Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
A prestigious award that has gone to such notables as Alexander Graham Bell and Orville Wright has been presented to a 91-year-old MIT emeritus professor of chemical engineering, Hoyt C. Hottel.
Professor Hottel, who comes in to MIT almost daily from his home in Winchester, went to Atlanta, GA, to receive the award-the 1994 John Fritz Medal-at the spring national meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering.
The John Fritz Medal, established in 1902 in honor of one of America's pioneers in the iron and steel industry, is awarded by five engineering societies representing civil, mining, petroleum. mechanical, electrical and electronics, and chemical engineers.
Professor Hottel was cited "for seminal contributions to theoretical understanding and to engineering applications in the fields of combustion, radiant heat transfer, and nonconventional fuels."
He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
The Department of Chemical Engineering this past year added a new chair, the Hottel Development Chair, for a new faculty member. And each year a scholar is invited to spend a week at MIT with graduate students on energy-related problems, and give the Hottel Lecture.
Other Fritz Medal winners from MIT have included Vannevar Bush and four chemical engineering faculty members-Crawford H. Greenwalt, Warren K. Lewis, Manson Benedict and Ralph A. Landau.
Dr. Graham C. Walker, professor of biology, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy recognizes distinction in all areas of the microbiological sciences.
Geraldine Erman, a sculptor who is a lecturer in the Department of Architecture's Visual Arts Program, has received a 1994 Guggenheim Fellowship Award from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
The Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. The selection committee chose 147 artists, scholars and scientists from among 3,157 applicants for fellowships totaling more than $4 million.
Dr. Alexander Rich, Sedgwick Professor of Biophysics, has been elected a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded by Peter the Great and first met in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1725. The Academy reverted to its historical name following the dissolution of the Soviet Union; before that, it had been known as the USSR Academy of Sciences. The Academy currently more than 120 foreign members, among them Professors Victor Weisskopf and Samuel Ting of the Department of Physics and H. Gobind Khorana of the Departments of Chemistry and Biology.
Three MIT students-Giovanni M. Della-Libera of Miami, FL, Joseph N. Figueroa of Santurce, PR, and Ben Y. Reis of Brookline, MA-have been awarded scholarships for the 1994-95 school year by Microsoft Corporation.
This year 38 college students and four high school students across the United States and Canada received monetary awards totaling $338,000 as part of the company's annual scholarship program.
Mr. Della-Libera, a junior, and Mr. Figueroa, a sophomore, both majoring in computer science and mathematics, received Microsoft Minority Technical Scholarships of $26,075. Mr. Reis, a junior in computer science, received a $10,000 Microsoft Technical Scholarship.
Three juniors in mechanical engineering-Javier V. Banos of Levittown Toa Baja, PR, Alfred Hernandez of El Paso, TX, and Luis G. Ortiz of El Paso, TX-have been selected to receive National Science Foundation 1993 Incentives for Excellence Scholarship Prizes.
Norma McGavern, director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, participated in a panel discussion at the first annual University at Stony Brook Forum on Undergraduate Education.
The conference brought together students, educators and administrators from the nation's leading research institutions to discuss the interrelationship of undergraduate education, university research, scholarship and creative activities.
Ms. McGavern was one of four educators who described ways to offer research and creative experiences to undergraduates.
Harvard University Press has achieved an Honorable Mention from the professional and scholarly division of the Association of American Publishers for publishing Loren R. Graham's book, The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union. Dr. Graham, professor of the history of science in the Program in Science, Technology and Society, is one of the world's leading specialists on the development of Russian and Soviet science and technology. His book deals with the Soviet Union's "industrial promise and failure" as told through the life and work of a visionary engineer, Peter Palchinsky, a victim of the Stalin regime, according to the publisher.
Dr. Michael S. Kremer, assistant professor of economics, will spend the 1994-95 academic year as a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. The fellowship offers junior scholars time free from teaching to pursue original research. Professor Kremer's project is entitled AIDS, Externalities and Public Policy.
Dr. Chi-Sang Poon, a principal research scientist in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, has received a fellowship from the International Human Frontier Science Program to conduct collaborative basic research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.
At its recent annual awards dinner, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State University presented the Hosler Alumni Scholar Medal to Dr. Jack B. Howard of chemical engineering in recognition of his research achievements in energy science and technology. His research is in areas of flame synthesis of materials, combustion chemistry, gasification and the formation of fullerenes. Professor Howard received the PhD degree from Penn State in 1965.
A version of this article appeared in the May 4, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 31).