MIT model explains how the brain can learn novel tasks while still remembering what it has already learned.
Associate Professor Steven R. Hall, assistant department head in aeronautics and astronautics, has been named the first Raymond L. Bisplinghoff Fellow.
The fellowship was endowed by the Raymond L. Bisplinghoff Fund, established in 1994 to honor Professor Bisplinghoff, former head of the Department of Aeronautics and dean of the School of Engineering. He was associate administrator of NASA for advanced research and technology from 1962-65 and was involved in planning efforts for the Apollo 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 missions. He first came to MIT in 1946 and eventually left in 1970 after two years as engineering dean to serve as deputy director of the National Science Foundation.
The fund was established to promote leadership and innovation in aeronautics and astronautics research and education by providing initiation funds to the outstanding mid-career faculty in the aero/astro department who exemplify Dr. Bisplinghoff's spirit of exploration.
During his three-year fellowship, Professor Hall will investigate innovative teaching methods and use of technology to improve classroom effectiveness. He plans to conduct a trial of selected technologies, and if the results are favorable, to develop a plan to move the technology into the department's teaching program.
Professor Hall received the SB (1980), the SM (1982) and the ScD (1985) from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics. He joined the faculty in 1985. His main research interests are the control of flexible structures, especially space structures, and control of helicopter rotor dynamics, especially using piezoelectric actuators.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 11, 1998.