|October 6, 2006 Vol. 77, no. 8F
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With the proliferation of point-and-click digital cameras
and camera phones, taking a photo has never been easier. But that doesn’t
mean pictures are better. “As cameras have become smarter, people may not
be learning about photography because they’re relying on the camera to do
everything for them automatically,” says EECS professor Brian Barsky.
“Technique, lighting, composition, an aesthetic sense, storytelling —
these are all elements that people sometimes skip.”
What would you do with $500,000? That’s the pleasant dilemma
facing EECS associate professor Claire Tomlin (Ph.D.’98 EECS), who
recently won a 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship. Tomlin was
one of 25 recipients chosen for their creativity, originality and
potential to make important future contributions. Fellows receive a
$500,000 “no strings attached” grant over the next five years.
The first time EECS senior Jeff Chou performed improv comedy
in front of a live audience, he was a sophomore. “Five minutes before
going on, I was really nervous,” he recalls. “But when it was my turn, I
forgot everything else and just went out there. When you say something and
the audience laughs, it’s thrilling. Being onstage definitely changed
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