Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
The Executive Committee has approved the promotions of 14 associate professors--10 men and four women--to full professor, effective July 1, 1995. Those promoted were:
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
Dr. R. John Hansman Jr. of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Hansman received the AB degree from Cornell University in 1976 and the SM (1980) and PhD (1982) from MIT. He was an instructor at MIT in 1982-83 before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1983. He was Boeing Assistant Professor in 1984-1985 and Esther & Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor in 1985-87 before being promoted to associate professor in 1987. He was granted tenure in 1989. Professor Hansman, a pilot who has served as a flight instructor and test pilot, is head of his department's new humans and automation division of instruction. His principal fields of interest are flight safety, flight information systems, instrumentation, aviation meteorology and human factors. He has made outstanding contributions to a number of difficult problems ranging from the physics of ice accretion to the integration of air-ground data link technology into aircraft operations.
Dr. Lorna L. Gibson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Gibson received the BASc degree from the University of Toronto in 1978 and the PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1981. After serving as a senior engineer for Arctec, Ltd. in 1981-82, she was an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1982-84, when she joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 1987. Her research interests are in the modeling and characterization of the mechanical behavior of materials with cellular structure. Her work covers everything from sandwich foam panels used in the construction industry to the biomechanics of trabecular bone. Her book, Cellular Solids: Structures and Properties is regarded as a key reference; her papers are invariably called seminal and classic. Professionally, she is considered the leader of her generation worldwide.
Dr. David K. Gifford in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Gifford received the SB from MIT in 1976 and both the MS (1978) and PhD (1981) from Stanford University. He came to MIT as an assistant professor in 1982, became ITT Career Development Assistant Professor in 1984 and KDD Career Development Assistant Professor in 1986. He was promoted to associate professor and KDD Career Development Associate Professor in 1987, to associate professor with tenure in 1989 and to Karl R. Van Tassel Center Development Associate Professor, also in 1989. Dr. Gifford enjoys enormous respect in the computer systems community in both academia and industry. When he arrived at MIT in 1982 he was already a well-known figure in the computer systems field. His dissertation, "Information Storage in a Decentralized Computer System," and the work he did as a postdoctoral associate at Xerox PARC were pioneering efforts in an emerging area. He is widely respected for his vision of bringing high-quality information services to the masses. He has a record of choosing important research problems long before others appreciate their importance and of finding surprisingly simple and effective solutions to these problems. In addition to his work in computer systems, he has done research in programming languages and molecular biology.
Dr. W. Eric L. Grimson of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Grimson received the BSc from the University of Regina in 1975 and the PhD from MIT in 1980. He became an assistant professor at MIT in 1984 and Matsushita Assistant Professor in 1987. He was promoted to Matsushita Associate Professor in 1988 and associate professor with tenure in 1990. In 1994 he was a visiting associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Grimson is a world leader in computer vision. His doctoral thesis, later published as the highly regarded monograph From Images to Surfaces: A Computational Study of the Human Early Visual System, earned him considerable fame. His second book, Object Recognition by Computer: The Role of Geometric Constraints, is fast becoming even more influential than his first book. His research activities in statistical, model-based vision and in enhanced-reality image projection for neurosurgical planning are also drawing accolades.
Dr. Michael J. Cima of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Cima received both the BS and PhD degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1982 and 1986 respectively. He became an assistant professor at MIT in 1986, Norton Assistant Professor in 1988, Norton Associate Professor in 1990 and Norton Associate Professor with tenure in 1992. Dr. Cima is an internationally known ceramist who specializes in processing. His scientific and technological contributions to the field of ceramics are deep and wide-ranging. He has charted a path and set a standard that are difficult for others to follow. He has helped his department become the leading academic department in ceramics processing in the country.
Dr. Andreas Mortensen of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Mortensen received the diplome d'Ingenieur civil from the Ecole des Mines de Paris in 1980 and the PhD from MIT in 1986. He joined the MIT faculty as Alcoa Assistant Professor in 1986 and became Alcoa Associate Professor in 1990. He became associate professor with tenure in 1992. Dr. Mortensen is an international leader in materials and materials processing, with emphasis on fundamentals and with a reputation for applying those fundamentals to real processes and products of commercial importance. The main focus of his research is metal matrix composites, both the processing and physical metallurgy of these materials.
Dr. Rohan C. Abeyaratne of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Abeyaratne received the BSc degree from the University of Ceylon in 1975 and both the MS (1976) and PhD (1979) from the California Institute of Technology. He was an assistant professor at Michigan State University in 1980-84 and associate professor with tenure at Michigan State in 1984-85. He became an associate professor at MIT in 1986 and associate professor with tenure in 1990. Dr. Abeyaratne is an internationally known theoretical applied mechanician who has had a significant impact on the applied mechanics community. He is well known for his mathematical rigor and precision in solving some of the most difficult engineering problems. He has been recognized for his research contributions by several national and international organizations. He was a principal lecturer for the International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1992) and the US National Congress of Applied Mechanics (1990).
