MIT model explains how the brain can learn novel tasks while still remembering what it has already learned.
The 1997 Awards Convocation recognized achievements over the past year in areas including community service, teaching, contributions to fraternity/sorority life and to the Institute itself. Those awards and the recipients are as follows (sports, writing and arts awards appear elsewhere in this issue of Tech Talk):
William L. Stewart Jr. Awards, presented to students who have made outstanding contributions to extracurricular activities and events during the preceding year at MIT -- graduate students Ronald Cao of Kowloon, Hong Kong, and Jacob J. Seid of Mission Viejo, CA; Laura L. DePaoli, a senior from Woburn, MA; sophomores Areej Hassan of Longmeadow, MA, and Monisha Merchant of Lakewood, CO; junior Russell S. Light of Roslyn, NY; Carolyn E. Metzger, a senior from Arnold, MD; Jagruti S. Patel, a senior from London, KY; the Interfraternity Council, and Keys for Empowering Youth. The awards are provided under a grant from the W. L. Stewart Jr. Memorial Foundation in memory of Mr. Stewart, a member of the MIT Corporation from 1952 until his death in 1963.
James R. Killian Jr. Community Service Award, presented to the fraternity with the most outstanding community service program -- Kappa Alpha Theta.
Order of Omega New Member Education Award, recognizing the Interfraternity Council member organization that has implemented the most outstanding pledge/new member education program -- Phi Delta Theta.
Reid Weedon '41 Alumni Relations Award, presented to the Independent Living Group that has promoted the greatest interactions between its members and alumni/ae -- Zeta Beta Tau.
Frederick Gardiner Fassett Jr. Award, presented to the male and female members of the Interfraternity Council who have unselfishly demonstrated the qualities of spirit, dedication, and service in furthering the ideals of MIT fraternity brotherhood and sisterhood -- Lisa Ho, a senior from Toms River, NJ (Kappa Alpha Theta), and Joseph Lee, a senior from Warminster, PA (Sigma Chi).
Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement in MIT Education, presented to any member or group in the Institute community to honor significant innovations and improvements in MIT education -- "Sex Roles and Relationships" seminar, Dr. Holly Sweet and Dr. Lee Perlman of the Experimental Study Group. The award is named in honor of Irwin W. Sizer, dean of the Graduate School from 1967-75.
Frank E. Perkins Award, given to a professor who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for graduate students -- Professors Kenneth N. Stevens and George Verghese of electrical engineering and computer science. The award is named in honor of Frank E. Perkins, dean of the Graduate School from 1983-95.
Graduate Student Council Teaching Awards, given each year to one professor from each school for excellence in teaching, particularly with respect to the teaching of and interaction with graduate students -- Professor Tim Luehrman and teaching assistant Enrique Elsaca (Sloan School of Management); teaching assistant Bill Butera (School of Architecture and Planning) and Dr. Craig Carter (Department of Materials Science and Engineering).
Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, recognizing outstanding contributions to undergraduate education by members of the School of Engineering faculty -- Professor Donald R. Sadoway of materials science and engineering. The award is a tribute to Dr. Amar Bose, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and founder of the Bose Corporation.
Arthur C. Smith Award, presented to a member of the MIT faculty for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate life at MIT -- Professor Kirk D. Kolenbrander, materials science and engineering. The award honors the service of Professor Smith of electrical engineering and computer science, dean for undergraduate education and student affairs from 1990-95.
Kristen E. Finnegan Prize, recognizing the contribution of a graduate student to the Institute's effort in helping undergraduates to improve their writing skills -- Edward W. Kohler of Cambridge (electrical engineering and computer science). This award was established in memory of Ms. Finnegan, a graduate student in architecture and a teacher of writing, both as the Phase Two reader for the Department of Architecture and as a graduate fellow teaching in the Writing Practicum.
Albert G. Hill Prize, awarded to minority juniors or seniors who have maintained high academic standards and have made continued contributions to improvement of the quality of life for minorities at MIT -- Yessica E. Cabrera, a senior from North Miami, FL, and Novice M. Johnson, a junior from Baltimore.
Laya W. Wiesner Award, given to an undergraduate woman who has most enhanced MIT community life -- Shonna Hsiang Yin, a senior from Bayside, NY. The award, established by the MIT Women's League in cooperation with women faculty members, honors Mrs. Wiesner for her contributions to women's activities at MIT.
Ronald E. McNair Scholarship Award, recognizing a black undergraduate who has demonstrated strong academic performance and who has made a considerable contribution to the minority community -- seniors Kevin J. Lee of Newton Grove, NC; Spencer L. Lewis of O'Fallon, IL, and Derek A. Stevens of New Bedford, MA; and junior Torrance J. Mosley of Riverdale, GA. A physicist and astronaut well known for his involvement in the MIT and surrounding community, Dr. Ronald E. McNair (PhD '77) died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion.
Association of MIT Alumnae Award, presented to an outstanding woman who has demonstrated the highest level of academic excellence through her course work and related professional activities at MIT -- seniors Anna Lopatnikova of Arlington, VA, and Dicle Yesilleten of Kadikoy, Turkey.
The Goodwin Medal, presented to graduate students in recognition of conspicuously effective teaching -- Christopher Morse of Amherst, NH (chemistry) and Adil Najam of Islamabad, Pakistan (urban studies and planning). The award is given in memory of Harry Manley Goodwin, the first dean of the Graduate School at MIT.
Gordon Y Billard Award, given to a member of the faculty, non-faculty employee, or one not necessarily affiliated with the Institute, for special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute -- Rolf Engler, administrative officer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and Paul Thomas, technical supervisor in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The Award is made from a fund established by Gordon Y Billard, a member of the Class of 1924.
James N. Murphy Award, presented to any employee of the Institute whose spirited contributions to the Institute family have won a place in the hearts of students -- Arline Benford, administrative assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Karl Taylor Compton Prizes, presented to students in recognition of outstanding contributions in promoting high standards of achievement and good citizenship within the MIT community -- graduate students Anthony J. Ives of Waterloo, IA, and Douglas K. Wyatt of Basking Ridge, NJ. The awards are made in honor of Dr. Karl Taylor Compton, president of MIT from 1930-48, through gifts from members and friends of the Boston Stein Club.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 1997.