PMA Division News Honors & Awards

  Division of Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy - 103-33 - Pasadena - California - 91125



 In the News  Honors & Awards

Dinakar Ramakrishnan has been named Taussky-Todd-Lonergan Professor of Mathematics, effective October 1. The endowed chair honors the late Caltech professors of mathematics Olga Taussky-Todd and John Todd, and John Todd's companion, Rosemary Lonergan. Ramakrishnan received his bachelor's degree from the University of Madras in 1970, an MS from Brooklyn Polytech in 1973, and an MA and his PhD from Columbia University, in 1977 and 1980, respectively. He joined Caltech's faculty as professor of mathematics in 1988.




Richard Ellis, Steele Family Professor of Astronomy, is a member of the Supernova Cosmology Project, one of two teams awarded the 2007 Cosmology Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation. The $500,000 prize will be shared by Saul Perlmutter and the members of the project and by Brian Schmidt and the High-z Supernova Search Team for the two teams' independent discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Ellis made a significant early contribution when, in a Nature paper in 1989, he and Danish collaborators demonstrated the practicality of using distant supernovas for this purpose. He is a coauthor of the widely cited 1999 paper of which Perlmutter was lead author. A Fellow of the Royal Society, Ellis joined Caltech's faculty in 1999.




Shri Kulkarni, MacArthur Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science, has been appointed an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. The six-year appointment began effective July 1, and Kulkarni will visit the campus three or four times for a period of one to two weeks "under a single mandate-to enliven the intellectual and cultural life of the university." Kulkarni received his MS from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1978 and his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1983. He came to Caltech as a Millikan Research Fellow in 1985, became assistant professor in 1987, professor in 1992, and MacArthur Professor in 2001. He served as executive officer for astronomy 1997-2000 and currently is director of the Caltech Optical Observatories.




Re'em Sari, associate professor of astrophysics and planetary science, has been selected by the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics to receive the Franćois Frenkiel Award, which recognizes "significant contributions to fluid mechanics that have been published in Physics of Fluids during the preceding year by young investigators." Sari was honored for his paper "First and Second Type Self-Similar Solutions on Implosions and Explosions containing ultrarelativistic Shocks." He received his BSc in physics in 1991 and his BSc in mathematics in 1992, both from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and his PhD in 1998 from Hebrew University. He came to Caltech as a Fairchild Senior Research Fellow in 1998, and was appointed associate professor in 2003.




Harvey Newman, professor of physics, has been chosen to receive two honorary doctoral degrees. The first was awarded this past May by the University Politehnica of Bucharest, and the second will be awarded this September by the Pavol Jozef Safarik University, in Kosice, Slovakia. Newman received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from MIT, in 1968 and 1973, respectively. He came to Caltech in 1982 as an associate professor, and was appointed professor in 1990.




Peter Goldreich, DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Physics, Emeritus, has been named the 2007 Shaw Laureate for Astronomy "in recognition of his lifetime achievements in theoretical astrophysics and planetary sciences." Established by Sir Run Run Shaw of Hong Kong, the honor includes a cash prize of $1 million. Goldreich received his BS and PhD from Cornell University, in 1960 and 1963, respectively, and he is currently a professor of astrophysics in the Institute for Advanced Study's School of Natural Sciences, in Princeton, New Jersey.




John Schwarz, Brown Professor of Theoretical Physics, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the academy "undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems." With its broad-based membership, the academy has the unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public-policy research.




Mark Wise, McCone Professor of High Energy Physics, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Incorporated in 1863, the NAS provides to the nation's leaders "advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently pervade policy decisions." Election to the academy is considered one of the highest U.S. honors in science and engineering.




The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Hanford, Washington, created by Caltech and MIT, has received one of the first-ever Science Education Advocate Awards of Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform). Recognizing five individuals, organizations, and project teams "who have exhibited outstanding advocacy for science education in the state of Washington by promoting the importance of science education among the general public and/or the education system," the awards include $5,000 for each recipient. LIGO develops and collaborates in programs to promote science, emphasizing the effort to directly detect gravitational waves. LIGO's donation will support transportation expenses for field trips to the observatory.




Hiroshi Oguri has been named Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics, effective February 1. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Kyoto University, in 1984 and 1986, respectively, and his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1989. He came to Caltech as a visiting associate in 1999, and joined the faculty as a professor in 2000.




