MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


Over the past year, the MIT community experienced a number of noteworthy changes in its academic and administrative leadership.

The most notable was the decision by Paul E. Gray to relinquish his role as Chairman of the MIT Corporation, a position he had held since 1990. His achievements as chairman cap a lifetime of unparalleled service to the MIT community. After earning three degrees from MIT, Dr. Gray began his teaching career here in 1960 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He advanced quickly through the faculty ranks, assuming a number of challenging administrative roles as well. In 1971, Dr. Gray was named Chancellor, and in 1980 became MIT's fourteenth President. He continues his service to the Institute as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Life Member of the Corporation, which has also accorded him the special title of Honorary Chairman. A wise, passionate, and dedicated leader, Paul Gray remains one of the most effective advocates for the interests of the undergraduate community, which he describes as "our future and our legacy to the world." While his title may have changed, he continues to be what he has always been - one of the Institute's most valued leaders and one of its best-loved citizens.

Alexander V. d'Arbeloff, co-founder and chairman of Teradyne, Inc., was elected by the MIT Corporation to succeed Dr. Gray as Chairman. A member of the Corporation since 1989, and Life Member since 1994, Mr. d'Arbeloff '49 has also taught at the Sloan School of Management and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He brings to his new job a wide-ranging knowledge of high-technology industries, a solid understanding of MIT, the admiration of the Institute's faculty and staff, and extraordinary levels of energy and intellect.

Professor Lawrence S. Bacow of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning completed a highly productive two-year term as Chair of the MIT Faculty. Professor Bacow brought to his work energy, wisdom, diplomatic skill, and understanding of process, as well as an interest in all segments of the Institute community. He is succeeded as Faculty Chair by Professor Lotte Bailyn of the Sloan School of Management, an expert in the relationship between managerial practice and employee lives.

Kip V. Hodges, Professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, was appointed Dean of Undergraduate Curriculum. Professor Hodges will play an important role in shaping the newly reorganized Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education.

John S. Wilson, Jr., Director of Foundation Relations and School Development Services, was named to the new additional position of Assistant Provost for Outreach. He will work to strengthen and expand MIT's connections to students and faculty at historically black colleges and other institutions. Dr. Wilson also serves as associate housemaster at MacGregor Hall.

New academic department or program leaders whose service began during the year were Stephen A. Benton, Director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies; Michael M. J. Fischer, Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society; Robert M. Freund, Co-Director, Operations Research Center; Alex Paul Pentland, Head, Program in Media Arts and Sciences; and Stephen R. Tannenbaum, Head, Toxicology Program in the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Among key changes in the administration during the past year were the appointments of Bruce N. Anderson as Director of Industrial Relations; Bruce M. Bernstein as Director, Publishing Services Bureau; Stefano Falconi as Director of Budget and Financial Planning; Arnold R. Henderson as Section Head, Counseling and Support Services; Patrick W. Fitzgerald as Director of Cost Analysis; and James L. Morgan, III, as Controller.

Marilee Jones, Associate Director of Admissions, was named Interim Director of Admissions while a special committee began a search for a permanent successor to Dean of Admissions Michael Behnke, who left MIT for the University of Chicago. Elizabeth A. Reed was named Interim Director of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, following the retirement of Robert K. Weatherall, who had led the office since 1969.

As the year began, a number of reporting relationships within the administration were realigned. The Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs assumed oversight of Admissions, Athletics and Physical Education, the Bursar's Office, the Campus Activities Complex, Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, Housing and Food Services, the Registrar's Office, Student Financial Aid, and Student Information Systems. The inclusion of these activities in "the Dean's Office" unified the broad range of student services in a single organization, which was renamed the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education to reflect the expanded scope of activity.

The Office of Sponsored Programs began to report to the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, while the Medical Department began reporting to the Vice President for Human Resources.

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The faculty and staff of the Institute continued their tradition of high achievement and great distinction. The summaries which follow touch on only some of the honors bestowed on members of the MIT community during the past year.

Dr. Robert A. Weinberg, Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Department of Biology, an American Cancer Society Research Professor, and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, received the National Medal of Science for his pioneering achievements in understanding the genetic basis of human cancer. Dr. Weinberg led the research teams which identified the first known cancer-causing gene as well as first recognizing a tumor-suppressor gene, thereby paving the way to a whole new branch of research based on the recognition that cancer may be understood - and ultimately treated - as a result of genetic coding gone awry. The total of MIT faculty members to have received National Medals of Science or Technology now stands at 21.

