13 August 2003
Hellman Family Faculty Fund winners announced
Thirteen of Berkeley’s assistant professors have been named winners of the campus’s Hellman Family Faculty Fund Awards, established in 1995 to support junior faculty whose research shows the promise of great distinction. Scholars in the physical and life sciences, engineering, the arts, humanities, and social sciences are eligible for the award — which often leads to publication, important new contacts, research funding from other sources, or new research directions.
Selections are based principally on the quality of the proposed research, with a maximum award amount of $50,000. This year the fund awarded $400,000 in all — $239,000 in the science and engineering and $161,000 in other fields.
The winners and their research projects for 2003 are:
• Dorothy Beam, English, “Purple Pleasures: Highly Wrought Fiction by 19th-Century American Women,” $10,000
• Oscar Dubon, materials science and engineering, “Synthesis of Ferromagnetic Semiconductors,” $44,000
• John Glaser, public policy, “The Effect of Knowledge of the Possibility of Death Sentence on Jurors’ Judgments of Guilt,” $20,000
• Alexander Katz, chemical engineering, “Engineering Materials on the Nanoscale for Enantioselective Molecular Recognition and Fullerene Separations,” $50,000
• Botond Koszegi, economics, “Economic Models of Utility from Anticipation,” $22,000
• Joel Moore, physics, “Theory of Collective Quantum Phenomena in Nanostructured Materials,” $40,000
• Greg Niemeyer, art practice, “Interactive Voice Box Simulation,” $30,000
• Per Jakob Palsboll, environmental science, policy, and management, “Molecular Scatology,” $45,000
• Eliot Quataert, astronomy, “Supernovae and the Birth of Compact Objects,” $30,000
• Ananya Roy, city and regional planning, “The Feminization of Policy: A New Development Paradigm?” $30,000
• Jennifer Michel Spear, history, “Race, Sex, and Social Order in Colonial New Orleans,” $15,000
• Niek Veldhuis, Near Eastern studies, “Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts,” $34,000
• Kipling Will, environmental science, policy, and management (insect biology), “Poison Beetles,” $40,000
Ten on campus win Sloan Foundation Awards
A total of 117 young scientists and economists have been named to receive this year’s research fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Among them are 10 members of the Berkeley faculty: computer scientists George Necula, Ion Stoica, and David Wagner; economists Aviv Nevo and Emmanuel Saez; mathematicians Tom Braber and Michael Hutchings; molecular biologists Steven Brenner and Lior Pachter; and neuroscientist Kristin Scott.
The Sloan Foundation selects scientists in the early stages of their careers on the basis of their exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Each two-year fellowship carries a $40,000 award to cover expenses directly related to the fellow’s research.
EH&S honored for pollution prevention
In recognition of many years of effort to eliminate pollutant discharges to the sanitary sewer, the campus has received an East Bay Municipal Utility District Pollution Prevention Award. Mark Freiberg, director of the Office of Environment, Health and Safety, accepted the honor — one of two such awards that EBMUD presents annually — on behalf of the campus earlier this year.
Campus wastewater drains through the sanitary sewer to the EBMUD water-pollution control plant. Materials such as solvents, acids, automotive fluids, oils, paints, and other chemicals from campus laboratories, shops, and construction operations can interfere with biological processes at the plant, or can pass through the plant to pollute San Francisco Bay. Efforts by EH&S staff and project managers have led to exemplary performance in complying with discharge requirements.
“The award is a great honor presented to UC Berkeley from a highly respected public agency,” says Karl Hans, EH&S associate director for air and water programs. “All staff who have worked to keep the drains free of pollution should feel proud of a job well done.”
The Biophysical Society has named Carlos Bustamante as recipient of its Founders Award. The Berkeley professor was cited for his pioneering role in the new and growing field of single-molecule biophysics. Bustamonte will accept the award and present lectures at the society’s annual meeting in Baltimore in February 2004.
The American Society for Microbiology has elected Paul Ludden, dean of and professor in the College of Natural Resources, to its honorific group, the American Academy of Microbiology. Academy fellows are elected by their peers for their contributions to the field. Ludden was named for his contributions to the scientific understanding of nitrogen fixation.
Chemistry Professor Emeritus Samuel Markowitz is the 2003 Petersen Award winner from the American Chemical Society, California. The society, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1876 and now with more than 163,000 members, is the world’s largest scientific society.
The Theatre Library Associa-tion has awarded a special jury prize for distinguished achievement to The Staging of Drama in the Medieval Church, a recent book by Dunbar Ogden, professor emeritus of theater.
From the 10th century until about 1600, liturgical drama was staged in medieval churches throughout Europe, chiefly at Easter and Christmastime. These dramas were linked to religious ritual and sung to Gregorian chant and chant-related music. In his volume, Ogden discusses specific churches in which such dramas were staged — linking the stage directions found in original manuscripts with interior features, such as altars and portals, to recreate a performance and the infinite variety of sounds elicited from the reaches of a Gothic cathedral.
Knight Professor of Journalism Michael Pollan has won a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award. Pollan was honored for a magazine series — titled “Down on the Farm” — which he co-authored with Dan Hofstadter and Phyllis Richman for Gourmet magazine.
The journalism award — presented by the not-for-profit culinary-arts organization — recognizes excellence in food and beverage journalism for articles published in 2002 in the United States and Canada. Judges included editors and writers, and deans and instructors at leading journalism colleges. Award winners receive a bronze award medallion engraved with the image of James Beard, the late journalist, cookbook author, and chef.
Kristin Scott, assistant professor of neurobiology in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, has been named a 2003 McKnight Scholar. These awards are granted to young scientists to support innovative research that may help accurately diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases of the brain and behavior.
Scott’s lab is working to understand how sensory information is processed to produce specific behaviors — using the fruit fly, for example, to study taste perception. She is one of five young U.S. scientists named by the McKnight Endowment Fund; each will receive $75,000 per year for three years.
Lotfi Zadeh, professor in the Graduate School in Computer Science, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from Johannes Kepler University in Austria. With this honor, Zadeh has received 15 honorary doctorates from universities in the United States and around the world. Zadeh, who joined the Berkeley faculty in 1959, is considered the father of “fuzzy logic,” which took computers beyond simple yes-no decision-making and has been critical to advances in artificial intelligence.