Edward Stone, Morrisroe Professor of Physics and vice provost for special projects, has received the Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement as part of Aviation Week's 50th annual Laureate Awards. The Laureate Awards recognize achievements in aerospace, aviation, and defense. Stone joined Caltech's faculty as a research fellow in 1964, the same year he received his PhD from the University of Chicago, and he achieved the rank of full professor in 1976. A principal investigator on nine NASA spacecraft missions and coinvestigator on five others, Stone has served as project scientist for the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 deep-space probes since 1972. He has held many administrative positions at Caltech as well, including that of director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.




The Caltech Astronomical Observatories and the scientists, researchers, and students associated with it, have been selected by the Space Foundation to be the group recipient of the John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration. Named after the late Apollo 13 astronaut, who died of bone cancer in 1982 shortly after being elected to Congress by Colorado's newly created Sixth District, the award recognizes "the trailblazing body of astronomy research and discoveries made by the Caltech astronomy community, and the successful management of one of the world's most impressive portfolios of observatories," which includes the Palomar Observatory, the W. M. Keck Observatory, and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, among others. JPL received the award last year.




Richard Ellis, Steele Family Professor of Astronomy, has been named the inaugural John Bahcall Distinguished Professor at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. He will give the Bahcall Lecture at the Space Telescope Science Institute and a public lecture at the Goddard Space Flight Center in early December. Ellis was selected for this honor on the basis of his research accomplishments and his "activities and vision in building for the future," as well as his "ability to communicate both the substance and the excitement of frontier astrophysics." A Fellow of the Royal Society, Ellis received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1974. He has been a professor at Caltech since 1999, and he directed the Caltech Optical Observatories from 2002 to 2005.




Marc Kamionkowski has been named the Robinson Professor of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics. A professor at Caltech since 1999, he received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1987 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1991. His research interests include how the large-scale distribution of mass in the universe originated, galaxy formation, the formation of the first stars, and the problems of dark matter and dark energy.




Frederick Raab, a member of the professional staff in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), on the recommendation of the Topical Group on Gravitation. According to the APS Fellowships page, "members are eligible for nomination and election to Fellowship. Each nomination is evaluated by the Fellowship committee of the appropriate APS division, topical group or forum. After review by the APS Fellowship Committee, the successful candidates are elected by APS Council. Fellowship is therefore a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers.




Felix Boehm, Valentine Professor of Physics, Emeritus, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Section on Physics. The award ceremony will be held in 2007 during the AAAS meeting in San Francisco, February 15–19. Boehm joined Caltech's faculty in 1953 as a research fellow, became senior research fellow in 1955, assistant professor in 1958, associate professor in 1959, professor in 1961, Valentine Professor in 1985, and emeritus in 1995. He received his PhD from the Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich) in 1951.




Robert Christy, Institute Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Section on Physics. The award ceremony will be held in 2007 during the AAAS meeting in San Francisco, February 15–19. Christy received his BA from the University of British Columbia in 1935 and his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1941. He joined Caltech's faculty in 1946 as an associate professor of physics, was appointed professor of theoretical physics in 1950, was named Institute Professor in 1983, and became emeritus in 1986. During his career he served as executive officer for physics from 1968 to 1970, as vice president and provost from 1970 to 1980, and as acting president in 1977-78.




Ron Drever, professor of physics, emeritus, has been chosen a recipient of the American Physical Society's 2007 Einstein Prize, which is supported by the Topical Group on Gravitation. Drever and his corecipient, Rainer Weiss of MIT, are being recognized "for fundamental contributions to the development of gravitational wave detectors based on optical interferometry, leading to the successful operation of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory"; they will share the honor's $10,000 prize. Drever received his BSc and PhD from Glasgow University in 1953 and 1958, respectively, and joined Caltech as professor of physics in 1979. Eisenstein Named Buckley Prize Winner.




James Eisenstein, Roshek Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, has been named a corecipient of the American Physical Society's 2007 Oliver E. Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics "for fundamental experimental and theoretical research on correlated many-electron states in low dimensional systems." He will share the $10,000 prize with Steven Girvin of Yale and Allan MacDonald of the University of Texas, Austin. Eisenstein received his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in 1974 and his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1980, and he joined Caltech as professor of physics in 1996.




