Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Three appointments to career development professorships have been announced by Provost Mark S. Wrighton. All the appointments are for three-year terms.
Assistant Professor J. Robert Fricke of the Department of Ocean Engineering has been selected to be the next holder of the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Professorship in Energy Studies.
Assistant Professor Hugh L. McManus of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics has been appointed the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor.
Assistant Professor Paraskevas Sphicas of the Department of Physics has been named to be the next Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professor.
Professor Fricke received his PhD through the joint MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution program. He also holds the BS in biomedical engineering (1974) and the MS in electrical engineering (1977) from Vanderbilt University. He focuses his research and teaching on acoustics, numerical modeling and automomous underwater vehicles. From 1977 to 1985, Professor Fricke was with Atlantic Richfield Co. in Plano, TX, as a research engineer and as director of marine systems and standards, developing support systems for the research vessel M/V ARCO Resolution. Since coming to MIT he has developed methods to use acoustics to study the underside of sea ice in the Arctic. In addition, he has developed seismic modeling and processing algorithms for massively parallel computers.
Professor McManus concentrates his research and teaching on the use of advanced materials in high-performance structures for extreme aerospace environments, with an emphasis on modeling the interaction between material behavior and structural performance. His appointment to the professorship recognizes leadership in heading the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics initiative in the "implicit curriculum" which encompasses design, modeling skill, self-education, computer literacy, teamwork, communications, and responsibility and social context. He received the SB (1980) and the SM (1981) from MIT in aeronautical engineering and the PhD (1990) from Stanford University in mechanical engineering. He joined MIT in 1991 after seven years with Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. in Sunnyvale, CA, as a structures engineer.
Professor Sphicas, who received the SB (1984) and the PhD (1988) from MIT, is a particle physicist. He led the group of 18 MIT scientists who were part of an international team working at the Fermi Laboratory which recently announced the first direct evidence for the top quark. The top quark is the last to be verified of the six subatomic particles believed to be the building blocks of matter. Before joining MIT, Professor Sphicas was a Wilson Fellow at the Fermi Laboratory (1990-91) and a scientific associate at CERN (1988-90).
A version of this article appeared in the June 29, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 37).