UC Berkeley News



16 February 2005

Five Berkeley professors elected to National Academy of Engineering

Five faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional honors for an American engineer.

The new members are Harvey W. Blanch, professor of chemical engineering; David E. Culler, professor of computer science; Roger T. Howe, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences; and Arunava Majumdar, professor of mechanical engineering. They are among 74 new members elected to the NAE this year.

In addition, William M. Kahan, professor of computer science, was one of 10 foreign associates named to the academy.

This brings to 87 the number of UC Berkeley faculty members in the academy. The total U.S. membership of the academy is now 2,195, and the number of foreign associates is 178. Among academic institutions, Berkeley has one of the highest representations in the academy, including alumni.

This year's Berkeley cohort who will be inducted in October at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. was honored for the following:
Blanch, for his advances in enzyme engineering, bioseparations, and biothermodynamics.
Culler, for his contributions to scalable parallel processing systems, including architectures, operating systems and programming environments.
Howe, for his contributions to the development of microelectromechanical systems in processes, devices, and systems.
Majumdar, for his contributions to nanoscale thermal engineering and molecular nanomechanics.
Kahan, for the development of techniques for reliable floating point computation, especially the IEEE Floating Point Standards.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of engineering research, practice, or education. This includes significant contributions to the engineering literature, the pioneering of new and developing technologies, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

John Ohala

Professor of Linguistics John Ohala will be honored at a centennial colloquium of the Institute of Spoken Communication in Grenoble, France, on Feb. 24-25. The institute (founded in 1905 as the Institute of Phonetics) is hosting two days of meetings structured around two topics: the history of experimental phonetics, and an homage to Ohala, to whom the colloquium announcement refers as "an exemplary figure of contemporary research in the domain of speech."

Allen Knutson

Allen Knutson, assistant professor of mathematics, and Terence Tao of UCLA are sharing the 2005 American Mathematical Society's Levi L. Conant Prize. The annual prize recognizes an outstanding expository paper published in either the Notices of the AMS or the Bulletin in the AMS in the preceding five years.

Knutson and Tao were honored for their article "Honeycombs and Sums of Hermitian Matrices" (Notices of the AMS 48, 2001, No. 2). Their article describes the solution of a mathematical problem that has connections to quantum theory and that was first posed in 1912 by the renowned mathematician Hermann Weyl. The prize was awarded on Jan. 6 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta.

Mary Power

Mary E. Power, professor of integrative biology, received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) for her synthetic work on river food webs and community ecology and innovative use of large-scale experiments, for her work on coupling between ecosystems, and for her active role in conservation biology. This award is presented to scientists who exemplify outstanding research on salt and fresh waters.

Jack Moehle

Jack P. Moehle, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, has been chosen to give the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's (EERI) 2005 Distinguished Lecture. His topic will be "Performance-based Design: Developments and Applications."

EERI's Honors Committee nominated Moehle in recognition of his many years of outstanding leadership in the field of research on the seismic evaluation and rehabilitation of structures. He has been a Berkeley faculty member since 1980 and is the founding director of PEER, an appointment he has held since 1997.

This month, Moehle will give his lecture for the first time at EERI's 57th Annual Meeting in Ixtapa, Mexico.

Lynne Kaufman

Lynne Kaufman, director of UC Berkeley Extension's Travel With Scholars Program, will receive the Otis Guernesy New Voices Playwriting Award at the 24th annual William Inge Theatre Festival, which recognizes contemporary playwrights who show the promise to help shape American theater today.

Four of Kaufman's 12 plays have premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, including The Couch, which won the Glickman Award for Best New Play in San Francisco, and Speaking in Tongues, which won the Kennedy Center/NEA New Plays Award.

Kaufman will receive the Guernsey award and give a reading of one of her current works in progress, Magician's Choice, during the Inge Festival, April 20-23, at Independence Community College, Independence, Kan.

Berkeley buildings honored

The campus's Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, the Central Dining and Office Facility, Channing-Bowditch Student Apartments, and the Hearst Memorial Mining Building renovation were all recognized at the Berkeley Design Advocates 6th Biennial Design Awards ceremony in December at the Berkeley Art Center.