In Special Recognition
The academic year 2001–2002 saw a number of changes to MIT's senior academic and administrative leadership.
J. David Litster stepped down from his position as vice president and dean for research. During ten years in that role, Professor Litster made a major contribution to maintaining the excellence of MIT's large interdepartmental laboratories during a turbulent period of changing federal research support and priorities. A physicist recognized internationally for pioneering experimental and theoretical studies of phase transitions in unusual states of matter and statistical mechanics, he will return to research and teaching.
Alice Petry Gast joined the Institute as vice president for research and associate provost, with responsibility for the coordination of policy regarding research and graduate education, as well as oversight of the large laboratories that operate across school boundaries. Formerly a member of the faculty at Stanford University, Professor Gast also assumed the Robert T. Haslam Professorship of Chemical Engineering.
Claude R. Canizares, the director of the Center for Space Research and the Bruno Rossi professor of physics, was appointed associate provost. In his new position, he assumed primary responsibility for the oversight of MIT Lincoln Laboratory on behalf of the provost as well as a major role in the Institute's relationships with the federal government, particularly the major funding agencies in the executive branch. He also assumed oversight of space usage and planning, as well as responsibilities traditionally held by the associate provost, including handling confidential investigations on behalf of the president and provost.
Professor Wesley L. Harris was appointed one of the co-chairs of the Institute-wide Council on Faculty Diversity, charged with formulating plans for the recruitment and advancement of women and minority faculty throughout the Institute. The other co-chairs are Nancy H. Hopkins, the Amgen professor of biology, and the provost. Professor Harris succeeds Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, who remains a member of the council.
Two new associate deans began service during the academic year—in the School of Architecture and Planning, associate professor of architecture Terry W. Knight, and in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, professor of political science Charles Stewart III.
New academic department or program leaders whose service began during the year were Rohan Abeyaratne and Thomas G. Gutowski, respectively head and associate head, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Stephen A. Benton, academic head, Program in Media Arts and Sciences; Robert Kanigel, acting head, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; Steven R. Lerman, deputy director, Singapore-MIT Alliance; Barbara H. Liskov, associate head, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Chiang C. Mei, acting head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Elizabeth A. Wood, director, Program in Women's Studies.
Susan L. Lindquist, formerly of the University of Chicago, joined the Department of Biology and was elected director of the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, succeeding Professor Gerald R. Fink, who completed a decade of distinguished service as director. Other notable changes in the leadership of research activities included the appointments of Cynthia Barnhart, co-director, Center for Transportation Studies; Charles L. Cooney, faculty director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation; Jacqueline N. Hewitt, director, Center for Space Research; Tyler E. Jacks and Jacqueline Lees, respectively director and associate director, Center for Cancer Research; and Victor W. Zue, interim director, Laboratory of Computer Science.
Among notable changes in the administration during the past year were the appointments of John DiFava, chief, Campus Police; Anne H. Margulies, executive director, MIT OpenCourseWare; Amitava (Babi) Mitra, executive director, Academic Media Production Services; and Elizabeth A. Reed, director, Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising.
The awards received by MIT faculty, students, and staff testify to the distinction of the Institute's programs and its people. Here we note only some of the honors and recognition earned by members of the Institute community during 2001–2002.
Wolfgang Ketterle, the John D. MacArthur professor of physics, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for 2001, sharing the honor with two MIT alumni, Eric A. Cornell of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Carl E. Wiemann of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized the three for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation and early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates—a new state of matter in which the atoms of a supercooled gas lose their individual identities and act as a matter wave displaying uniform behavior. A total of eight graduates, faculty, and former faculty from MIT were awarded Nobel Prizes in 2001, in chemistry, economics, medicine, and peace as well as physics.
Ann M. Graybiel, who holds the Walter A. Rosenblith Professorship of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and is a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, was among those awarded the 2001 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor in science and technology. Separately, her MIT colleagues awarded Professor Graybiel the James R. Killian Faculty Achievement Award for 2002. Professor Graybiel's research on the large forebrain region known as the basal ganglia has had a profound impact on studies of the functional anatomy and physiology of the brain, and offers promise of new understandings of the scientific substrate for human disorders affecting movement and cognition.
The National Academy of Engineering awarded Robert S. Langer, the Germeshausen professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, the Charles Stark Draper Prize, which recognizes innovative engineering achievement for a body of work extending over a period of years, with a proven contribution to human welfare. Professor Langer was honored for his invention of medical drug-delivery technologies that prolong lives and ease the suffering of millions of people every year.
