Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Professor Isabelle de Courtivron has been appointed head of the foreign languages and literatures section (FL&L) for three years, effective January 16, Dean Philip S. Khoury of the School of Humanities and Social Science has announced.
Professor Courtivron succeeds Professor Suzanne Flynn, who had served as section head since 1996. Professor de Courtivron previously served as head of FL&L from 1990-96. "Her skills as an organizer and her ability to make clear-sighted judgments on administrative matters make her especially suited for taking on this position again," Dean Khoury said.
Professor de Courtivron is an accomplished scholar in the field of 20th-century French fiction and feminist theory. She is the author of books on Clara Malraux (1992) and Violette Leduc (1985) and co-editor of Women Writers in Translation (1983) and New French Feminism (1982). Most recently, she co-edited with Professor Whitney Chadwick a collection of essays, Significant Others: Creativity and Intimate Partnership (1992). She is currently working on a book about bilingual writers.
Professor De Courtivron received the MA and PhD in French literature from Brown University in 1970 and 1973, respectively. She taught French as an assistant professor at Wellesley College from 1975-78, and she joined MIT as an assistant professor of French in 1978. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1984 and to full professor in 1994. In addition to having already served as head of FL&L for six years, she served as chair of the Women's Studies Program from 1987-89. She is currently director of the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies.
Professor de Courtivron has won numerous fellowships and honors, including the Class of 1960 chair, which she held from 1994-97. She was named Officier des Palmes Academiques by the French government in 1993.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2000.