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The contest commemorates two great MIT photographers: Harold 'Doc' Edgerton and Gjon Mili. Doc Edgerton is well known for his developments in stroboscopy. Gjon Mili, Doc's 1927 MIT classmate, is the Life magazine photographer who brought Doc's work to the world's attention in the 1930s.
The photo contest, last held in 1995, is being reestablished to bring the work of MIT student photographers to the public eye and to promote photography on campus, creating a collection of photographs that represent how MIT students view the Institute. Funding is provided through a bequest to Doc Edgerton and MIT by Gjon Mili and the National Geographic Society's Centennial Award prize, presented to Doc in 1988.
The panel of judges for the 2000 contest included Donna Coveney, assistant director and photojournalist in the News Office; Felice Frankel, photographer and research scientist; Jane Pickering, director of the MIT Museum; and Don Stidsen, the musem's manager of exhibitions.
The judges reported that they were faced with some difficult decisions and eventually decided to award two $600 first prizes in the open category. "Both Solitude [freshman Leonardo Hochberg] and Water Abstraction Series [Ofelia Rodriguez, a senior in architecture] were such stunning images that we felt both deserved to win," said Ms. Pickering. "In particular, we were impressed by the power of the image and the control of light in Solitude and the texture and tonality of Water Abstraction Series -- capturing something wholly remarkable in something decidedly unremarkable."
Another entrant in the open category, urban studies and planning graduate student T. Luke Young, won $300 for Boys in Phnom Penh. In the MIT category, freshman Daria S. Lymar won $200 for Great Sail in Fall.
All four winning entries will be featured in the biannual photography publication, The Tech Gallery.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 10, 2000.