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Awards, honors and fellowships

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The Wall Street Journal

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has awarded Prof. Regina Barzilay a $1 million prize for her work advancing the use of AI in medicine, reports John McCormick for The Wall Street Journal. "Regina is brilliant, has very high standards, and is committed to helping others,” says Prof. James Collins. “And I think her experience with—her personal experience with cancer—has motivated her to apply her intellectual talents to using AI to advance health care.”

Associated Press

The AP highlights how Prof. Regina Barzilay has been named the inaugural winner of a new award given by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence for her work “using computer science to detect cancer and discover new drugs has won a new $1 million award for artificial intelligence.”


Prof. Regina Barzilay has been named the inaugural recipient of the Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Humanity for her work developing new AI techniques to help improve health care, reports Rebecca Robbins for STAT. Robbins writes that Barzilay is focused on turning the “abundance of research on AI in health care into tools that can improve care.”


Prof. Lisa Piccirillo, The Engine CEO Katie Rae, and several MIT alumni are among the community members honored as part of Wired25, an annual list compiled by Wired that spotlights people who are working to make the world a better place.

Scientific American

Prof. Emeritus Daniel Freedman has been awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for his work devising the theory of supergravity, reports Philip Ball for Scientific American. Freedman notes that the award, “takes the cake—it is the cap of my long career.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Martin Finucane reports that Prof. Emeritus Daniel Freedman has been named a recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for his discovery of supergravity. “The discovery of supergravity was the beginning of including quantum variables in describing the dynamics of spacetime,” explains Edward Witten, chairman of the selection committee.

Fast Company

Boston Celtic Jaylen Brown and Michael Tubbs, the 28-year-old mayor of Stockton, CA, will be two of the MIT Media Lab’s 2019 Directors Fellows. As part of the program, they “will work with the lab’s students and faculty to personally take on the kinds of problems that they want to fix,” writes Claire Miller for Fast Company.

Fast Company

Profs. Dina Katabi and Angelika Amon are included in the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s annual list of “Great Immigrants, Great Americans,” reports Ben Paynter for Fast Company. “Carnegie’s Great Immigrants roster continues to highlight the people who’ve made the best of a new opportunity—and represent the best in all of us,” writes Paynter.

Smithsonian Magazine

Profs. Michael Strano and Sheila Kennedy have developed an exhibit for the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, which explores how Strano’s glowing plant research could be part of a sustainable energy future. “The pair is one of 62 design teams involved in the [Triennial], which highlights innovative ways humans are engaging with nature,” writes Emily Matchar for Smithsonian

Financial Times

The Financial Times has named Prof. Tim Berners-Lee its "Boldness in Business" Person of the Year for his work aimed at providing people with more control over how their personal data is used online, reports John Thornhill. “We know how to fire rockets into the sky. We should be able to build constructive social networks,” says Lee.


The Media Lab presented its Disobedience Award to several leading figures behind the #MeToo movement, including two scientists who have helped to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the field of science, reports Meredith Wadman for Science.

Boston Globe

Undergraduate Riley Quinn has been named the recipient of the Jerry Nason Award, reports Craig Larson for The Boston Globe. Larson explains that the award is “presented to a senior who succeeds in football against all odds,” adding that Quinn “was a four-year player at MIT, snaring three interceptions.”


Prof. Angelika Amon, winner of a 2019 Breakthrough Prize, speaks with Nature about her reaction to winning the prize and her research investigating the consequences of a cell having the wrong number of chromosomes. Amon explains that that next big challenge for her work is to “figure out how these changes in copy number affect cancer.”

Boston Herald

Prof. Angelika Amon is honored as one of the recipients of this year’s Breakthrough Prize for her work determining “how extra or missing chromosomes in a person’s genetic makeup can lead to disease,” reports Olivia Vanni for the Boston Herald.

National Geographic

National Geographic reporter Nadia Drake highlights the work of Prof. Angelika Amon, winner of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. “I’m extremely grateful to have been selected,” says Amon. “I’m the representative of all the people who work with me over the years, who this prize is really for—my students and postdocs and trainees, really, they are the winners here.”