MIT honours two Indian American professors

This year's honorees are Bishwapriya (Bish) Sanyal of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Christopher Schuh of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and George Verghese and Patrick Winston, both of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

"It is certainly in the spirit of Margaret MacVicar's commitment to students that we award these prestigious fellowships and recognise the creative efforts of MIT's outstanding teachers.

"This year's fellows are deeply committed advisors and mentors, they have led important curriculum changes and made significant contributions to programmes in student life," MIT provost L Rafael Reif said during a reception at Gray House.

At present, there are 38 members of the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Programme, which was established in 1992 to provide an annual allowance to support faculty undergraduate teaching efforts, he said.

The 10-year fellowship programme was initiated to honour the life and devotion to the teaching excellence of Margaret MacVicar '64, ScD '67, MIT's first dean for undergraduate education and founder of UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme), Reif said.

Bishwapriya Sanyal, who received his PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of California at Los Angeles, joined the MIT faculty in 1984 after previously working for the World Bank, and served as the head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1994 to 2002 and chair of the MIT faculty from 2007 to 2009.

Sanyal, currently the Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, also directs the SPURS/Hubert Humphrey programme at MIT for mid-career professionals.

George Verghese, a professor of electrical engineering, has been part of the MIT faculty since 1979. He received his B Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1974; his MS from the State University of New York, Stony Brook in 1975; and his PhD from Stanford University in 1979, all in electrical engineering.

Having a broad educational impact in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, he has taught a range of courses, and in recent years has been involved in the evolution of the "header" course in communication, control and signal processing.

The provost's advisory committee, which assists the provost in selecting new fellows, is chaired by Daniel Hastings, dean for undergraduate education, and includes faculty and students.

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