Faculty Honors and Awards | 2021
 

JANUARY
 


ECONOMICS
Foreign Affairs names two books by MIT economists among the best of 2020
Both Good Economics for Hard Times, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, and The Narrow Corridor, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robison, are named among the best books of 2020 by Foreign Affairs. 
About the Awards at Foreign Affairs | Good Economics for Hard TimesThe Narrow Corridor

WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES | MLK VISTING PROFESSOR
Hashtag Activism named McGannon Center book of the year Moya Bailey
The book "stands out for [how] explains the ways networks of black and brown people, women, and other historically subordinated groups have 'birthed and nourished counterpublics on social media' helped resist 'antidemocratic disinformation' and 'contested ideologies of domination in the U.S.'"
About the Award | Hashtag Activism

ECONOMICS AND J-PAL
Esther Duflo named chair of new French development innovation fund
France starts a Fund for Innovation in Development, chaired by Professor Duflo, to test and scale up solutions to poverty and inequality, a move its founders hope will transform the country’s approach to aid.
Announcement at Devex

MUSIC
"Faces of Souls" honored by New York Jazz Recording | Mark Harvey
The Aardvark Ensemble's latest CD, featuring new music by Harvey on themes of democracy, justice and equality, has been named a "Best of 2020."
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra | About the CD | Preview: Listen to "Sisyphus"
 


FEBRUARY 


Kathleen Hicks '10, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; photo via DOD


POLITICAL SCIENCE / SECURITY STUDIES PROGRAM
Kathleen Hicks '10 sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Defense
Hicks, an alumna of our Political Science/Security Studies Program, and a distinguished career civil servant is now the second highest ranking officer in the Department of Defense. During her confirmation hearing, Hicks said she looks forward to working "alongside women and men — civilian and military — who dedicate their lives to our national defense. They are my colleagues and friends, and I could not be prouder at the prospect of serving with them once more."
Story via Defense News

WRITING + WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES
Helen Elaine Lee wins Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Awards
Professor Lee was nominated for her tireless work to support students, the MIT community, and the greater Boston area community.
Announcement from MIT WGS

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE
In Song Kim receives the 2021 Levitan Prize
New project by the inventor of LobbyView.org will advance trade theory and the ability of citizens to influence public policy-making.
Announcement from SHASS Communications


 


APRIL


L to R: Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu; photo by Gretchen Ertl; Gigliola Staffilani, Professor of Mathematics; photo by Bryce Vickmark
 

ECONOMICS + MATHEMATICS
Committed to Caring Awards | Daron Acemoglu and Gigliola Staffilani
Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu, an economist — as well as Gigliola Staffilani, Professor of Mathematics — have received MIT's 2021 Committed to Caring awards. Student nominators say Acemoglu helps them learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their research, and that he demonstrates confidence that all students can “contribute meaningfully to the field.”
Story
 


MAY 


Stephen Morris, Peter A. Diamond Professor of Economics; photo by Allegra Boverman 
 

ECONOMICS
Economist Stephen Morris elected to National Academy of Sciences
Morris, the Peter A. Diamond Professor in Economics, is joined by Dan Freedman, Robert Griffin, Larry Guth, and Gigliola Staffilani in election to the NAS, which is among the highest honors a scientist can achieve. An economic theorist, Morris has made important contributions to the foundations of game theory and mechanism design, as well as applications in macroeconomics, international economics, and finance. Congratulations to all!
Story

MIT SHASS
Six SHASS faculty awarded the 2021 James and Ruth Levitan Teaching Prize
Recipients of the School's Levitan Teaching Award are among the finest teachers at the Institute. These great educators, who are nominated by students themselves, represent the very best academic leadership in the School. 2021 recipients are: Eric Lin-Greenberg; Kenda Mutongi; Sara Ellison; Masami Ikeda-Lamm, and Maria Khotimsky.
Gallery of 2021 Recipients

ECONOMICS
Robert Townsend named a Distinguished Fellow of the AEA
Of Townsend, the Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics, the AEA writes that he "has established himself as a preeminent development economist. His work in development economics is characterized by sensitivity to institutional detail, sophisticated use of appropriate economic theory, and careful empirical work."
Story

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
Robin Wolfe Scheffler receives Sydney Brenner Fellowship
The award is for research and travels related to Scheffler's history of biotechnology in a Boston book project by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives. 
About

