Corporation committee awards tenure to 14 faculty members


The Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation has approved the awarding of tenure to the following faculty members (appointments are effective July 1, 1998 unless otherwise noted):

Dr. Daron Acemoglu, the Pentti J.K. Kouri Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. He received the BA in 1989 from the University of York and the MS and PhD from the London School of Economics in 1990 and 1992, respectively. Dr. Acemoglu was a lecturer at the London School of Economics from 1991-93; he taught at MIT as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics from 1993-97, when he was promoted to associate professor without tenure. Dr. Acemoglu has made important contributions in the fields of labor economics and wage inequality and in macroeconomics, economic development and applied theory.

Dr. Raymond C. Ashoori, associate professor of physics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Ashoori's work focuses on developing and using highly responsive charge-sensing techniques to observe directly the motion of electrons inside solids. A world leader in the field, he pioneered a technique known as single-electron capacitance spectroscopy. This method was the first to permit high-resolution measurements of the energies required to add the first several electrons to "artificial atoms" or "quantumdot" semiconductor structures. This also led to his discovery of "bunched" states, in which successive electrons are added to quantum dots with zero energy cost, due to the repulsion of other electrons. Professor Ashoori's group has extended these charge-sensing methods to create a low-temperature scanning probe that permits direct imaging of electrons inside semiconducting materials, and the group has used it to image the electronic structure of the two-dimensional quantum Hall system. He holds the SB (1984) from the University of California at San Diego and the PhD (1991) from Cornell, both in physics.

Dr. Tania Baker of the Department of Biology has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Baker joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1992 and was promoted to associate professor in 1997. She earned the BS in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 and the PhD from Stan-ford University in 1988, after which she was a postdoc-toral fellow at Stanford and the National Institutes of Health. Professor Baker's research program in the area of DNA replication and transposition have earned her the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's 1998 Schering-Plough Scientific Achievement Award. She is also an associate investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research has played an important role in understanding DNA replication and the molecular processes involved in DNA rearrangements, especially those involved in the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria, development of the immune system, and infection by HIV and other viruses.

Dr. Bonnie Anne Berger, associate professor of applied mathematics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Berger develops and applies computational and algorithmic techniques and analyses to studies in computational molecular biology. She has worked on protein folding and protein motif recognition, viral shell assembly and gene recognition. She also has applied her work to problems in material science. Professor Berger holds the AB (1983) in computer science from Brandeis University, and the SM (1986) and PhD (1990), both in computer science, from MIT. She joined MIT as an assistant professor in 1992 and has served since 1994 as head of the Computation and Biology Group at the Laboratory for Computer Science.

Dr. Alan Edelman, associate professor of applied mathematics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Edelman specializes in numerical analysis and parallel computing and is the recognized leader in eigenvalue analyses and in random matrices. He has written important algorithms for parallel computing. His most recent work concerns computer graphics and medical imaging. Professor Edelman received the BS (1984) and MS (1984) in mathematics from Yale and the PhD (1989) in applied mathematics from MIT. His awards and fellowships include the National Science Foundation Faculty Career Program Award and the MIT School of Science Partnership Award. He joined MIT as an assistant professor of applied mathematics in 1993 and was promoted to associate professor in 1998.

Dr. Gregory C. Fu of the Department of Chemistry has been promoted to professor with tenure. Professor Fu joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1993, was promoted to associate professor in 1998, and to professor in January 1999. He holds the SB in chemistry from MIT (1985) and the PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University (1991), and was a postdoc-toral fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1991-93. Professor Fu's research program is focused on the discovery of new chemical reactivity and the development of new stereoselective reactions. His work spans the disciplines of organic and organometallic chemistry.

Dr. Neil Gershenfeld of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Dr. Gershenfeld received the BA degree in physics with high honors from Swarthmore College in 1981 and the MA and PhD degrees in applied physics from Cornell University in 1990. He did research at Bell Labs from 1981-84 and was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University 1989-92. He came to MIT as an assistant professor in 1992 and was promoted to associate professor in 1996. Dr. Gersh-enfeld studies the relationship between the content of information and its physical representation, from building molecular quantum computers to virtuosic musical instruments. A recognized world leader in embedded computing, Dr. Gershenfeld leads the Media Laboratory's Physics and Media Group and co-directs its Things That Think Consortium.

