MTL News

Bulovic named MacVicar fellow

March 6, 2009

Professor Vladimir Bulovic is one of two professors from the School of Engineering and another two from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences who were named MacVicar Faculty Fellows this year in recognition of their innovative teaching practices and accomplishments.

In addition to Professor Bulovic, Daniel Jackson, of electrical engineering and computer science; Diana Henderson of literature; and David Jones of science, technology and society are the newest MacVicar fellows.

The honor was formally announced by Provost L. Rafael Reif at a faculty reception on Thursday, March 5, at Gray House. The fellows were chosen by a special committee headed by Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Hastings.

The program, now in its 18th year, is designed to create an elite group of MIT scholars committed to excellence in teaching and innovation in education -- causes championed by the late Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Physics Margaret L.A. MacVicar, whom the program honors. Dean MacVicar died in 1991.

"We are a faculty dedicated to research and scholarship and also dedicated to providing an excellent education for our students," said Hastings. "The MacVicar program is a tangible statement of that caring."

The fellowships provide an annual scholar's allowance to assist each fellow in developing ways to enrich the undergraduate learning experience. MacVicar Faculty Fellows serve 10-year terms.

Two of the fellows, Bulovic and Jackson, were named Van Buren Hansford (1937) - Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellows.

Bulovic, the KDD Associate Professor of Communications and Technology, earned BS (1991), MA (1995) and PhD (1998) degrees from Princeton University. He joined the MIT faculty in 2000.

Bulovic's research interests include studies of physical properties of nanodot composite thin films and structures, and development of novel optoelectronic organic and hybrid nanoscale devices. In 2004, he was named as one of the TR100, Technology Review magazine's annual list of top young innovators in technology.

As a teacher, Bulovic seamlessly blends his artistic skills with extraordinary technical acumen, according to his colleagues. He has an incredible ability to engage and motivate students, and to inspire them to new heights. Moreover, he is able to take complex ideas and present them in a manner that makes them especially clear and intuitive.

"As he presents materials, Professor Bulovic is constantly gauging the students' absorption of the material," one of his students told the MacVicar Nominating Committee. "If there are any confused looks or bewildered faces from students, he re-explains the material in another way and waits for questions or a sense of student understanding. He seems to enjoy answering questions, which makes students comfortable asking them."
Diana Henderson

On Friday, March 6, the MacVicar fellows will host a panel discussion, "New Directions in General Education @ MIT," which is open to all members of the MIT community. Panel members include Professors Denny Freeman of electrical engineering and computer science, Haynes Miller of mathematics, Alex Techet of mechanical engineering and Janet Sonenberg of theater arts.

The panel will be held in Room 9-057 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception and viewing of faculty exhibits in Lobby 9.


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