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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 2, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 32
JHU Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

John Irwin and Peter Olson, faculty members of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, are among the 196 fellows elected to the 225th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The academy made its announcement April 26.

Irwin is a professor of poetry in the Writing Seminars, and Olson is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

"Being inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is the highest recognition a scholar can receive in this country," said Daniel Weiss, James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School and a professor in its History of Art Department. "This recognition honors their individual achievements, but by extension it is a testament to the strength of our school."

Irwin is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and chair of the Writing program in the Krieger School's Advanced Academic Programs. He is the author of Doubling and Incest/Repetition and Revenge, The Heisenberg Variations, American Hieroglyphics and The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story.

He was formerly editor of The Georgia Review and is presently general editor of the Johns Hopkins University Press Fiction and Poetry Series. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1991, he won the Christian Gauss Prize in 1994 and the Scaglione Prize in 1994 for The Mystery to a Solution.

The focus of Olson's research is on understanding the dynamics of Earth's interior, including both the mantle and the core. He is especially interested in how these two major parts interact to produce plate tectonics, deep mantle plumes and the geomagnetic field. He combines theory, numerical models and laboratory fluid dynamics models to interpret global geophysical data pertaining to the deep interior.

Olson is currently collaborating with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to study the dynamics of Earth's core, particularly the magnetohydrodynamic processes by which the geomagnetic field is generated in the fluid outer core and modified by the solid inner core and the lower mantle.

Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. A broad-based membership of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business allows the academy to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

Irwin and Olson will be inducted on Oct. 8 in Cambridge, Mass., alongside other fellows including actor/director Sidney Poitier, choreographers Mark Morris and Judith Jamison, journalist Tom Brokaw, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, architect/sculptor Maya Lin, dramatist Horton Foote, playwright Tony Kushner, novelist Alison Lurie and cartoonist Art Spiegelman.


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