POLITICAL SCIENCE
Fotini Christia named director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
The political scientist will spearhead a center that studies high-impact, complex societal challenges.
Story | 3 Questions with Christia
 


JUNE


Edmund Bertschinger, Professor of Physics at MIT


WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES
Edmund Bertschinger receives the Baker Award for Excellence in Undergrad Teaching
Bertschinger, Professor of Physics, was nominated by students in his MIT SHASS humanities class WGS.160 / "Science Activism: Gender, Race, and Power."
Webcast of Ceremony | Bertschinger's MIT website | Feature story on WGS.160

ECONOMICS
Esther Duflo appointed to Economic Advisory Council of Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday named former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and Nobel laureate Esther Duflo as part of a five-member Economic Advisory Council to the Chief Minister.
Story at The Indian Express

ANTHROPOLOGY
Graham Jones wins Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising
The Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising is given each year to a professor from each school who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for graduate students. The award is named in honor of Frank E. Perkins, Dean of the Graduate School from 1983-95.
Full list of recipients

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
Jane Dunphy won the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education
The Irwin Sizer Award is presented to any member or group in the Institute community to honor significant innovations and improvements to MIT education. The award is named in honor of Irwin W. Sizer, Dean of the Graduate School from 1967-1975.
About the award

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
Panpan Gao and Kang Zhou awarded by MindHandHeart Community Innovation Fund
Gao and Zhou were recognized for their innovative Meditation for Chinese Learners project.  
Story at MIT News

MITx PRIZE | ECONOMICS
Jonathan Gruber wins MITx Prize for Macroeconomics course 
Gruber, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, has won a 2021 MITx Teaching Prize for his 14.01x (AP Microeconomics) course, which helps high school learners prepare for the College Board exam. Gruber's course opens "pathways that were previously cloudy or just invisible.”
Story

ECONOMICS
Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu elected to the American Philosophical Society
The APS, the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.”
Newly elected members

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
Helena Belío-Apaolaza and Maria Khotimsky win Teaching with Digital Technology Award
The prestigious, student-nominated award is given to faculty and instructors who have used digital technology to improve teaching and learning for MIT. Khotimsky is a Senior Lecturer in Russian languageBelío-Apaolaza is a lecturer in Spanish. 
Story at Global Languages | Video


Dr. Maria Khotimsky's students talk about studying Russian language at MIT


JULY



ECONOMICS
Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu elected to the British Academy Fellowship
Founded in 1902, the British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is a Fellowship of over 1400 of the leading minds in these subjects, a funding body for research, and a forum for debate. Welcoming the Fellows, President Julia Black said that the "need for the SHAPE disciplines – the social sciences, humanities, and the arts has never been greater.”
Full list of new Fellows | Acemoglu webpage

COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Paloma Duong awarded MIT SHASS Digital Humanities Faculty Fellowship
The fellowship will enable a semester-long collaboration between the Faculty Fellow and the Digital Humanities lab in developing digital tools and computational methods to advance humanistic or social scientific inquiry or to create new pedagogical resources. 
About the Fellowship

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
Dagmar Jaeger received an award from the Alumni Class Funds for AY22
The award will go toward supporting Jaeger's Special Subject Curriculum Development: Online Immersion German Oral Communication Class.
About the funded project

GLOBAL LANGUAGES
Kang Zhou was awarded a CLTL Language Teaching Innovation Grant
The grant will support Zhou's project, “Pre-diagnosis of Chinese tonal errors through online testing.”
About Zhou
 


AUGUST
 


Jim Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics, at MIT event with Madame Christine Lagarde, then Managing Director of the IMF

 

ECONOMICS
James Poterba named 2021 American Finance Association Fellow
Poterba, the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT, was selected as the 2021 Fellow of the American Finance Association (AFA), an honor that recognizes distinguished contributions to the field of finance. Poterba's wide-ranging research in financial economics has examined the influence of taxation on corporate dividend payments, the degree of mean reversion in the returns on common stocks, and the role of defined contribution plans in promoting retirement security.
Announcement at the AFA | Poterba webpage

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
Will Deringer wins Joseph J. Spengler Best Book Prize
Deringer was recognized for his book Calculated Value (Harvard University Press, 2018). In the book, Deringer shows how modern political culture features a deep-seated faith in the power of numbers to find answers, settle disputes, and explain how the world works. Calculated Values also traces how numbers first gained widespread public authority in one nation, Great Britain.
Calculated Value About the Spengler Prize | Will Deringer Website