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News Briefs

Biology to End Acceptance of AP Credit Next Year

The Freshman Essay Evaluation results for the Class of 2010 were comparable to those of the Class of 2009. Advanced Standing Exam results were also generally similar to those of last year, as are the percentages of AP credit received by the freshman class. (For statistics, see page.)

This is the final year that the Biology Department will be accepting AP credit in place of 7.012 (Introductory Biology), which is one of the General Institute Requirements. In order to fulfill the graduation requirement, students starting from the Class of 2011, will either need to take 7.012 or pass the Biology Advanced Standing Exam, according to Janice D. Chang, biology educational administrator.

“The Biology Department feels that the AP curriculum does not adequately prepare students to understand current issues in and approaches to biology,” Chang said in an e-mail yesterday. “This preparation is relevant for all students as issues in biology are so pervasive today.”

For the past two years, about 27 percent of the entering freshmen classes have passed out of 7.012 with a 5 on the AP Biology exam.

The ASEs, taken mostly be freshmen, allow those who pass to receive credit for introductory courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. The FEE, required for freshmen who do not receive a 5 on either of the AP English exams, determines what writing subject a student must take in their first year.

—Angeline Wang

Bioengineering Professor Named 2006 MacArthur ‘Genius’

Linda G. Griffith, professor of mechanical and biological engineering, was awarded a 2006 MacArthur “genius” fellowship. Each year, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards 25 such fellowships in a variety of fields. The fellowship includes a $500,000 “no strings attached” financial reward paid in installments over five years. The foundation announced this year’s fellows on Tuesday.

According to the foundation’s Web site, Griffith was honored for “shaping the frontiers of tissue engineering and synthetic regenerative technologies.”

“I was very surprised,” Griffith said yesterday. “It was totally out of the blue.” The selection process for the MacArthur Fellowship is highly confidential with many nominees unaware that they are being considered. Griffith had received a call from MacArthur Foundation Director Daniel Socolow last week, according to the MIT News Office. “It took me a little while for it to sink in.”

Griffith joined the MIT faculty in 1991 and is currently director of the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center. She is also in charge of the curriculum for the new Biological Engineering S.B.

—Angeline Wang