Honors


Order of Canada marks 50 years of honouring Canadian contributions - The Globe and Mail

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The Order of Canada marks its 50th anniversary this year with 99 new appointments on its Canada Day honours list, including renowned figures from the fields of law, government, entertainment and sport, as well as Canadians whose contributions are less widely known. Dionne Brand is a former Toronto poet laureate, Governor-General's award winner, novelist and political activist. A former Toronto poet laureate, Governor-General's award winner, novelist and political activist, Dionne Brand has built her life and career around thinking and writing about Canada's relationship with race and immigration. Joyce Churchill's son, Stephen, was 21 years old when the province of Newfoundland agreed to provide money for an early intervention program for children with autism.


Kit Cummins awarded the American Chemical Society Pauling Medal

MIT News

Department of Chemistry Professor Christopher (Kit) Cummins has been honored with the 2017 Linus Pauling Medal, in recognition of his unparalleled synthetic and mechanistic studies of early-transition metal complexes, including reaction discovery and exploratory methods of development to improve nitrogen and phosphorous utilization. It is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in chemistry in the spirit of, and in honor of, Linus Pauling, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Prize for peace in 1962. Cummins joins several current members of the Department of Chemistry in being named a Linus Pauling Medal awardee, including Tim Swager (2016), Stephen Buchwald (2014), and Stephen Lippard (2009), as well as former department members Alexander Rich (1995) and John Waugh (1984). In addition, Cummins Group researchers work to develop new starting materials in phosphate chemistry, including acid forms that provide a starting point for synthesizing new phosphate-based materials with applications in next-generation battery technologies and catalysis.


MIT Libraries staff honored with 2017 Infinite Mile Awards

MIT News

The MIT Libraries honored the outstanding contributions of staff to the Institute at its Infinite Mile Awards ceremony on June 14. Web developer Matt Bernhardt's approach to work consistently involves thoughtful solutions that directly tie back to user needs, whether those users are the MIT community or library staff. Mary Jeanne Yuen, metadata production associate, helps others search the vast MIT Libraries map collections. Rix makes one's problems his problems and takes pleasure in helping his colleagues, sometimes with inadequate notice, sometimes stepping in when others are absent or unavailable, but always without fanfare.


Siri storm caused by economist's comments

BBC News

Nobel prize laureate Sir Christopher Pissarides's comments at a conference in Norway attracted fierce criticism. The gender and accent of Apple's voice assistant across iPhone, iPad, Mac and other Apple devices has historically been dependent on regional settings. "The comments made do reflect consistent results that people make social judgements about computer speech outputs, and those seem to relate to gender stereotypes that exist in the wider world," Dr Kate Hone, a computer science academic at Brunel University, told the BBC. Out of the 15 male and 17 female participants interviewed, the participants mainly preferred male voices because they found the voices to be more reassuring.


Dean for Undergraduate Education announces 2017 Infinite Mile Award recipients

MIT News

Emily Sheldon of the MIT Admissions Office won her award for devoting considerable time and energy to recruiting and enrolling a diverse array of students, in particular transfer students, veterans, and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students. Her collaborative efforts to attract ROTC students have contributed to a five-fold increase in the number of students admitted to the MIT ROTC programs. Jake Livengood of the Global Education and Career Development Office was recognized for developing engaging improv workshops to help students improve their job search skills and enhance their self confidence. Katherine Wahl of the UAAP's Assistive Technology Information Center received the award for developing novel methods to meet the increased demand for accessibility evaluations.


What do George Orwell and Winston Churchill have in common? A new book has the answer

Los Angeles Times

Churchill's political leanings were conservative; Orwell flirted with communism until he witnessed the betrayal of his Republican comrades by Soviet agents in the Spanish Civil War. Many books have been devoted to Churchill, including his six-volume memoir of World War II. Both blurred the line between soldier and journalist; Churchill in the Boer War, Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. "Animal Farm," a tale of power-hungry pigs who take over a farm after the human farmer flees, was such a devastating sendup of Soviet politics, Orwell had a hard time finding a publisher in left-leaning London.


ISI Karl Pearson Prize for 2017

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All that aside, the job of the committee was to select an English-language article or book published in the last 30 years that has made a stand-alone research contribution, and which has had major influence on one or more of statistical theory, statistical methodology, statistical practice and application. There were many excellent nominations, but we decided to award the 2017 prize to Rod Little and Don Rubin for their 1987 book "Statistical analysis with missing data". These days, we routinely discuss whether data are "missing at random", "missing completely at random", or "missing not at random". Earlier missing data work was ad hoc at best.


What do George Orwell and Winston Churchill have in common? A new book has the answer

Los Angeles Times

Churchill's political leanings were conservative; Orwell flirted with communism until he witnessed the betrayal of his Republican comrades by Soviet agents in the Spanish Civil War. Many books have been devoted to Churchill, including his six-volume memoir of World War II. Both blurred the line between soldier and journalist; Churchill in the Boer War, Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. "Animal Farm," a tale of power-hungry pigs who take over a farm after the human farmer flees, was such a devastating sendup of Soviet politics, Orwell had a hard time finding a publisher in left-leaning London.


A record crowd in Washington celebrates MIT's culture of innovation and discovery

MIT News

Next, President Reif introduced three "MIT stars": Lily Tsai, John Urschel, and Sangeeta Bhatia. As founder and faculty director of the MIT Governance Lab, Associate Professor Lily Tsai leads a team of political scientists developing new strategies in citizen engagement, government responsiveness, and accountability in developing regions. Professor Sangeeta Bhatia SM '93, PhD '97 creates tiny nanoparticles that will have an enormous impact on human health. Bhatia directs the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and serves on the faculty of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.


King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden visits MIT

MIT News

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden visited MIT on Friday as part of a "Royal Technology Mission" for his country, attending presentations about research and the Institute's innovation ecosystem, among other topics. The king toured the MIT Media Lab and listened to talks from MIT faculty focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence. It was His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf's first visit to MIT -- although, as Lester pointed out, not the first time any MIT faculty members have met him, since the king annually presents Nobel Prize winners with their medals. At the Media Lab, the Swedish delegation received tours of the Changing Places Resarch Group, which focuses on urban planning and mobility, and the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group, which develops online tools for education and play.