hole.” 

Forbes

Forbes has named Paul Cheek, a lecturer and the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship to their list of the 30 Under 30 Leading The Green Energy Transition. “On a mission to end plastic pollution, Paul cofounded Oceanworks to be a global marketplace for facilitating trade in recycled plastic.”. 

Stat

Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins, who has made “significant strides in molecular biology and a tireless advocate for gender equity in science,” has been named the recipient of STAT’s 2021 Biomedical Innovation Award, reports Isabella Cueto for STAT. “It’s very easy to forget how much progress there has been because we haven’t arrived where we’d like to be,” said Hopkins at the 2021 STAT Summit, where she was honored. “So we see the problems that still lie ahead. But you periodically have to pause and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, look how far we came.’”

GBH

Prof. Taylor Perron, a recipient of one of this year’s MacArthur fellowships, speaks with Callie Crossley of GBH’s Under the Radar about his work studying the mechanisms that shape landscapes on Earth and other planets. “We try to figure out how we can look at landscapes and read them, and try to figure out what happened in the past and also anticipate what might happen in the future,” says Perron of his work as a geomorphologist.

GBH

Prof. Jon Gruber speaks with Jared Bowen and Jim Braude of GBH about his colleague and former thesis advisor Prof. Joshua Angrist, who recently was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited over someone’s professional accomplishment as I’ve been for Josh to win this award. It’s just incredibly exciting,” says Gruber.