One of MIT's most illustrious and generous benefactors, Mrs. Vera List, was awarded the National Medal of the Arts for her extensive philanthropy in support of art and the humanities at MIT and many other institutions. The List Visual Arts Center, the List Center Endowment Fund, the List Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, and the Institute's Writing Prize all owe their existence to gifts provided by Mrs. List in conjunction with the Albert A. List Foundation.

In recognition of their exceptional leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational and general intellectual life of the Institute and of the wider academic community, three professors were named Institute Professor, a title the Institute reserves for about a dozen faculty members of particular distinction. They are Peter A. Diamond, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics; Thomas L. Magnanti, George Eastman Professor of Management Science and Co-director of the Systems Design and Management Program; and Mario Molina, Professor of Chemistry, and Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Three members of the MIT faculty were elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS): Sylvia T. Ceyer, John C. Sheehan Professor of Chemistry; and Professors of Biology Peter S. Kim and Eric S. Lander. These elections bring to 107 the number of MIT faculty named to NAS membership, one of the highest distinctions accorded within the scientific community.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) also elected three MIT faculty to its ranks: Gerald R. Fink, a professor of medical genetics in the Department of Biology and director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; Mario Molina, whose research on the effects of man-made chemicals on the ozone layer earned him a 1995 Nobel Prize; and Steven R. Tannenbaum. The addition of Professors Fink, Molina, and Tannenbaum brings to 24 the number of MIT faculty among the IOM's 545 active members.

Thomas W. Eagar, POSCO Professor of Materials Engineering, and Henry M. Paynter, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, were elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), bringing the number of active and emeriti/ae Institute faculty in the NAE to 90.

Four MIT faculty members were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Ronald Latanision, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Director of the H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory, and Chairman of the Council on Primary and Secondary Education; William J. Mitchell, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning; Tomaso Poggio, Uncas and Helen Whitaker Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science; and Elizabeth Spelke, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science.

Associate Professor Michael Kremer of the Department of Economics was designated by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a 1997 MacArthur Fellow. Professor Kremer was given this coveted honor - known familiarly as the "genius grant" - for his work on wage inequality, differential rates of economic growth and development in emerging economies. He was also recognized for his accomplishments as a founder of WorldTeach, an organization that supplies teachers to developing regions and has offices in ten countries worldwide.

Continuing the Institute's tradition of national service, several members of the faculty were given significant appointments by the federal government. Institute Professor David Baltimore, 1975 Nobel laureate in medicine and Cottrell Professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology, was named to head the AIDS Vaccine Research Committee of the National Institutes of Health. Separately, as the year came to an end it was announced that Professor Baltimore would leave MIT in the autumn to become the President of the California Institute of Technology. Professor Daniel Hastings of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics was named Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force. Professor Phillip A. Sharp, Nobel laureate and head of the Department of Biology, was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board. Laurence R. Young, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics, was appointed Director of the new National Space Biomedical Research Institute of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Three members of the faculty were appointed MacVicar Faculty Fellows in recognition of their outstanding personal achievements as teachers and their dedication to the development of teaching excellence throughout the Institute. The new fellows are John M. Essigmann, Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology; Lowell E. Lindgren, Professor of Music; and Alan V. Oppenheim, Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Robert S. Langer, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, was awarded the 26th annual James R. Killian, Jr., Faculty Achievement Award. The selection committee cited Professor Langer for his leadership in the development of polymeric drug delivery systems that allow humans to receive drugs in a physiologically normal manner and his contributions to the field of tissue engineering.

Julie Dorsey, Associate Professor of Architecture, was named recipient for 1997-98 of the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes junior faculty members for distinction in teaching, research, and service to MIT. Professor Dorsey was recognized by the selection committee for a body of work which has advanced the science of computer graphics while furthering the practice of architecture with a rare combination of technical and artistic expertise.

The Gordon Y Billard Award, recognizing individuals who have performed special services of outstanding merit to MIT, went to Rolf Engler, Administrative Officer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and Paul Thomas, Technical Supervisor in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Mr. Engler has won the respect and affection of faculty, students, and staff alike through a combination of efficiency, service, professionalism, and compassion. Since 1992, Mr. Thomas' classroom demonstrations on magnetism and electricity have brought science to life and earned him the title among Boston schoolchildren of "Mr. Magnet."

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The Institute noted with regret and fond memory the passing during the year of former colleagues.

Herbert L. Beckwith, an alumnus and Professor Emeritus, was an accomplished architect who designed the Alumni Pool, Rockwell Cage, and nine other Institute buildings. In a career which spanned five decades, he brought modern architecture to MIT, founded a successful design firm, and served as acting Head of the Architecture Department. The designer of such notable buildings as the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, he also acted as associate to Eero Saarinen in the development of Kresge Auditorium and the Chapel. He died June 3, 1997, at his home in Kingston, Massachusetts, at the age of 94.