Dr. Carl R. Peterson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Peterson received the BSE degree from the University of Michigan in 1956 and both the SM (1958) and Sc D (1963) from MIT. He became an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 1961, and associate professor in 1976 and associate professor with tenure in 1982. Professor Peterson's specialty is mining research, a field in which he has a great deal of industrial experience resulting in 26 patents. After teaching at MIT from 1961 to 1963, he was a practicing engineer with Ingersol-Rand Research from 1963 to 1970, Foster-Miller Associates from 1970 to 1972, and Rapidex, Inc. from 1972 to 1976, as president. He then returned to MIT. He was the founder of the Mining and Excavation Research Institute, a coalition of universities and industry which led to the proposal of the Energy Laboratory for a National Program for Advanced Drilling and Excavation Technology. He also has done research in comminution through the Energy Laboratory. His public service in the area of disposal of chemical weapons has made a profound impact on the nation.
Dr. Nicholas M. Patrikalakis of the Department of Ocean Engineering. Dr. Patrikalakis received the Diploma in Naval Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens in 1977 and the PhD in ocean engineering from MIT in 1983. He was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in 1983-85, after which he became an assistant professor. He was the Doherty Assistant Professor of Ocean Utilization from 1988 to 1990, when he was promoted to associate professor. He became associate professor with tenure in 1991. In 1985, Professor Patrikalakis was appointed to a new faculty position in computer-aided design, a complete change of field for him. Since then, he has made significant contributions to theory and algorithms in this area and has developed a coherent and unified theory to address the long-standing robustness problem in non-linear computational geometry. In addition, he has extensively applied his basic research in the areas of surface intersection, accurate data exchange, surface interrogation, offset characterization and medial axis transform computation, and localization and inspection of manufactured parts bounded by curved surfaces.
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
Dr. Rosalind Williams in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Dr. Williams received the BA degree from Harvard University in 1966, the MA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 and the PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1978. In 1980-82, she was a Fellow of the Science, Technology and Society Program at MIT and was a lecturer from 1983-85. She became an assistant professor at MIT in 1985 and associate professor of writing and technology studies, holding the MIT Class of 1922 Career Development Professorship, in 1990. She was named Robert M. Metcalfe Associate Professor of Writing in 1993. Professor Williams is a cultural historian who teaches subjects in technical writing and the essay. She has published two major books in the field-Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth Century France (1982) and Notes on the Underground: An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination (1990)- as well as many articles and reviews in national journals.
SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
Dr. Dimitris Bertsimas of the Sloan School of Management. Dr. Bertsimas received the Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1985, and both the SM in operations research (1987) and PhD in operations research and applied mathematics (1988) from MIT. He became an assistant professor of management science at the Sloan School in 1988 and an associate professor of operations research in 1992, the same year he became E. Pennell Brooks Associate Professor of Operations Research. Dr. Bertsimas has published more than 40 articles across the following fields: queuing systems, dynamic and stochastic routing problems, optimization of stochastic systems, air traffic flow management, worst-case performance of approximation algorithms in discrete optimization, probabilistic analysis of exact and heuristic discrete optimization, algorithms, and computational complexity in mathematical optimization. He has contributed his work to such important national policy matters as airport delays and is called upon with increased frequency for analysis and advice.
Dr. Nancy L. Rose of the Sloan School of Management and the Department of Economics. Dr. Rose received the AB degree in economics and government from Harvard University in 1980 and the PhD in economics from MIT in 1985. She joined the Sloan School faculty as an assistant professor of applied economics in 1985, was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and received tenure in 1990. She became associate professor of management and economics in 1994. Professor Rose specializes in regulatory economics and applied industrial organization. Her research is characterized by the creation and econometric analysis of large data bases to investigate firm behavior. Her research contributions include studies of the determinants of CEO compensation, airline pricing behavior, profit impacts on airline safety and the distributional effects of government regulations. She is director of the National Bureau of Economic Research Program on Industrial Organization and recipient of an NSF faculty award for women scientists.
Dr. D. Eleanor Westney of the Sloan School of Management. Dr. Westney received both BA (1970) and MA (1972) degrees in sociology from the University of Toronto, and an MA in sociology (1974) and PhD (1978) from Princeton University. She was an assistant professor of sociology at Yale University in 1978-1982 and assistant professor of organization and management in 1980-82. She joined the Sloan School faculty as an assistant professor of management in 1982, became an associate professor in 1986 and associate professor with tenure in 1989. Dr. Westney is one of the world's leading scholars on Japanese business and multinational corporations. Her writing crosses many disciplines, including organizational change, strategic international management and technology. She has been praised for developing from a very solid base in sociology to the more conceptual field of organizational theory, especially as she has merged it with her language ability and cultural insights to help understand Japanese organization.
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
Dr. Peter S. Kim of the Department of Biology in the School of Science. Dr. Kim received the AB degree in chemistry from Cornell University in 1979 and the PhD in biochemistry from Stanford University in 1985. He was a Whitehead Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research from 1985-1988, when he became an associate member of the Whitehead Institute and assistant professor at MIT in the Department of Biology. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute assistant investigator in 1990-1993 and also assistant molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been a member of the Whitehead Institute and associate professor with tenure at MIT since 1992, an associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, since 1993, and associate molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital since 1994. Dr. Kim is a structural biologist who has made vital contributions toward understanding protein folding, macromolecular recognition and protein function. His research has overturned long-standing ideas about the nature of protein folding, unravelled the true structure of the "leucine zipper," a structural motif found in some proteins that control gene expression, and discovered a "spring-loaded" switch in a protein that allows the flu virus to invade cells.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 22, 1995.