The American Mathematical Society's 1999 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement has been awarded to Dr. Richard Kadison, the Kuemmerle Professor of Mathematics in SAS, for "his many years of contributions to the theory of operator algebras, through his research, through his teaching, his books, and through his leadership."
Dr. Kadison, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Danish and the Norwegian Academies of Sciences, is one of the founders and leading exponents of the theory of operator algebras, a subject that provides the mathematical framework for the basic structure of Quantum Mechanics. The field was initiated in 1930 by John von Neumann, the inventor of Game Theory and a leader in the development of computers.
The award, given January 14 in San Antonio, is one of three annual prizes the Society makes. Another is for Mathematical Exposition and the third, for Seminal Contribution to Research, was shared last year by Penn's Dr. Herbert Wilf.
Dr. Ralph F. Hirschmann, the Makineni Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry, is the recipient of the American Chemical Society's Arthur C. Cope Award, considered the most distinguished organic chemistry award given in this country, according to Penn Chemistry Chair Dr. Hai-Lung Dai . It is the latest in a string of awards for his work on the synthesis of molecules with specific biological and medicinal functions
Dr. Alan MacDiarmid received the ACS's award in Chemistry of Materials, "another milestone recognizing Alan's great discovery of conducting polymers on his way to even greater glory."
Dr. David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor of English, received the 29th annual James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association last month in San Francisco--and one of the two other finalists was an SAS colleague, Dr. Joan DeJean, Trustee Professor of Romance Languages.
Dr. Wallace's Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy (Stanford Press), was called "magisterial" by the prize committee, who said it "...transforms the once-familiar meaning of 'Chaucer and the Italians'....Suddenly, many moments in the Canterbury Tales take on new, eerie, political meanings, and suddenly our whole sense of 'Chaucer' has changed...."
In her "spirited and erudite" Ancients Against Moderns:
Culture Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siècle (Chicago), Dr.
DeJean demonstrates that "...today's culture wars reenact the battle
of the books (Querelle des Ancients et des Modernes) of the French
sevententh century," giving periodization new life.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 17, January 19, 1999