The Institute's Lincoln Laboratory, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of service to the nation in 2002, was honored with the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld cited the laboratory for contributions to the development of critical defense capabilities that have enhanced the nation's security and for strengthening the nation's economy through the transition of innovative technologies to industry. This was only the second time that the medal, normally given to an individual, has been presented to an organization; the first time was in honor of the laboratory's twenty-fifth anniversary.
MIT reserves the title of Institute Professor for a small number of faculty members of particular distinction, who are recognized by their peers for exceptional leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute and of the wider academic community. In the spring of 2002, Emilio Bizzi, the Eugene McDermott professor in the brain sciences and human behavior, and a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, was named Institute Professor in recognition of pioneering work in the field of motor control and sustained contributions to the academic and community life of MIT.
Three members of the MIT faculty were elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in American science. John P. Grotzinger, the Schrock professor of earth sciences, and Vernon M. Ingram, the John D. MacArthur professor of biology, were elected members. Wolfgang Ketterle was elected a foreign associate, a category of nonvoting membership open to those without US citizenship.
Five members of the MIT faculty were elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Professors Joshua Cohen of the Departments of Philosophy and Political Science; James G. Fujimoto of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Alice P. Gast; Michael J. Hopkins of the Department of Mathematics; and Philip S. Khoury of the Department of History, Kenan Sahin dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Also elected to membership was senior research scientist David D. Clark.
The National Academy of Engineering elected to membership four current or emeritus members of the Institute Faculty: Professors Berthold K. P. Horn of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Klavs F. Jensen of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, James C. Keck of Mechanical Engineering, and Subra Suresh of Materials Science and Engineering.
Senior research scientist Timothy J. Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science, received two major awards this past year: the Japan Prize in the field of computing and computational science and engineering, awarded by the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan, and the inaugural Sir Frank Whittle Medal of the United Kingdom's Royal Academy of Engineering.
International scholarships recognized MIT students for their demonstrated accomplishments and remarkable promise of achievement. Senior Sanjay Basu and alumnus Paul K. Njoroge ‘00 were both awarded Rhodes Scholarships for study at Oxford University, while senior Daniel P. Riordan received a Churchill Scholarship for study at the University of Cambridge.
MIT president Charles M. Vest was appointed to President George W. Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Dr. Vest served on President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology from 1993 to 2001.
This year, five members of the faculty were named MacVicar Faculty Fellows in honor of their accomplishments and innovative methods as teachers: Professors Alan H. Guth of Physics, Steven R. Hall of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Kip V. Hodges of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Nancy G. Kanwisher of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and David Thorburn of Literature.
Peter H. Seeberger, the Firmenich career development assistant professor of chemistry, was presented with the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes junior faculty for achievements in teaching, research, and service to the MIT community.
This year the Institute presented the Gordon Y Billard Award to three members of the staff in recognition of special services of outstanding merit: Steven M. Dimond, manager of the Copy Technology Centers; Charlene M. Placido, assistant dean for research; and Albert J. Guarino, dormitory housekeeper in Next House.
The accomplishments and honors of MIT's current faculty, staff, and students are the latest link forged in an unbroken chain of distinguished lifetime achievement by members of the MIT community. Each year at this time, we recognize the many contributions to MIT—and to the larger society it serves—made by current and former colleagues who have recently passed away. Their sterling legacy remains a source of inspiration for all of us, and for future generations of the MIT family.
Computer visionary Michael L. Dertouzos, professor of computer science and electrical engineering and director of the Laboratory of Computer Science (LCS), died on August 27, 2001, at the age of 64. Born in Athens, Greece, he came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Arkansas. After earning his doctorate at MIT, he rose through the faculty ranks, becoming a full professor in 1973. He became director of LCS in 1974, and under his leadership the laboratory helped develop such innovations as time-shared computers, RSA encryption, and the ArpaNet. Throughout his career Professor Dertouzos believed that computer technology would not achieve its full potential until its development was more closely integrated with human values and needs. He was responsible for bringing the World Wide Web Consortium to MIT, and in 1999 he launched an ambitious partnership between LCS and the Artificial Intelligence Lab—Project Oxygen—to make computer usage a more natural and ubiquitous part of daily living.
