MIT model explains how the brain can learn novel tasks while still remembering what it has already learned.
Twenty-four students and faculty were honored for their accomplishments in aeronautics and astronautics over the past year at the department's awards dinner on May 13.
The student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presented the department's undergraduate teaching award to Professor Winston R. Markey. Professor Paul A. Lagace received the chapter's departmental advising award. Both men are prior recipients of the teaching and advising awards. Professor Mark Drela received the Sigma Gamma Tau Graduate Teaching Award.
The David J. Shapiro Memorial Award was given to David A. Carpenter, a sophomore from Tyler, TX, for support and enhancement of scientific/technical studies at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, England; Phillip E. Reich, a junior from El Cajon, CA, for support to pursue research on flight control and stability systems at the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Holland; Tyra E. Rivkin, a junior from Hoffman Estates, IL, to design, analyze, construct and test airframe configurations to provide a better understanding of MAV (Micro Aerial Vehicles) aerodynamic qualities; and a team of three students&emdash;freshman Bernard F. Ahyow of Irvine, CA, sophomore Jacob Markish of Chelmsford, MA, and junior Philip J. Ogston of Kalamazoo, MI, to design, build, and fly a high speed electric powered model aircraft in the 1998-1999 AIAA/Cessna/ ONR Student Competition.
The Apollo Program Prize was given to Sean C. Tytler, a senior from Plantation, FL, "in recognition of his Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program contributions to the definition of an artificial gravity research program, as part of the further human exploration of space."
The Yngve K. Raustein Award was given to Sumita Pennathur, a sophomore from Foxborough, MA, "whose enthusiasm and outstanding achievement in Unified Engineering, while simultaneously pursuing her lifelong love of music, exemplifies the spirit that Yngve brought to Unified Engineering."
The Andrew G. Morsa Award was presented to seniors David M. Matsumoto of Kapolei, HI, and Alvar Saenz-Otero of San Jeronimo, Mexico, "for demonstrated ingenuity and initiative in the application of computers to actively stabilize and control a tethered grapple."
The Thomas B. Sheridan Award (shared with the Department of Mechanical Engineering) was recently established by Professor Tom Sheridan to recognize "creativity in the improvement of human-machine integration or cooperation." The award was presented for the first time by Professor Sheridan himself to junior Keith Amonlirdviman "for creativity in the development of a distributed simulation facility, including a unique simulation control interface, which integrates cockpit and air traffic control simulators to enable interactive studies of pilot and controller decision aids."
The newly established Pratt & Whitney Award "for outstanding achievement in the design, construction, execution and reporting of an undergraduate experimental project" was given to Paraag M. Dave of Sutton-Surrey, England, and Kelvin B. Khong of Bukit Batok, Singapore. Both are exchange students from Imperial College in London, England.
The Admiral Luis De Florez Prize recipients are senior Seth Kessler of Farmington Hills, MI, and junior Thaddeus B. Matuszeski of Washington, DC, "for the conception, design, equipment design and acquisition, and execution of cryogenic tests of composite materials in direct support of the X-33 program." Seniors Erik S. Bailey of Reading, PA, and Todd S. Harrison of Hattiesburg, MS, also shared the prize "for the design, construction and testing of a novel load cell, and its application to low-speed airfoil experiments."
The James Means Memorial Award recognizes excellence in flight vehicle engineering and space systems engineering. This spring, students teamed up to work on the X-Prize Competition&emdash;the first international prize to promote the development and flight of vehicles able to provide low-cost commercial transport of humans into space (MIT Tech Talk, May 20, 1998). The Means Award was given to junior Keith Amonlirdviman of Chicago, IL, "for creation of an outstanding trajectory simulation program to study X-Prize vehicle mission and design configurations and for excellence in the aerodynamic design of the X-Prize vehicle." Senior Christopher E. Carr of Seattle, WA, also received the Means Award "for leadership in developing the business plan as a key driver for the X-Prize vehicle design."
The Henry Webb Salisbury Award was given to seniors Takayuki Kohata of Yokohama-Shi, Japan, and Christopher S. Protz of Panama City, FL, "for achieving academic excellence in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics."
Earlier this year, Nicholas Savoulides, a senior from Athens, Greece, was awarded the John F. McCarthy Jr. Memorial Scholarship, and Viengvilay Oudonesom, a junior from Houston, TX, received the General James H. Doolittle Memorial Scholarship.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 3, 1998.