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He didn’t accept his award in front of millions of television viewers, but DAVID LAUR ’84, right, took home an Oscar nonetheless. The Pixar software engineer — one of 19 Technical Achievement Award honorees — won for his role in developing Pixar’s Alfred system — “the first robust, scalable, widely adopted commercial solution for queue management in the motion picture industry,” according to the Academy’s citation.

“It’s certainly true that nobody grows up to say, ‘I want to be a queuing-systems engineer.’ ... Of course, now there’ll be action-figures [of] queuing-systems engineers,” he quipped after accepting his award at a ceremony Feb. 13. The technical-award winners were shown briefly during the show, two weeks later, when actors received their own Oscars. Co-host actor James Franco — a doctoral student at Yale — wisecracked: “Congratula­tions, nerds.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter CLIFFORD J. LEVY ’89, left, recently became a two-time winner of the George Polk Award, one of journalism’s most important honors. Levy and Times colleague Ellen Barry won the prize in international reporting for their Times series “Above the Law,” which documented a “culture of impun­ity” in modern Russia.

According to the Feb. 22 Polk Award release, Levy and Barry “enlightened readers time and time again with ­­hard-hitting reports that spurred candid ­discussion in Russia about how far the country had strayed from post-Soviet Union promises that no one would remain above the law.” The citation noted that the articles were cited widely in Russia, where investigative reporting can be treacherous for local journalists.  

Levy, who has worked at the Times for two decades, received his first Polk award in 1998, as a local reporter coving campaign finance. Five years later, his six-part series exposing the abuse of mentally ill adults in state-regulated homes earned a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. And in 2009, he received a Robert F. Kennedy Journal­ism Award for his dispatches from Russia.

LOCOMOTIVES Jeopardy! PAUL WAMPLER ’92 NAN HAYWORTH ’81, JARED POLIS ’96, Jeopardy! ALEXANDER FRIEDMAN ’93, JOHN THOMPSON III ’88 CHRIS MOONEY ’94 SYDNEY JOHNSON ’97 ANIKA RAHMAN ’87 ETHAN COEN ’79, Fargo No Country for Old Men True Grit HELEN THORPE ’87