Peter Elias, the Edwin S. Webster professor emeritus of electrical engineering, whose work in the coding and transmission of binary data became a cornerstone for much of modern digital communications technology, died at the age of 78 on December 7, 2001. Born in New Jersey, he earned his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1944 . After Navy service, he received two master's degrees and his PhD from Harvard University, returning to MIT in 1953 as an assistant professor. Appointed associate professor in 1956, he became a full professor in 1960 and that same year became the youngest person to head the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He joined the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1976. Throughout his career, he engaged in public and professional service work, serving on the President's Science Advisory Committee on Computers in Higher Education and chairing the Information Theory Group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He was co-founder and a longtime editor of the journal Information and Computation.
Professor emeritus of music David M. Epstein died on January 15, 2002, at the age of 71. A 1952 graduate of Antioch College, he held graduate degrees from the New England Conservatory, Brandeis University, and Princeton University, where he received a PhD in 1968. After teaching at Antioch and at Sarah Lawrence College, he joined the MIT faculty in 1965 as associate professor. Beloved conductor of the MIT Symphony Orchestra for a third of a century, he also served as music director of orchestras in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Worcester, Massachusetts, and appeared as a guest conductor with more than two dozen orchestras in nine countries. He was appointed a full professor in 1971 and served two terms as head of the Department of Music during the 1980s. His research on the role of time and motion in music throughout the world led to the publication of two books on the subject and a visiting fellowship at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.
F. Leroy Foster, a leader in the organization of research at MIT, died on December 31, 2001, at the age of 99. A Massachusetts native, he earned three MIT degrees and served as assistant professor of mining and metallurgy from 1931 to 1940. In 1939 Dr. Foster became assistant director of the Institute's Division of Industrial Cooperation (DIC). At the time, DIC oversaw 25 research contracts totaling $200,000; by 1945, it had grown to manage 150 projects with a value of $40 million—nearly $395 million in 2002 dollars. Dr. Foster was named director of the DIC in 1955 and a year later became director of the newly formed Division of Sponsored Research, which absorbed DIC. He retired from DSR in 1968, but remained active as the head of the Lowell Institute School and as a staunch supporter of the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae, which awarded him its highest honor, the Bronze Beaver, in 1959.
Samuel A. Goldblith, former professor of food science and technology and Institute vice president, died on December 28, 2001, at the age of 82. As a lieutenant in the US Army, he endured the notorious 1942 Bataan Death March and three years as a prisoner of the Japanese. A member of the Class of 1940, he credited his MIT education with helping to preserve his and others' lives during his captivity: among other improvisations, he extracted vitamins from inedible grasses. Awarded two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star for heroism, he returned to MIT after the war to continue his studies, receiving an SM in 1947 and his PhD in 1949. He was named a professor of food science and technology in 1959 and became a leading researcher in the domestic use of microwave ovens and in freeze-drying. He directed the Industrial Liaison Program from 1974 to 1976 and was MIT's vice president of resource development from 1978 to 1986. His many legacies to MIT include the Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Professorship and the MIT Japan Office, which he helped to establish in 1976 as part of his personal effort to heal postwar enmity between the United States and Japan.
Professor of modern languages and linguistics Kenneth L. Hale, an expert on the common characteristics of native languages around the world, died on October 8, 2001, at the age of 67. He learned that he had a gift for languages while in school in Arizona with speakers of Native American languages. By the time he had graduated from the University of Arizona, he was well on his way to mastering what would ultimately total over 50 languages. He went on to earn an MA and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Indiana-Bloomington, embarking on a career that included research on aboriginal languages in Australia and academic appointments at the University of Illinois-Urbana and the University of Arizona. He joined MIT in 1967 and established himself as an expert in cross-linguistics and the universal principles of language formation. He was one of the world's foremost preservationists of endangered languages, which he viewed as priceless repositories of cultural knowledge and human history.
Alfred A. H. Keil, an authority on naval architecture who served as dean of the School of Engineering from 1971 to 1977, died on January 9, 2002, at the age of 88. Born in Germany, he received his doctorate from Friedrich Wilhelm University in 1939 and during the war years studied the physics and effects of underwater explosions. He worked for the US Technical Mission after the war, arriving in the United States in 1947 to join the Navy's Bureau of Ships, where he quickly won a reputation as an expert on ship protection and structural integrity. He came to MIT in 1966 to head the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (now Ocean Engineering), where he developed a joint degree program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and established MIT as the first private university to be designated a Sea Grant College. He retired, as Ford professor of engineering emeritus, in 1978. Dean Keil's broad vision of engineering education has cited as an inspiration for important innovations in teaching and research such as the establishment of the Engineering Systems Division and the new Undergraduate Professional Opportunities Program.