Joseph Bicknell, Emeritus Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, died in Kingman, Arizona on July 22, 1996, at the age of 84. Professor Bicknell served on the faculty for thirty years and was instrumental in developing the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel and testing aircraft designs there during World War II. Throughout his MIT career, he was a member of the Sailing Club and pursued a hobby in small-boat design, construction and repair. In retirement on the island of Port Aransas, Texas, he continued to work with small boats, while playing a key role in developing the community's first library and serving as a substitute teacher in the public schools.

Gordon S. Brown, Institute Professor Emeritus and Dean of the School of Engineering from 1958 to 1969, died in Tucson, Arizona on August 23, 1996. A pioneering electrical engineer and one of the most important figures in twentieth-century engineering education, Dr. Brown died two days before his 89th birthday. A native of Australia and MIT graduate, he joined the faculty in 1939 and became an American citizen that year. Through his work on automatic feedback-control systems and numerically-controlled machine tools, Dr. Brown helped transform modern industrial practice. His curricular innovations placed a strong emphasis on fundamental science disciplines such as physics and mathematics and continue to shape engineering curricula at MIT and elsewhere. Even after his retirement, he maintained a lively interest in education, helping to improve the teaching curriculum and computer resources for his local public school system.

Evsey D. Domar, Ford International Professor of Politics Emeritus, died on April 1, 1997 in Concord, Massachusetts. Dr. Domar was 82 years old and had been retired from MIT since 1984. Born in Poland and raised in Manchuria, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1936 at the age of 22. He held a BA from UCLA, MS degrees in mathematics from both the University of Michigan and Harvard, and a Harvard PhD in Economics. A full professor of economics at MIT from 1957 to 1984, he was an internationally recognized exponent of Keynesian theory and an expert in the economics of the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.

Albert G. Hill, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died in Needham, Massachusetts, on October 21, 1996 at the age of 86. A central figure in the development of radar, he helped lead the creation of the air defense and radar-based early-warning systems deployed by the U.S. military in the 1950s and 1960s. His long and remarkably diverse MIT career included service successively as Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics, Director of Lincoln Laboratory, Deputy Head of the Physics Department, Vice President for Research, and Director of the Plasma Fusion Center. Dr. Hill also presided over the 1973 transformation of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory into the independent Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, serving as the Chairman of the Draper board until 1982. Dr Hill was an early and effective advocate for equal opportunity and affirmative action programs at MIT, within his own department and for the Institute as a whole.

Professor Emeritus Irving Kaplan, a founding member of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, died at the age of 84 on April 10, 1997, at Massachusetts General Hospital. A member of the original Manhattan Project team, he was a founding member of the Federation of American Scientists, a group which was active in advocating the creation a civilian Atomic Energy Commission as an alternative to military control of nuclear energy. He had retired from MIT in 1978 but continued to teach as a senior lecturer until 1989. In addition to nuclear engineering, he developed and taught humanities subjects in fields including the history of science and Classical Greek.

Thomas H. D. Mahoney, Professor of History Emeritus and an expert on Edmund Burke, died in Palo Alto, California, on April 23, 1997. During his three decades on the faculty, he also held elective office in Cambridge and as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1971 to 1978. He served from 1979 to 1982 as the Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs. In his mid-seventies, he earned MA and PhD degrees in public administration and began consulting on issues of aging and urbanization, while maintaining an interest in Asian affairs. His death at the age of 83 came while he was returning from Seoul, Korea, where he had addressed the 97th Interparliamentary Union Conference.

James E. McCune died on December 13, 1996, in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Dr. McCune had retired earlier in the year as a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. A popular and enthusiastic teacher who won numerous teaching awards, Dr. McCune came to MIT as an associate professor in 1963 and was promoted to full professor in 1968. His skill in the design and study of jet turbine engines resulted in a Lawrence Sperry Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and his appointment as Director of MIT's Gas Turbine Laboratory in 1978-79. He was 65 years old.

J. Edward Vivian, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, died at the age of 83 on July 23, 1996, in Burlington, Vermont. A native of Montreal who had trained in his youth as a concert pianist, Dr. Vivian became interested in chemistry as a student at McGill University. He came to MIT in 1937, earning an SM and ScD in 1939 and 1945 and was a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1980. During World War II, he, like his faculty colleague Albert Hill, worked for the Department of Defense on the Manhattan Project. Throughout his academic career, he took a major interest in his department's Practice School program, which brings students, teachers, and industry professionals together to solve practical problems for the chemical engineering industry.

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97