Dr. Michel Goemans, associate professor of applied mathematics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Goemans's work is mainly in combinatorial optimization. His best-known results pertain to the design of approximation algorithms through the demonstrated uses of semidefinite programming and the primal-dual paradigm. Broadening the effectiveness of these techniques, he has developed approximate algorithms on difficult computational problems across a broad range of subjects. Professor Goemans holds the BS and MS in applied mathematics from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and the PhD (1990) in operations research from MIT. He is the recipient of the Tucker Prize of the Mathematical Programming Society and a two-time recipient of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Optimization Prize. He has been a Sloan Research Fellow and received a Career award from the National Science Foundation. He joined the MIT faculty as an instructor in applied mathematics in 1990, receiving promotion to assistant professor in 1992 and associate professor in 1996.

Dr. Diana Henderson of the literature section in the Department of Humanities has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. She did undergraduate work at the College of William and Mary and postgraduate work at Columbia University, earning the PhD in 1989. She was an assistant professor of English and co-chair of the Women's Studies Program at Middlebury College before joining the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1995. She was promoted to associate professor in 1996. Professor Henderson is a scholar ofShakespeare and Renaissance drama, gender studies and modern cross-media adaptation. Her first book, Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender and Performance, presented new paradigms for understanding Renaissance lyric in its social, gendered and literary historical dimensions. She has published a wide range of articles including essays on Spenser, James Joyce, Shakespeare on film, and early modern domestic culture. She is currently completing a second book, Uneasy Collaboration: Rewriting Shakespeare across Time and Media.

Dr. Nancy Kanwisher of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. She joined the MIT faculty as an associate professor in 1997. Before this, she was an assistant research psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley (1988-90), an assistant and associate professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (1990-94), and an assistant and associate professor at Harvard University (1994-97). She earned the SB in biology (1980) and the PhD in cognitive psychology (1986) from MIT. Professor Kanwisher's research is in visual cognition and cognitive processing. She discovered "repetition blindness," in which people fail to perceive the second occurrence of a repeated item, and she has used that discovery to explore how objects are represented by the visual system. Professor Kanwisher's lab now uses fMRI to investigate the functional organization of the human visual cortex. They have characterized two new regions of the brain: those involved in the perception of faces and places.

Dr. Nasser O. Rabbat of the Department of Architecture has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Dr. Rabbat received the BArch in architecture from the University of Damascus in 1979, the MArch II from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1984, and the PhD from MIT in 1991. He joined the MIT faculty as assistant professor in 1991 and was promoted to associate professor in 1995. Dr. Rabbat is a historian of Islamic architecture and culture who is widely known in professional circles in the US and in the Arab Islamic world. His book on the Citadel of Cairo has been described as "path-breaking" and "exemplary." He is active in the Middle Eastern Studies group at MIT and in Boston area universities, and he plays a significant role in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.

Dr. Mitchel Resnick of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Dr. Resnick received the BA from Princeton University in 1978 and the SM and PhD from MIT in 1988 and 1992, respectively. He was a Vannevar Bush Fellow at MIT in 1983-84 and an assistant professor at MIT from 1992-96, when he was promoted to associate professor. Dr. Resnick, an internationally recognized leader in the field of learning environments, won an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1993. The Computer Clubhouse, a network of after-school learning centers which Dr. Resnick co-founded, won the prestigious Peter Drucker Award for the Most Innovative Nonprofit Innovation in 1997. Dr. Resnick is the author of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds (MIT Press).

Dr. Hazel Sive of the Department of Biology has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. Professor Sive received the BSc in chemistry and zoology in 1976 and the BSc Hons in zoology in 1979, both from the University of Witwatersrand. In 1986 she earned the PhD from Rockefeller University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center until 1991. She joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1991 and was promoted to associate professor in 1996. She has been an associate member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research since 1991. Professor Sive studies how the embryo decides to make a nervous system and associated organs, and particularly what mechanisms place the brain at the front of the embryo and the spinal cord more posteriorly. Using the frog and fish as model systems, her laboratory has shown that nervous system patterning begins very early, and she has identified numerous genes responsible for this patterning process.

Dr. Robert Dirk van der Hilst, the Kerr McGee Associate Professor of Geophysics, has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. A seismologist whose research focuses on the structure of the Earth's deep interior, his work has already had a major impact on current understanding of dynamical processes in the Earth's mantle. The breadth of his research includes geodynamics, tectonics, geochemistry and laboratory experimentation. Professor van der Hilst holds the BS (1982), MS (1986) and PhD (1990) in geophysics from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He joined MIT as an assistant professor in 1996 and was promoted to associate professor in 1998. His recent honors include the 1997 Macelwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a 1998 Packard Fellowship and being named a Fellow of the AGU in 1997. In 1996, he received the Doornbos Memorial Prize from the International Association of Seismology and the Physics of the Earth's Interior.

A version of this
article appeared in the
June 2, 1999

issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume
43, Number
32).


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty

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