Honors & Awards
MICHAEL BRATMAN, a professor of philosophy with interests in the philosophy of action and moral philosophy, has won an award in the field of artificial intelligence for computers. Bratman shared the award for an influential paper he wrote with David Israel and Martha Pollack 20 years ago. Bratman, the Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, was given the award by the International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. The ideas in the paper have helped artificial intelligence systems manage the enormous number of options for action that would otherwise overwhelm their decision-making processes, in part by taking into consideration the intentions of the "agent."
W. S. DI PIERO, a professor of English and poet, is the winner of the California Book Award Gold Medal for Poetry. The award, offered by the Commonwealth Club of California, honors his most recent collection, Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems (Knopf, 2007), with a cash award of $2,000. A native of Philadelphia, Di Piero came to Stanford as an assistant professor in 1982 and became a full professor in 1990. He is a distinguished poet, essayist and translator from the Italian. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a PEN Renato Poggioli Award and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. Chinese Apples, culling from eight collections over the last quarter century and offering 15 new poems, is his first selected volume. His poems have been praised as street-savvy and high-brow, edgy and traditional. In one poem, "Stanzas," he writes: "Take away whatever you want, / but deliver me to derangements / of sweet, ordered, derelict words."
DONALD KENNEDY, president emeritus of Stanford and former editor-in-chief of Science magazine, has been chosen to receive the Public Understanding of Science Award from the Exploratorium. In announcing the award, the Exploratorium cited Kennedy for a career spent advancing science and education. The announcement also noted that his time as Stanford president "was marked by a renewed attention to undergraduate education and an increase in student volunteerism and public service." Kennedy, the Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Emeritus, is a biologist whose specific areas of expertise range from global climate change to the ecosystem impacts of alien marine species invasions. The award will be presented on May 14 at the Exploratorium Annual Awards Dinner.
BRIAN WANDELL, the Isaac and Madeline Stein Family Professor, has won the Edgar D. Tillyer Award of the Optical Society of America. A professor of psychology, Wandell was recognized for his contributions to the science of color vision and color imaging systems, and for work on brain imaging that has illuminated the organization and function of human visual processing.
RICHARD ZARE, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and chair of the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education by the American Chemical Society. The $5,000 award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to chemical education. Zare is renowned for his research in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. The award was presented April 7 at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans.