An MIT Alumni Association Publication

MIT Alumnae Win 2018 MacArthur Fellowships

  • Jay London

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Two MIT alumnae—a health economist and computer scientist—have each won a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, a prestigious honor unofficially known as the “Genius Grant.”

The Institute’s Amy Finkelstein PhD ’01 is the John & Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics and the co-founder and co-scientific director of J-PAL North America, a domestic policy research center at MIT. She was honored for her work in illuminating the hidden complexities of health care policy.

From the MacArthur Foundation website:

“Amy Finkelstein is an economist investigating the ways in which health care policy affects health, health care, and well-being. Using novel empirical designs in tandem with sophisticated econometric techniques and theoretical models, Finkelstein has undertaken large-scale studies to shed light on the unintended consequences—for individuals, companies, and society—of well-intentioned programs that manage and distribute medical and social services. . . .” Read more.

Deborah Estrin SM ’83, PhD ’85 is an associate dean and professor of computer science at Cornell Tech and a professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. Estrin was recognized for designing open-source platforms that leverage mobile devices and can address socio-technological challenges.

From the MacArthur Foundation website:

“Deborah Estrin is a computer scientist creating open-source applications and platforms that leverage mobile computing devices and network services to address socio-technological challenges. She made fundamental contributions to improving the scalability and broader utility of the emerging internet through her work on network routing (the process that determines how data are forwarded from source to destination). . . .” Read more.

According to the MacArthur Foundation website, the unrestricted fellowships are awarded annually “to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” All fellows receive a $625,000, no-strings-attached award.

Learn about all of the 2018 MacArthur fellows, and read about the MIT alumni and faculty who were honored with a fellowship in 2016, 2012, and 2010

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