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05/14/92

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Talk on physics of running to inaugurate lecture series

STANFORD -- Thomas McMahon, professor of applied mechanics and of biology at Harvard, will discuss the physics of running in Stanford University's first Distinguished Lecture in Biomechanical Engineering at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, in Fairchild Auditorium.

McMahon, who is also a novelist, will speak on "A General Principle for the Physics of Running in Animals." He is a widely published and internationally recognized expert in many areas of biomechanics, including muscle biophysics and the effects of size on how animals and plants live and work.

McMahon and his graduate student, Peter Greene, worked on the design of a new indoor running track that helps produce particularly fast times. Their efforts were incorporated in the tracks at Harvard University and Madison Square Garden.

The latest of McMahon's three novels (Loving Little Egypt, Viking-Penguin, 1987) won the Rosenthal Award for Outstanding Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988, and was produced as a stage play last October by the Griffin Theatre Company in Chicago.

The new annual lecture series was initiated by Stanford's Biomechanical Engineering Program to recognize outstanding contributions to biology and medicine by scientists and engineers who utilize mechanical engineering approaches.

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