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Viterbi Team Wins Harvard Fellowships

Elaine Chew and Alexandre Fran├žois two of 51 scientists, artists and engineeers selected for 2007-8 honors
Jenny Corke
June 25, 2007 —

François and Chew recently attended an ACM Multimedia Program Committee meeting in Delft, Holland, where this picture was taken.
Epstein Industrial and Systems Engineering Department Associate Professor Elaine Chew is one of 32 women and her husband USC Department of Computer Science Research Assistant Professor Alexandre François is one of 19 men who have been selected to serve as 2007-08 Radcliffe fellows by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Read the Radcliffe Institute announcement of the 2007-2008 Fellows.

Viterbi alumnus François (CS MS 97, Ph.D 00)  and concert pianist/engineer Chew will spend the coming academic year in Cambridge beginning in August, continuing to work on musical interfaces, including their new MIMI (Multimodal Interaction for Musical Improvisation) developed by the pair in collaboration with Thornton School director of piano pedagogy Dennis Thurmond.

The Radcliffe fellows—among them 18 humanists, 13 scientists, 12 creative artists and 8 social scientists—work individually and across disciplines on projects chosen for both quality and long-term impact.

Their projects range from the production of a film and photographic series on 21st century American workers to research into deriving heart cells from stem cells to improve cardiovascular development.

Profs. Chew and François' music visualization thematic cluster is one of only two such clusters hosted this year by the Institute.

“We are delighted to welcome these distinguished scholars, scientists and artists to Radcliffe. We look forward to seeing new friendships and collaborations form and to witnessing the ways the fellows’ interactions and the freedom provided by the fellowship year influence their work,” said Barbara J. Grosz, interim dean (effective July 1) and dean of science at the Radcliffe Institute.

“In my years as dean, I have been privileged to watch the fellows interact with one another and with faculty members in various departments across Harvard. From the vantage point of the Harvard presidency, I will continue to watch and admire their pathbreaking work and interdisciplinary approaches,” said Drew Gilpin Faust, dean of the Radcliffe Institute and president-elect of Harvard.

Unique among the nation’s centers for advanced studies, the Radcliffe Institute hosts artists, musicians and fiction writers, as well as academic researchers and professionals. Selected from a pool of more than 775 applicants, the 2007–2008 fellows are a diverse group of distinguished and emerging scholars and artists from the United States and other countries.