MIT researchers calculate river networks’ movement across a landscape.
The American Academy of Micriobiology has elected to Fellowship Alexander Rich, the William Thompson Sedgwick Professor of Biophysics, and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry Emeritus Har Gobind Khorana. The organization's 1,300 Fellows from almost 30 countries have demonstrated "scientific excellence, originality and leadership; high ethical standards; and scholarly and creative achievement." Both have also won the Medal of Science--Professor Rich in 1995 and Professor Khorana in 1987--and Professor Khorana, who retired in 1992, won the Nobel Prize in 1968.
Andrew W. Lo, the Harris & Harris Group Professor at the Sloan School of Management and director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, is co-winner of the TIAA-CREF 1997 Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security. Professor Lo and his co-authors, John Y. Campbell of Harvard and A. Craig MacKinlay of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will share the $20,000 award for their book, The Econometrics of Financial Markets (Princeton University Press, 1997). The book applies mathematical and statistical techniques to the analysis of financial markets, giving investment professionals practical tools for evaluating investment strategies and practices. The award judges credited the authors with "a major contribution in the evolution of economic science." The award is named after MIT Institute Professor Emeritus Paul A. Samuelson, who received the Nobel Prize in economics in 1970.
Gian-Carlo Rota, professor of applied mathematics and philosophy in the Department of Mathematics, was selected by the American Mathematical Society to present a series of three Colloquium Lectures during the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore on January 7-10. The lectures, given annually since 1896, have featured some of the most highly regarded mathematicians of the century. Professor Rota spoke on "Introduction to Geometric Probablility" (accessible to high school students) and increased in sophistication to the third lecture, "Combinatorial Snapshots"--five topics in contemporary combinatorics from his work. Professor Rota was the 1996-97 recipient of the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award.
Institute Professor John D.C. Little received an honorary Doctor in Management Sciences degree on October 13 from the Catholic University at Mons in Belgium. The degree, presented at a ceremony opening the university's academic year, was given in recognition of Professor Little's "pioneering scientific contributions to the development of marketing engineering," according to the citation. He is known for his models describing the effects of marketing on consumer behavior. The honorary degree, the second ever awarded by the university, puts him in regal company: the first, granted last year, went to Belgium's King Albert II.
Professor Emeritus Lincoln Bloomfield of political science was one of six honorees of the United Nations Association of Greater Boston late last year. He was lauded by the organization as "a tireless scholar in action" who has made significant contributions to national security policy with his work relating to the UN. He was also singled out for his instruction of officials in managing international conflict through the CASCON computer program.
Assistant Professor Paula T. Hammond of chemical engineering has won a $200,000 Early Career Development Grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant program helps promising scientists and engineers simultaneously develop their contributions to research and teaching early in their careers.
Professor Hammond, the Herman P. Meissner Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, will examine the use of liquid crystalline polymers in the formation of multilayered ultrathin films. The work could aid in the development of advanced, ultrathin electro-optical materials such as displays, sensors and smart materials.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Alan Edelman is one of two recipients of the Chauvenet Prize, presented by the Mathematical Society of America. He and Eric Kostlan of Real Time Solutions in Berkeley, CA, received the honor for their article, "How Many Zeroes of a Random Polynomial Are Real?" The award citation noted that "the wide range of interesting mathematics one encounters either in the course of solving the questions posed in this paper, or as consequences of their solutions, is exciting."
One of the "Top 75 Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise" is the late Professor Arthur Clay Cope, according to a reader poll of Chemical & Engineering News done by the magazine in conjunction with its 75th anniversary. Professor Cope was cited for his contributions in the chemistry of medium-sized ring compounds, transannular reactions, rearrangement of allyl groups in three-carbon systems, and work in synthetic organic chemistry. He died in 1966. The poll's top four vote-getters were Linus Pauling, Robert B. Woodward, Glenn Seaborg and Wallace Carothers.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has elected Professors Daniel E. Hastings and Jack L. Kerrebrock to Fellowship. Professor Hastings, the organization said, "has made significant and lasting contributions in the area of fusion power and spacecraft-environment interaction. His widely published research has given us a better understanding of the satellite we have in orbit." Professor Kerrebrock was recognized for "conceiving of several new fundamental concepts related to nuclear rockets, MHD power generation and compressors for gas turbine engines."
Ford International Professor of Economics Emeritus Charles Kindleberger has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Basel in Switzerland. Last year he wrote a third edition of his 1978 history entitled Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crisis.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 28, 1998.