Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Dean of Science Robert Birgeneau has announced the appointments of Professor Marc A. Kastner as head of the Department of Physics and Associate Professor Richard G. Milner as director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center.
Professor Kastner, the Donner Professor of Science, will assume his new post on February 1. He will take over for Professor Thomas Greytak, the interim department head who was appointed after Professor Ernest Moniz was named undersecretary for the Department of Energy by President Clinton.
Professor Kastner has been director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering since 1993. In a 10-year collaboration with Dean Birgeneau and colleagues at other labs around the world, he has studied the physics of high-temperature superconductivity. In addition, he works on the behavior of electrons in nanometer-size semiconductor devices. In 1990, his group fabricated the first semiconductor single-electron transistor.
"Marc combines outstanding research accomplishments with excellent intellectual and educational leadership," Dean Birgeneau said. "Both Joel Moses and I are confident that Marc will make an outstanding head of physics."
Professor Kastner came to MIT as an assistant professor in 1973. He was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and full professor in 1983. He holds the BS (1967) and PhD (1972) in physics from the University of Chicago.
Professor Milner will assume his post at Bates on July 1, taking over for Professor Stanley Kowalski. He was first appointed to the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1988 and was promoted to associate professor in 1993. He holds the BSc in experimental physics (1978) and the MSc in theoretical physics (1979) from University College in Cork, Ireland, and the PhD (1984) from Caltech.
A major focus of Professor Milner's research has been the spin structure of strongly interacting systems. He helped initiate experiments to use targets of polarized He-3 as effective neutron targets at Bates. He was also an originator of the HERMES experiment at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, to probe the spin structure of the nucleon. Recently, Professor Milner has played a leading role in the design and realization of the Bates Large Acceptance Spectrometer Toroid (BLAST) now under construction.
"Richard is an excellent physicist with clear vision and deep insights. These features, combined with his strong technical and leadership abilities, make him an excellent choice as director," Dean Birgeneau said.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 28, 1998.