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Guggenheim foundation awards grants to six University professors

Six University professors were among the 168 recipients of fellowship awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Professors Scott Burnham, Demetrios Christodoulou, Hal Foster, Abdellah Hammoudi, Kenneth Rogoff and Salvatore Torguato have been named Guggenheim Fellows in the foundation's 74th annual competition.

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The foundation selects advanced professionals in all fields of study, excluding the performing arts, to receive funding as Guggenheim Fellows. The new appointees include writers, artists, scientists, film makers and scholars in the humanities, according to the foundation's press release.

Grants are adjusted to fit the specific needs of the fellows. In 1997, the foundation awarded an average of $29,235 to each recipient. The 1998 awards totaled $5,376,000, according to the release.

Appointments are usually for one year and never for fewer than six months.

The press release reports that recipients are chosen because they demonstrate "unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment." Three thousand applications were considered in this year's competition.

The winners

Christodoulou, a mathematics professor, will conduct a study on black holes and space-time singularities. The majority of his past work has involved differential equations originating in physics, specifically Einstein's equations of general relativity.

Christodoulou said he especially enjoys the field because it not only combines different areas of mathematics but also applies to the physical world.

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"The good thing about it is it's not self-contained," he said.

Christodoulou will be on leave during the 1999 spring semester, as his fellowship begins in December.

His previous research was funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation five years ago.

Torquato, a professor of civil engineering and operations research in the Princeton Materials Institute, will be modeling brain-tumor growth with an oncologist at Harvard University. He plans to study how the tumor develops as a function of time.

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Torquato said he will write a research monograph titled "Random Heterogeneous Materials," to be published by Oxford University Press.

One of only two engineers awarded the fellowship, Torquato said he felt "extremely fortunate" to be chosen by a foundation that primarily recognizes professionals in the arts and humanities.

"I'm ecstatic," he added.

Torquato will spend his fellowship year, which starts Sept. 1, at the the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In addition, he will be on sabbatical from the University for the duration of the fellowship.

The other recipients

Burnham, an associate professor of music, will explore "Mozart, Schubert, and the music of Romantic subjectivity." Professor of Art and Archaeology Foster plans to study "definitions of artistic medium and aesthetic field in modernism," according to the foundation press release.

Hammoudi, who directs the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East and serves as an anthropology professor and the Bayard Dodge professor of Near Eastern Studies, will study "the pilgrimage to Mecca as a ritual process."

Rogoff, the Charles and Marie Robertson professor of international affairs at the Wilson School, will research "strategic aspects of international macroeconomic policy," according to the press release.

Professors Burnham, Foster, Hammoudi and Rogoff could not be reached for comment.

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