Five are named to faculty chairs


Several faculty members have recently been appointed to named professorships.

Ellen T. Harris, professor of music, has been named the Class of 1949 Professor. She joined the MIT faculty in 1989 and was associate provost for the arts from 1989-95. Before coming to MIT, she was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1980-89 and an assistant professor at Columbia University from 1977-80. Professor Harris is the author of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Oxford University Press, 1987) and Handel and the Pastoral Tradition (OUP, 1980). She holds the BA (1967) from Brown University, and the MA (1970) and PhD (1976) from the University of Chicago.

The next Francis Wright Davis Professor is Professor John D. Joannopoulos of physics. The chair is named for Dr. Davis, the inventor of power steering for automobiles and trucks. Professor Joann-opoulos, a researcher in the field of theoretical condensed-matter physics, is responsible for the development of numerous calculational techniques for the study of complex solid systems. He has published more than 280 research papers and is the holder of nine patents. He is winner of the 1991 School of Science Graduate Council Teaching Award, the 1996 W. Buechner Teaching Prize and this year's David Adler Award of the American Physical Society.

Professor Joannopoulos has been on the MIT faculty since 1974 starting as an assistant professor, winning promotion to associate professor in 1978 and full professor in 1983. He holds the BA from the University of California at Berkeley (1968), the MA from the University of California at Davis (1970) and the PhD from Berkeley (1974).

Nicholas M. Patrikalakis of the Department of Ocean Engineering has been named the Kawasaki Professor of Engineering. The endowed chair was created by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and provides opportunities for professional development for a senior faculty member in the department, with special emphasis on design and fabrication of complex systems.

Professor Patrikalakis is an internationally recognized authority on computer-aided design of complex systems and has played a key role in the creation of the Adaptive Inspection and Manufacturing Laboratory in the ocean engineering department. He began at MIT as a postdoctoral associate in 1983, became an assistant professor in 1985 and associate professor in 1990. He attained the rank of full professor in 1995. He received the Diploma in Naval Architecture (1977) from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and the PhD in Ocean Engineering (1983) from MIT.

Assistant Professor Qing Shen of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning is the new holder of the Mitsui Career Development Professorship, which recognizes faculty achievement and encourages cultural and technological exchange between the United States and Japan. Professor Shen specializes in spatial modeling and analysis for urban planning, and in planning sustainable cities. His current research examines the relationship between metropolitan restructuring, employment accessibility, and economic vitality of low-income communities.

He has been on the MIT faculty since 1993, doing research within his department and with the Centers for Transportation Studies and International Studies. Dr. Shen holds the BS (1982) from Zhejiang University, the MA (1986) from the University of British Columbia and the PhD (1993) from the University of California at Berkeley.

Professor Jack Wisdom of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences is the next Breene M. Kerr Professor. His research interests include solar system dynamics- investigation of the long-term evolution of the orbits and spins of planets, natural satellites, asteroids and comets.

Professor Wisdom has been professor of planetary science since 1991. He began at the Institute as an assistant professor in 1984 and was promoted to associate professor in 1988. He holds the BS in physics from Rice (1976) and the PhD from Caltech (1981).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 29, 1997.


Topics: Faculty

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