MLK Visiting Professors welcomed

Relva Buchanan


Five new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors have joined two holdovers on campus for the fall semester.

The new MLK Visiting Professors are Drs. Raul P. Lejano of UCLA, Alfred Noel of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Kwadwo Osseo-Asare of Pennsylvania State University, Stephen M. Ruffin of Georgia Tech and J. Phillip Thompson of Columbia University. All will be at MIT through May 2001.

The holdovers are Professors Relva C. Buchanan of the University of Cincinnati and Arthur G.O. Mutambara of the joint engineering college of Florida A&M and Florida State Universities (FAMU). Both will be here through December.

Professors Buchanan and Osseo-Asare are in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Professors Lejano and Thompson are in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Professors Mutambara and Ruffin are in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Professor Noel is in the Department of Mathematics.

Professor Buchanan has been head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Cincinnati since 1992. A 1960 graduate of Alfred University who earned the ScD from MIT in 1964, he taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana from 1974-92. Before that, he was a senior engineer in microelec-tonics components and packaging with IBM Corp. in Fishkill, NY.

Professor Lejano earned a PhD in environmental health science and a D.Env in environmental science and engineering from UCLA. He also has a BS in civil engineering from the University of the Philippines and an MS in environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA since 1996 and in School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara since 1999.

Professor Mutambara was awarded both Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships after earning the BSc with honors in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Zimbabwe in 1990. He accepted the Rhodes and received the MSc in computation (1992) and PhD in robotics and information engineering (1995) from Oxford University's Merton College, after which he accepted a one-year visiting research fellowship at MIT. He later was a visiting research fellow at Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, and a visiting research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

Professor Noel received the PhD in pure mathematics in 1997 and the MS in applied mathematics in 1986 from Northeastern University. He did his undergraduate work at the Centre Pilote de Formation Technique in Haiti. He has been on the UMass-Boston faculty since 1998.

Professor Osseo-Asare earned the PhD in 1975, the MS in 1972 and the BS in 1970 from the UC-Berkeley, all in materials science and engineering. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1976 and has been chair of the Metals Science and Engineering program since 1995. He has been a professor of metallurgy since 1976 and a professor of geoenviron-mental engineering since 1997.

Professor Ruffin earned the SM from MIT in 1987 and the PhD from Stanford University in 1993, both in aeronautics and astronautics. He received the BS in engineering from Princeton University in 1985. He has been teaching at Georgia Tech since 1993. He was a research engineer for NASA from 1984-93.

Professor Thompson earned the PhD in political science from the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1990. He received the BA in sociology from Harvard University in 1977 and the MCP in urban affairs from CUNY in 1986. He has taught at Columbia, Barnard, Yale University and CUNY and is a senior policy advisor to PolicyLink, a think tank that links research and policy development with a network of 150 community organizations.

The MLK Visiting Professors were welcomed to MIT on November 9 at a Faculty Club luncheon hosted by Provost Robert A. Brown, who heads the program. Among those at the luncheon were their department heads, Associate Provost Phillip Clay, and the co-chairs of the Planning Committee for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Professor Michael S. Feld and Dean Leo Osgood Jr.

The MLK Visiting Professors Program, established in 1995 through the efforts of the Planning Committee, is open to members of all minority groups. The objective is to support six to 12 MLK Visiting Professors in each academic year.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 13, 2000.


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