Institute Professor emeritus Gyorgy Kepes, an artist and aesthetic theorist who founded MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), died on December 29, 2001, at the age of 95. A native of Hungary, he attended Budapest's School of Arts before becoming a collaborator of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a principal figure in the Bauhaus Movement of the 1930s. He followed Moholy-Nagy from Berlin to Chicago, becoming head of the Department of Light and Color at the New Bauhaus. In 1946, he came to MIT as an associate professor of visual design. He was appointed full professor in 1949 and was named an Institute Professor in 1970. He founded CAVS in 1967 and served as its director until 1972. An advocate of new media for artistic expression, he made the Center a home for artists who employed lasers, holograms, plasma sculpture, and sky art to realize their creative visions. He himself was a prolific designer, sculptor, writer, and painter who won commissions and awards throughout the world. In the 1990s, the Hungarian government endowed a museum to house his paintings, and awarded him the Medal of Honor and the Middle Cross. MIT's Council for the Arts awards the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize annually to a member of the MIT community whose creative work reflects the vision and values of Professor Kepes.
Patrick Leehey, professor emeritus of mechanical and ocean engineering and founder of MIT's Acoustics and Vibration Laboratory, died on March 4, 2002, at the age of 80. He attended the University of Iowa and the US Naval Academy prior to embarking in 1942 on a naval career that included combat in the Pacific. After the war, he remained in the Navy while earning a PhD in applied mathematics from Brown University. He subsequently joined the Office of Naval Research in Washington, where he developed hydrofoil craft. By the early 1960s, he was directing the Navy's newly established Acoustics and Vibration Laboratory and had won national awards for his work in ship silencing. Retiring from the Navy in 1964 at the rank of captain, he took up a joint appointment as associate professor in MIT's Departments of Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering. Promoted to full professor in 1967, he taught graduate courses on flow noise, boundary layer theory, acoustics, and vibration. After his retirement in 1992, he continued to teach courses, including an Edgerton Center seminar in digital and darkroom imaging that combined his skills in computers and photography.
Professor of nuclear engineering Lawrence M. Lidsky died March 1, 2002, at the age of 66. A graduate of Cornell University, in 1962 he received a PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT and was appointed assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and full professor in 1976; in 1978, he became associate director of the Plasma Fusion Center. He resigned from the Plasma Fusion Center not long after he published in 1983 a trenchant analysis of the technical challenges inherent to fusion power. He went on to become a leading supporter of a Modular High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor, powered by fission and safe from meltdowns. Initially ignored, his proposals now enjoy growing popularity, with plants under development in Japan and elsewhere. A dedicated and effective teacher, he directed more than 80 graduate theses and was active in the MIT Faculty Newsletter, which he helped to establish. His love of science and engineering was apparent in every aspect of his life, from the design of kayaks to the making of his own wine.
Henry M. Paynter, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and developer of the Bond graph modeling language, died on June 14, 2002 at the age of 78. He spent his entire academic career at MIT, where he earned an SB in civil engineering in 1944, an SM in mathematics and science in 1949, and the ScD in hydroelectric engineering in 1951. Joining the Department of Civil Engineering in 1946, he became an assistant professor in 1951. He signed on half-time with the Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1954 to initiate a systems engineering curriculum, and by 1959 he was working full time in mechanical engineering. In 1960, he was promoted to associate professor; in 1964, full professor. Recognized in the analysis, design, and control of complex multimedia systems, he held six patents on tension-actuator based robotics technology. His awards included the Alfred Noble Prize of the Joint Engineering Societies in 1953 and the Oldenburger Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Professor Paynter was active in environmental causes, notably woodlands preservation; after retiring to Vermont he studied the career of Samuel Hopkins of that state, who in 1790 received the first patent issued by the new US government.
Robert J. Richardson, former member of the MIT Corporation and retired chairman of Bell Canada, Ltd., died on May 11, 2002. He received his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT in 1954 and was active in the MIT Alumni Association for many years. He served as a member of the Chemical Engineering Visiting Committee from 1978 to 1990, a member of the Corporation from 1985 to 1990, and a member of the Athletics Visiting Committee from 1993 to 1997. In addition, he was a regional chairman and national co-chair for the Campaign for MIT: 1988-1992. Prior to assuming the helm of Bell Canada, he was a vice president of DuPont. He served on a wide range of corporate and philanthropic boards, including those of the Trans-Canada Pipelines Co., New York Life Insurance Co. and the New York Life Foundation, Northern Telecom Ltd., the TD Bank Financial Group, Inco Ltd., the IMI Foundation, and the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal.
