New dean of Physical Sciences
Robert Fefferman, the Louis Block professor in mathematics, becomes
dean of the Physical Sciences Division July 1, succeeding David
Oxtoby, who is leaving Chicago to head Pomona College. Fefferman,
who joined the Chicago faculty in 1975, specializes in harmonic
analysis, partial differential equations, and probability theory.
A former chair of the mathematics department, the Princeton Ph.D.
received a 1982 Quantrell Award for teaching and has worked with
math education in public schools for 15 years.
Post-convocation construction includes the digging of several trenches
through the main quadrangle to install new steam and water tunnels.
The work, which still permits pedestrian access, will be completed
by the start of fall quarter.
Steven Levitt, the Alvin H. Baum professor in economics and the
College, has received the American Economics Association’s
John Bates Clark Medal.The biannual medal honors an outstanding
U.S. economist under age 40. Levitt studies the economic aspects
of crime, corruption, and education.
French philosopher Jacques Derrida will see an old text take on
a new meaning as the University of Chicago Press publishes the English
version of his 1953–54 doctoral dissertation this June. Derrida’s
first book-length work, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl’s
Philosophy, was not published in France until 1990.
This April Arthur F. Haney joined the U of C Medical Center as chair
of obstetrics and gynecology. Haney, who comes to Chicago from Duke
University, is a specialist in reproductive endocrinology, infertility,
and the prevention of adhesions following gynecological surgery.
Sara Paretsky, AM’69, MBA’77, PHD’77, author of
the V. I. Warshawski detective novels, taught creative writing to
a group of College students this winter quarter. Paretsky, who last
year received the British Crime Writers Association's Cartier Diamond
Dagger Award for lifetime achievement, was a visiting professor
at the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made a $3 million grant to establish
the Hanna Holborn Gray Advanced Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities
and Humanistic Sciences. The grant, which will support research
and dissertation work, marks the former Chicago president’s
retirement as chair of Mellon’s board of trustees.
Only two teams have won all three national university quiz competitions
in the same year—including Chicago in 1999. This year’s
Chicago team came close, winning both the College Bowl, Inc., and
the National Academic Quiz Tournament. The team clinched the CBI
title with a 400-to-195 win over the University of Florida and glided
through the NAQT unbeaten. The stumbling block to triple victory
was the Academic Competition Federation, where Chicago placed fifth.
Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund distinguished service professor
of law and ethics, has been tapped to serve as a celebrity playwright
for Victory Garden’s 13th annual Chicago Stories gala benefit.
Nussbaum joins the ranks of other Chicago elites who have participated
in the event, including the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and Chicago
Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, X’70.
Shakeela Hassan, professor emeritus in anesthesiology and critical
care, recently oversaw a grass-roots fund-raising effort to help
fund the film Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, which aired
in December on PBS. Hassan hopes the documentary will counter misconceptions
about her faith and unite the Muslim community.
This June the Pritzker School of Medicine will enroll its youngest
student ever, 12-year-old Sho Yano. The prodigy, who earned his
undergraduate degree at Loyola University in just three years, will
complete a Ph.D. before beginning his M.D. program, postponing contact
with patients until he is older.
All that jazz
Newly discovered compositions by Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington’s
arranger, have been donated by his family to the University’s
Chicago Jazz Archive. The works, many of which have never been performed
or recorded, will allow researchers to study Strayhorn as a composer
in his own right.
This year’s crop of College first-years
included 189 National Merit scholars. Chicago ranked fourth in number
of Merit scholars enrolled, preceded by Harvard (396), University
of Texas at Austin (266), and Stanford (223).