Dec. 7, 2006
Vol. 26 No. 6

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    Faculty Accolades

    Matthew Bothner, Associate Professor of Organizations and Strategy in the Graduate School of Business, received the 2006 Glueck Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management for submitting the most outstanding new research to its refereed scholarly program in business policy and strategy.

    The award honored his paper, “Status Volatility and Organizational Growth in the U.S. Venture Capital Industry,” which examined organizational prestige in the venture capital industry. The paper is co-authored with Jeong-han Kang, a post-doctoral researcher at Cornell University, and Wonjae Lee, a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University.

    Cheng Chin, Assistant Professor in Physics and the College, has received the 2006 Outstanding Young Researcher Award of the Overseas Chinese Physics Association.

    The award is given annually to young Chinese physicists working outside of Asia in recognition of their outstanding achievements in physics. Chin conducts research on cold-atom physics. In recent years he and his collaborators have conducted experiments that recorded the first observation of two unusual states of matter: molecular Bose-Einstein condensation and Efimov quantum states.

    In addition to his experimental physics, Chin also has published seminal papers on theoretical atomic physics, according to the OCPA.

    Previous recipients of this award include Wayne Hu, Associate Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, in 2000.

    Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business, has received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award given by the CFA Institute to leaders in the investment profession for their outstanding contributions to the financial services industry.

    Fama received the honor for his work on portfolio theory and asset pricing, as well as the two concepts—three types of efficiency and the “joint hypothesis problem”—published in the 1970 article “Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work.” According to the CFA citation, his contributions have been “of such significance as to change the direction of the profession and to raise it to higher standards of accomplishment.”

    Fama also is director of research of Dimensional Fund Advisors, Inc., an investment-advising firm with more than $100 billion under management.

    He received the honor earlier this year at the CFA Institute 59th Annual Conference in Zurich. The CFA Institute is the global, not-for-profit professional association that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst¨ (CFA¨) curriculum and examination program worldwide.

    Ian Foster, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Computer Science and the College, and the Associate Division Director for Argonne National Laboratory’s Math and Computer Science Division, has received one of the first GridWorld Industry Leadership Awards, which were presented earlier this month at the annual GridWorld conference in Washington, D.C.

    The awards were conceived in an effort to recognize an individual and an organization for their contributions in building awareness of grid computing by providing leadership in bringing the technology of grid and service-oriented information technology solutions to the market. IBM Corp. was the other recipient.

    The high-speed networking of grid computing provides access to both raw computer power and special data or instrument resources on demand, much the way an electric power grid provides electricity.

    A pioneer in grid computing, Foster directs the Computation Institute, a joint project between the University and Argonne that addresses the most challenging computational and communications problems arising from a broad range of intellectual pursuits. He also is chief open-source strategist for Univa Corp. Univa is a spin-off company formed to commercialize Argonne research in open source Globus software.

    James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, has been awarded the Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin in recognition of his contributions to research in economics and human behavior. His research efforts have focused on the economic benefits of investment in early child well-being.

    Heckman’s current research draws on neuroscience to demonstrate that such factors as earnings; employment; college attendance; teen-age pregnancy; and participation in crime strongly depend on a person’s formal skills and their personality traits. Influencing these personality traits (such as socialization) has as much of an impact as formal education on these later-life outcomes.

    During a weeklong visit to University College Dublin, Heckman also launched a collaborative research initiative into intervention design between the UCD’s Geary Institute and the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. The Atlantic Foundation and the Irish Government, through its Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions, are funding the project.

    Ralph Nicholas, the William Rainy Harper Professor Emeritus in Anthropology & Social Sciences, was recently awarded the Ribanindranath Tagore Memorial Prize for 2006 by the Bengali Academy of the West Bengal Government.

    Nicholas, who also serves as president of the American Institute of Indian Studies, received the honor for his book Fruits of Worship: Practical Religion in Bengal. The prize is given annually for a book about Bengal that is written in a language other than Bengali. The prize also includes a monetary award and a large copper plate resembling those used by ancient Bengali kings to make land grants.

    Professor Surabhi Bandopadhyay, the Vice Chancellor of the Netaji Subhas Open University, presented Nicholas with the award. Interviews with Nicholas appeared in the English language papers The Telegraph and Asian Age, the Bengali language newspaper the Andanda Bazar Patrika, and on Kolkata TV.

    The European Finance Association has awarded Lubos Pastor and Pietro Veronesi, both Professors of Finance in Graduate School of Business, with the 2006 Barclays Global Investors Prize for the best research paper. The association is a professional society of academics and practitioners with an interest in financial management and financial theory and its application.

    Pastor and Veronesi were honored for their paper “Technological Revolutions and Stock Prices,” which explains why stock prices of innovative companies tend to exhibit bubble-like patterns during technological revolutions.

    Frank Richter, the Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor in Geophysical Sciences and the College, will receive the Arthur Day Medal of the Geological Society of America on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the GSA annual meeting in Philadelphia, Penn.

    The Day Medal, established in 1948, recognizes outstanding achievements in solving geologic problems through the application of physics and chemistry. GSA is recognizing Richter for his work in applying fluid dynamics to investigations of the dynamics of the mantle (the layer that underlies the Earth’s crust), the driving forces of plate tectonics (large-scale movements of the crust), and thermal evolution of Earth.

    Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor in the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the Law School, was awarded the 2006 Distinguished Public Service Award by the Public Interest Law Initiative in Chicago. The organization lauded Stone’s “professional commitment to criminal justice and criminal defense” combined with his experience and expertise in clinical legal education.

    Stone is the former Cook County Public Defender and is a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section. He was the Director of the legal aid clinic from 1991 to 2001.

    The French Fondation de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure has selected Paul Wiegmann, Professor in Physics and the College, to receive a Blaise Pascal Research Chair. Wiegmann is among no more than five foreign scientists in all disciplines selected annually to receive the award. He is the fourth physicist to be selected for the award, which was established in 1996.

    Each Pascal award allows foreign research scientists to conduct their work for a 12-month period that could be spread over two years in an institution of higher learning or research institution in Paris or the surrounding Ile-de-France region.

    Jun Yin, Assistant Professor in Chemistry, is one of 12 scientists and engineers nationwide who has received a 2006 New Faculty Award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation of New York City. The award provides a $50,000 grant at the start of their research and teaching careers.

    Yin specializes in developing chemical tools to tackle fundamental biological problems, such as how cellular malfunctions lead to the development of cancer and other diseases.

    The Dreyfus grant will help the lab develop a system that can quickly scan the inventory of all the proteins encoded by the human genome and identify the enzymes with the correct chemical reactions that they influence. A key aspect of the project is to identify certain enzyme proteins both before and after they reach their targets. These enzymes, called post-translational modification enzymes, alter protein function after gene transcription has occurred.

    Yin will attempt to use the system to map the signal transduction networks that PTM enzymes follow in targeting two other proteins. One of the proteins, p53, suppresses tumors. The other protein, histone, regulates gene transcription, the process by which DNA sequences are transformed into functioning proteins.