Princeton University

Princeton Weekly Bulletin   December 5, 2005, Vol. 95, No. 11   search   prev   next

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Page One
Center to address societal issues driven by technology
Nomadic historian inspires passion for Africa

New building embraces neighborhood plan, engineering vision
Scholar conveys complex ideas clearly — in 10 languages
Clothing drive, other community service activities planned

Wildberg selected as master of Forbes
Aspiring novelist wins Rhodes Scholarship
People, spotlight, appointment

Nassau Notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers



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Photo of: SUBJECT

Cynthia Cole (Photo: John Jameson)

Name: Cynthia Cole.

Position: Office assistant in the Office of Development Administration and receptionist for the Helm Building. Greeting all visitors to the building and directing them to the right place. Coordinating and scheduling meetings and the use of an office automobile. Assisting in building operations.

Quote: “I have a neat position because I interact with everyone in the building and with all the visitors — students, trustees, vice presidents. There are so many fascinating people who work here and who come to visit.”

Other interests: Hunting for antiques. Woodworking and repairing furniture.


Nathaniel Fisch, professor of astrophysical sciences and director of the Program in Plasma Physics, has been named the recipient of the American Physical Society’s 2005 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics.

The $5,000 prize recognizes Fisch, who also is associate director for academic affairs at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, for his outstanding contributions to the field of plasma physics. He is cited for “theoretical development of efficient radio frequency-driven current in plasmas and for greatly expanding our ability to understand, to analyze and to utilize wave-plasma interactions.”

Rob Goldston, director of the PPPL, said, “Professor Fisch’s work on radio frequency waves and their application to driving currents in plasmas has changed the face of international fusion research, making it possible to contemplate fusion systems that operate fully steadily, rather than in short pulses. In many ways the research agenda of the last decade in fusion plasma physics has only been made possible by Nat’s insights.”

Scott Tremaine, chair of the University’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences, said, “Nat Fisch is not only an exceptional theoretical physicist but also is committed to the fulfillment of PPPL’s unique role in the training of the next generation of plasma physicists and to strengthening the interactions between PPPL and the University research community. Nat’s work exemplifies the benefits that accrue to both communities from close cooperation between universities and national labs.”


Joyce Carol Oates, the Roger Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, has won one of France’s top foreign literature prizes.

She has been awarded the Prix Femina for her latest novel “The Falls.” Set against the backdrop of Niagara Falls, the novel explores the state of the American family and society in the mid-20th century.

A novelist, playwright, poet, critic, essayist and author of more than 100 books, Oates has taught at Princeton since 1978. She previously has received the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award honoring excellence in the art of the short story and the O. Henry Prize for continued achievement in the short story, among other honors.

Manjul Bhargava, professor of mathematics, has been selected as the recipient of two prestigious prizes in the field of mathematics.

He has received the Clay Research Award presented by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Massachusetts. The annual award recognizes major breakthroughs in mathematical research. Bhargava was cited for his discovery of new composition laws for quadratic forms, and for his work on the average size of ideal class groups.

Bhargava also has been selected as a winner of the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, instituted by the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy in India. The $10,000 award is presented to young scholars for their outstanding contributions in the field of mathematics. Bhargava is being recognized for his work in number theory, notably his Ph.D. work that resulted in the discovery of higher order composition laws.

Bhargava earned a Ph.D. from Princeton in 2001 and joined the faculty in 2003. His primary research interests lie in number theory, representation theory and algebraic geometry. He was named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” in 2002.