Taubes awarded NAS prize

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has honored Clifford H. Taubes, William Petschek Professor of Mathematics at Harvard, its award in mathematics. Taubes received the award, which is given every four years for excellence in published mathematical research, for groundbreaking work relating to “Seiberg-Witten and Gromov-Witten invariants of symplectic 4-manifolds, and his proof of Weinstein conjecture for all contact 3-manifolds.” Established by the American Mathematical Society, the medal has been awarded since 1988 and includes a $5,000 prize.

Taubes joined a dozen other distinguished scholars to receive an NAS award in this most recent round of medals.

School of Dental Medicine receives ADEA Award for Vision

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) has won a pre-eminent William J. Gies Award from the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in recognition of contributions to and support of global oral health and education initiatives. Specifically, HSDM received the Outstanding Vision Award for an academic dental institution.

The ADEA is the leading national organization for dental education. The award is named after William J. Gies, who after visiting the existing dental schools in 1926, published “The Gies Report; Dental Education in the United States and Canada.” The report is still considered the most comprehensive survey of dental education. Selected by a distinguished panel of judges, honorees were announced for vision, achievement, and innovation.

Ph.D. candidates receive Kauffman Dissertation Fellowships

Harvard Ph.D. candidates Christopher Liu and Matt Marx recently received 2008 dissertation fellowships from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. All told, 16 fellowships in the amount of $20,000 were awarded to current Ph.D. students at U.S. universities engaged in the study of entrepreneurship.

For his dissertation, Liu will explore “Trickle-Down Entrepreneurship: Prior Mentorship and the Transmission of Norms,” while Marx will examine “Technology Commercialization in Young Organizations.”

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and to improve the education of children and youth.

Peter Black elected to lead WFNSPeter Black has been named president-elect of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS), a professional and scientific nongovernmental organization composed of continental associations, national neurosurgical societies, and affiliate societies representing approximately 25,000 neurosurgeons worldwide. His term involves two years as president-elect, four years as president, and two years as past president.

Black is the founding chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Franc D. Ingraham Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School. He is consistently listed in Best Doctors in America with special interest in brain tumor surgery, image-guided minimally invasive neurosurgery, skull base surgery, and brain mapping.

As president-elect, he will help to lead the federation’s efforts to advance all aspects of neurological surgery. These efforts include the education and training of neurosurgeons in developing countries as well as supplying instruments and equipment.

HHL-Leipzig honors Porter

Germany’s oldest business school, the HHL-Leipzig Graduate School of Management, conferred an honorary doctoral degree to Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, on Jan. 23. Thomas Middelhoff, chief executive officer of Arcandor AG, was also awarded an honorary degree.

The director of Harvard’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Porter is regarded as one of the leading economists in strategic management. The main focus of his work is how companies or regions obtain competitive advantages. His application-oriented research has been recognized worldwide and is well known in academic institutions as well as businesses.

Specifically, HHL acknowledged the impact of Porter’s work on a new survey on behalf of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He was also honored for his success in raising awareness for corporate social responsibility. HHL is the first German university to officially honor Porter’s contributions to the field of management.

Stone receives Batchelor Prize

Cambridge University Press has selected Howard Stone the winner of the inaugural Batchelor Prize sponsored by the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. The Vicky Joseph Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics at Harvard, Stone was selected by the Batchelor Prize committee for the breadth and depth of his research over a 10-year period (1998-2007) and for his widely acknowledged leadership in fluid mechanics generally.

Stone is particularly well-known for his pioneering studies in microfluids, including understanding the “slip” boundary condition; foam drainage, especially the proposing and testing of a new generalized foam drainage equation; and biological fluid dynamics. His analysis of simple model problems has led to important fundamental understandings and practical applications using theoretical, computational, and experiential methods.

The $25,000 Batchelor Prize will be awarded during the 22nd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in Adelaide, Australia, this August. There, Stone will present a lecture about some of this research.

— Compiled by Andrew Brooks