Walter A. Rosenblith, Institute Professor emeritus, former provost, and innovator in the use of computers and mathematical models to study brain function, died on May 1, 2002, at the age of 88. Born in Vienna, he studied there and throughout Europe, receiving degrees from the University of Bordeaux (1936) and the École Supérieure d'Électricité, Paris (1937). In 1939, he came to the United States to study the effect on humans of industrial noise. Prevented from returning to France by the outbreak of war, he taught physics at New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. In 1947, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory. He joined MIT in 1951 as an associate professor of communications biophysics in the Department of Electrical Engineering, became full professor in 1957, and was named Institute Professor in 1975. Chair of the MIT Faculty from 1967 to 1969, he served as associate provost from 1969 to 1971 and provost from 1971 to 1980. As provost, he played a central role in developing the health sciences and biomedical engineering at the Institute and in fostering attention to the interplay of science, technology, and society. One of the few scholars elected to all three of the national academies—Sciences, Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine—he received numerous awards including the French Legion of Honor, Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Medal, and the Okawa Prize. His contributions are recognized at MIT through a professorship established in his honor in 1994 and graduate fellowships named in his honor in 1997.
Professor emeritus of physics Felix M. H. Villars, a pioneer in biological physics and a leader in the development of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Sciences and Technology (HST), died on April 27, 2002, at the age of 81. Born in Switzerland, he graduated in 1945 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and went on to earn his doctorate there in 1946. From 1946 to 1949, he remained at ETH as a research assistant, collaborating with Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli to develop a method—still widely influential—for regulating mathematical singularities in quantum field theory and extracting finite physical results. He moved to the United States in 1949, serving a year's term as a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He began his MIT career as a research associate in 1950; he was appointed assistant professor in 1952, associate professor in 1955, and full professor in 1959. He served as chair of the Faculty from 1980 to 1983. He collaborated with Institute Professor Victor F. Weisskopf in studying the scattering of radio waves due to atmospheric turbulence, and with Institute Professor Herman Feshbach in studies of the effect of the earth's magnetic field on ionization in the atmosphere. Later in his career, he studied biology and applied rigorous mathematical analysis to elucidate the functioning of biological systems.
Manhattan Project alumnus and arms control advocate Victor F. Weisskopf, Institute Professor emeritus, died on April 21, 2002, at the age of 93. Born in Vienna, he received a PhD degree from the University of Göttingen in 1931. He served as a research associate at the University of Copenhagen, under Nils Bohr, and at the Institute of Technology in Zurich before coming to the United States in 1937 to teach at the University of Rochester. In 1943, he went to Los Alamos as a Manhattan Project group leader and associate head of the theory division on the exploitation of nuclear energy. He was appointed to the MIT faculty in 1945 but was granted a leave of absence to complete his work at Los Alamos; he arrived on campus a year later, as a full professor. After heading the theory group in MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science, he served from 1961 to 1965 as director-general of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. He was named Institute Professor on his return from Geneva in 1966. From 1967 to 1973, he served as head of the Department of Physics and, in 1973, on the eve of his retirement, he was named the James R. Killian Award Lecturer. One of the great figures in modern theoretical physics, Professor Weisskopf helped found the Federation of Atomic Scientists in 1944 and remained for the rest of his life an eloquent and effective proponent of arms control. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1980.
John M. Wynne, former vice president of the Institute, died on March 26, 2002, at the age of 81. Born in Kansas, he earned an AB from the University of Kansas in 1940 before beginning graduate studies at Stanford University. During World War II, he served as a Navy lieutenant in the Atlantic Fleet. He was a major in the Air Force during the Korean War and, as a civilian, worked for the Air Force in California while lecturing on industrial management at Sacramento State College. He received an SM in industrial management from MIT as a Sloan Fellow in 1956, returning to Sloan in 1958 as director of executive development programs. He was an associate dean from 1961 to 1967, when he was named vice president for organization systems. He served as MIT's vice president for administration and personnel from 1970 to 1980. After his retirement, he consulted on the redrafting of MIT's manual of policies and procedures, and joined the board of trustees of the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, where he contributed to the development of that institution's MBA and PhD programs in management.