Ken Libbrecht, professor of and executive officer for physics, who received multiple awards in 2004 for his book The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty, has a new book out, Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has issued a set of four commemorative stamps featuring images of snowflakes based on his photographs. Libbrecht received his BS from Caltech in 1980 and his PhD from Princeton in 1984, the same year he joined Caltech as an assistant professor of astrophysics. He has been professor since 1995 and executive officer since 1997.




Barry Simon, IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, has been chosen to be the 2007 Wolfgang Wasow Memorial Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the lecture will be given next fall. Simon first came to Caltech as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar in 1980, then joined the faculty as a full professor in 1981. Named IBM Professor in 1984, he served as executive officer for mathematics from 1997 to 2003. He received his AB from Harvard College in 1966 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1970.




Barry Barish, Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, has been awarded a Laurea ad Honorem in Physics by the University of Bologna. A workshop, "Beyond the Standard Model," was held at the Bologna Academy of Sciences on October 2 in honor of Barish and fellow recipient Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow of Boston University. Barish has been a member of Caltech's faculty since 1963. He was named Linde Professor in 1991 and served as director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory from 1997 to 2006.




Barry Simon, IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, has been invited to give the 2006–07 van Winter Memorial Lecture in Mathematical Physics at the University of Kentucky, on March 20 of next year. Simon received his AB from Harvard College in 1966 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1970. He first came to Caltech as a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar in 1980, then joined the faculty as full professor in 1981. Named IBM Professor in 1984, he served as executive officer for mathematics from 1997 to 2003.




Ahmed Zewail, Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics and professor of physics, has been selected to receive the "Albert Einstein" World Award of Science 2006 for his development of the new field of femtoscience and his "valuable contributions to the revolutionary discipline of physical biology." The honor is awarded by the World Cultural Council, which was founded in Mexico in 1982. The recipient of many honors, including the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Zewail received his BSc from Alexandria University in 1967 and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. He has been a member of Caltech's faculty since 1976, and he is director of the Laboratory for Molecular Sciences.




Peter Goldreich, DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Physics, Emeritus, has been awarded the Grande Medaille of the Academie des Sciences of the Institut de France. Created in 1997, the award is given annually, rotating among the disciplines relevant to each division of the academy. Recipients have "contributed to the development of science in a decisive way, both through the originality of their personal research and by their international presence and stimulating influence." A member of Caltech's faculty since 1966, Goldreich received his PhD from Cornell in 1963. Valentine Professor Chosen for Laser Honor




Jeff Kimble, Valentine Professor and professor of physics, has been chosen to receive the 2006 Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis, which "honors outstanding milestones in research for appliance and generation of laser light." He is the first recipient of the prize, which is to be awarded every two years, and was cited for "his groundbreaking experiments in the field of cavity quantum electrodynamics." Kimble received his PhD from the University of Rochester in 1978, joined Caltech as a professor in 1989, and was named Valentine Professor in 1997.




The Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) Team has been named to receive the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's 2006 Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award, which recognizes "the development of innovative research instruments and techniques." Based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the project includes team members from Caltech's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) and from JPL. The Muhlmann Award is given annually "for recent significant observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software, or observational infrastructure."




Barry Simon, IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, has been invited to give the 2006-07 Milton Brockett Porter Lectures at Rice University. He will present the series of five lectures from September 10 to 21 on topics of his own choosing and will have the opportunity to prepare a manuscript for publication by Princeton University Press.




Re'em Sari, associate professor of astrophysics and planetary science, has been selected by the American Astronomical Society to receive the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy. Given to young astronomers under 36 or within eight years of receiving their PhD, the prize is awarded "for a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy during the five years preceding the award." It includes a cash award and an invitation to present a paper.




Barry Simon, IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Wales Swansea. The degree ceremony will be held at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, during the week of July 17-21. The honorary fellowships were established in 1985 as a special honor for persons "who have attained high distinction in their chosen field."




David Goodstein, Caltech's vice provost, professor of physics and applied physics, and Gilloon Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor, has had his book Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004) selected by the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative as one the two finalists for the National Academies Communication Award in the book category.




Judith Cohen has been named the Kate Van Nuys Page Professor of Astronomy. She joined Caltech's faculty as an associate professor of astronomy in 1979, becoming professor in 1988 and serving as executive officer for astronomy from 1995 to 1996. She is currently working on a large survey of extremely metal-poor stars in the halo of our galaxy.


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