P E O P L E
Six Princeton faculty members have been elected to the American Philosophical Society.
They are: Daniel Kahneman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Saul Kripke, the McCosh Professor of Philosophy Emeritus; Douglas Massey, professor of sociology and public and international affairs; James Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus; Michael Wood, the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English; and Ying-shih Yü, the Gordon Wu '58 Professor of Chinese Studies Emeritus.
Founded in 1743, the APS is the nation's oldest learned society. Today it has 909 elected members from the United States and more than two dozen foreign countries.
James Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus, has won the 2004 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, a major new prize administered by the Shaw Foundation of Hong Kong.
The prize, which was given for the first time this year and carries a cash award of $1 million, was awarded to Peebles "for his having laid the foundations for almost all modern investigations in cosmology, both theoretical and observational, transforming a highly speculative field into a precision science."
Peebles came to Princeton as a graduate student and received his Ph.D. in 1962. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the physics department faculty. Peebles played a central role in establishing the current understanding of the evolution and structure of the universe. His studies of the evolution of matter in the earliest moments of the universe were critical in the establishment of the Big Bang theory as a widely accepted model.
The Shaw Prize was established by Run Run Shaw, a native of China, who founded a film production company and later ran a television broadcast company in Hong Kong.
The National Science Foundation has awarded its highly competitive CAREER grants for outstanding young researchers to four Princeton faculty members: Clarence Rowley, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Szymon Rusinkiewicz, assistant professor of computer science; Elie Tamer, assistant professor of economics; and David Wood, assistant professor of chemical engineering.
The CAREER awards are the National Science Foundation's most prestigious grants for young faculty members. Each provides about $400,000 in funding over five years.
Rowley's grant funds a project to develop mathematical models of complex fluid systems. His goal is to describe the behavior of turbulent fluids and other complex systems with equations that are significantly simpler than current methods. His project also has an educational component that includes developing an engineering student exchange program in Brazil and efforts to improve engineering education in local K-6 classrooms.
Rusinkiewicz will develop the theory and practical design of "3-D scanners," which produce a digital representation of three-dimensional objects. Such a device could be useful in fields ranging from art education and cultural heritage preservation to construction and law enforcement. Rusinkiewicz also will work with fourth-grade students and teachers to use Lego cameras and building blocks to make a rudimentary 3-D scanner.
Tamer's project focuses on developing economic models that work with a minimum of prior assumptions about the economic system. Using four specific economic models, Tamer will look for methods of drawing accurate inferences without assumptions that may be wrong or untestable.
Wood will work on creating protein molecules that automatically cut and splice themselves when triggered by another chemical. The technique could allow biologists to create proteins that, when inside a person or animal, have no effect until they meet a drug or chemical that triggers their transformation into an active protein. These "protein switches" could be useful in drug discovery and many areas of research at the intersection of biology and engineering.
A campaign that addresses high-risk alcohol consumption by students has been selected for a bronze medal in the national Council for Advancement and Support of Education's annual Circle of Excellence Awards Program.
The campaign, which won third place in the "special program publications packages" category, includes posters and table tents that were created and then distributed in high-traffic areas on campus. Titled "ReaLlife@princeton," the materials feature a cohesive, gritty and vivid design that ties together and reinforces messages created by the combination of a scientific fact with a personal testimonial.
In large lettering, one poster said, "In trying to find out who I was, I forgot everything about who I am" and featured a longer testimonial including that quote. The accompanying fact said, "According to a recent national study, nearly one-third of college students meet the criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse."
ReaLlife@princeton represents the collaboration of a wide range of Princeton departments and student groups including University Health Services, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Office of Communications, the Office of Information and Technology, the Office of Community and State Affairs and the Campus Alcohol Coalition. Primary contributors were: Micole Sharlin, graphic designer, and Karin Dienst, publications editor and staff writer, in the Office of Communications; Gina Baral, coordinator of health promotion services in University Health Services; and John Dempsey, a member of the class of 2005, who was a student consultant.