Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
The 2001-02 Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes Competition recognized the writing achievements of 15 seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen. The winners were chosen from 238 entries by 134 students in the categories of essay, drama, poetry, short story, fiction, science fiction, and scientific and technical writing.
The Boit Manuscript Prize competition had three categories. Second-place winners in the essay category were "Life Lessons" by Jenny Lin , a senior in biology from Monroeville, Penn., and "Z: Salvucci's Charles River Crossing" by Tamam Mango , a junior in urban studies and planning and management from Amman, Jordan. In the fiction category, second prize went to "Sylva" by Kelly Clancy , a senior in physics from Wayne, Penn., while "Suspended Fourth" by Blake Stacey , a freshman in physics from from Huntsville, Ala., received honorable mention. For poetry, Moana Minton , a senior in writing from Honolulu, won first prize for "Catch."
In the contest for the DeWitt Wallace Prize for Science Writing for the Public, first place was shared by "X-Ray Vision: The Mirrors of the Chandra Telescope" by Samidh Chakrabarti of Corvallis, Ore., a freshman in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) and brain and cognitive sciences; and "How I See the World" by Winnie Yang of Chesterfield, Mo., a senior in humanities and engineering. "Computer Vision--Not Just a Summer Project" by Elizabeth Rouse of Chicago, a senior in brain and cognitive sciences, won honorable mention.
Four students were winners of the Ellen King Prize for Freshman Writing. Jolene Singh of Fresh Meadows, N.Y. (biology) won first prize for "My Grandmother's Tears" and Anna Kuperstein of Columbia, Md., (mathematics) won second prize for "Politics and the Misuse of Religion." Honorable mentions went to "Tightening the Knot" by Flora Amwayi of Attleboro (EECS) and "The Growing Impersonality of Communication" by Stephen Lee of Pittsburgh (EECS).
Alison Klesman , a junior in physics from Orland Park, Ill., won first place in the Prize for Writing Science Fiction for "Akujunkan." Second prize went to "Rodney" by Jovan Hsu of Concord, a junior in economics. Honorable mentions went to "Blue Prophet and Out of the Blue" by Kris Schnee , a senior in history and architecture from Lancaster, Penn., and "Papyrus Fragment 497728, Newly Translated" by Stacey .
The Robert A. Boit Writing Prize had 13 winners in three categories. In the essay category, "Move" by Jeffrey D. LeBlanc of Acton, a junior in mathematics, took first place. In second place was "On Waking" by Kevin R. Lang of Stratford, Conn., a senior in mechanical engineering. Jose C. Rivera , a senior in EECS from Cambridge, won third place for "Where Are You Going To?" and Jovonne J. Bickerstaff , a senior in urban studies and planning and writing from Akron, Ohio, won honorable mention for "Daddy's Girl."
In the poetry category, first prize was awarded to "Poison Ivy, Untitled, Dating Services in Arlington" by Amanda Bligh of Contoocook, N.H., a senior in mechanical engineering. Second prize went to "Chronicles of Maturity's Cost" by Aaron Parness of DeKalb, Ill., a junior in mechanical engineering. "Sizing it Up" by Allison Lewis of Germantown, Tenn., a sophomore in creative writing, earned second place, while honorable mention went to "Within these Restrictions" by Hanyin Lin of Cambridge, a sophomore in EECS.
In the short story category, Bickerstaff won first prize for "Missing Daddy," while "The Gate" by Osman M. Bakr of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a junior in materials science and engineering, took second place. Third prize was given to "Bread" by Nathaniel K. Choge of Nairobi, Kenya, a senior in EECS. Two entries won honorable mention: "Substitute Teacher" by Chris Kelly of Valley Stream, N.Y., a senior in mathematics, and "art school" by James Dillon III of Cranston, R.I., a sophomore in writing.
Danielle Guez of Penn Valley, Penn., a junior in brain and cognitive sciences, won the S. Klein Prize for Scientific and Technical Writing for "Cause of Death of Cholinergic Neurons in Alzheimer's Disease."
In the contest for the Writing and Humanistic Studies Prize for Engineering Writing, Chakrabarti won first prize for "Techniques for Speeding Web Access in the Developing World." Marion Jones of Oakland, Calif., a junior in EECS, won second prize for "Isolation and Sharing with Segments." Carlos Gomez-Uribe of Mexico City, a senior in EECS and mathematics, won honorable mention for "Soap Bubbles and Films."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.