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Stanford Report, April 24, 2002

Faculty win Guggenheims for 'exceptional' scholarship

BY LISA TREI

Ian Morris, the Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and professor of history, and Ilya R. Segal, associate professor of economics, are among 184 scholars, artists and scientists in Canada and the United States who have been granted this year's Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships.

The fellowships are awarded to people who have "already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts," and who show exceptional promise, according to the foundation. In 2001, the average award for the one-year fellowship was $36,000. Winners were chosen from more than 2,800 applicants on the basis of recommendations from hundreds of expert advisers who made recommendations to a selection committee. This year the committee includes Neil J. Smelser, former director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Ian Morris will study Greek democracy and standards of living in the first millennium B.C.E. According to Morris, several economists have suggested that before the Industrial Revolution, cycles of economic growth occurred that permitted the rise of affluence during certain periods. Morris will use archeology to provide empirical evidence for this hypothesis as he traces and tries to illuminate the process in ancient Greece.

Morris earned his bachelor's degree from Birmingham University in 1981 and his doctorate from Cambridge University in 1986. An internationally recognized authority in both Greek history and archeology, Morris was recruited to Stanford in 1995 after teaching at the University of Chicago for eight years. His main research work has been on the social revolution of the eighth century B.C. in the Mediterranean. In a previous incarnation, Morris toured Europe as lead guitarist for a heavy metal band.

Morris is a prolific scholar who is best known for his work on early Iron Age Greece. His books include Burial and Ancient Society (Cambridge 1987) and Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge 1992). He edited Classical Greece: Ancient Histories and Modern Archaeologies (Cambridge 1994), and co-edited A New Companion to Homer (Brill 1997) and Democracy 2500? Questions and Challenges (Dubuque 1997).

Morris has received fellowships from the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. (1989-90); the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1992-93); and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2002-03).

Ilya Segal will study prior knowledge and communication constraints in the design of multi-unit auctions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton next fall. Segal joined the faculty in 1999, after teaching at the University of California-Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his master's degree in applied mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1991, and his doctorate in economics from Harvard in 1995. His research and teaching interests are in microeconomic theory, contract theory, industrial organization and theory of the firm.

Segal's previous awards include the Nina C. Crocker Faculty Scholar Research Award (2001-03); the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship (1999-2001); the Hoover Institution's John Stauffer National Fellowship in Public Policy (1998-99); National Science Foundation Research Grants (1998-2000 and 2000-02); the Pew Foundation Visiting Scholarship, Harvard University (1991-92); and Second Prize in the USSR National Olympiad in Physics (June 1985).

For a complete list of the 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship awards, consult the Guggenheim Foundation website at www.gf.org/.