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Alan T. Waterman Award
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Alan T. Waterman Award Recipients,
1976 - present

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 2002 | 2001 | 2000
1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990
1989 | 1988 | 1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981 | 1980
1979 | 1978 | 1977 | 1976

Note: Institutions listed are those with which the recipients were affiliated at the time of the Award.

2014

 
2014 Waterman Award winner Feng Zhang with NSF Director France Córdova

Feng Zhang

Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Univ., and France Córdova, NSF Director

"For development and application of molecular technologies that enable systematic interrogation of intact biological systems through precise genomic manipulation."

 


2013

 
2013 Waterman Award winner Mung Chiang with NSF Acting Director Cora Marrett

Mung Chiang

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Electrical Engineering Department at Princeton University, and Cora Marrett, NSF Acting Director

"For fundamental contributions to the analysis, design, and performance optimization of wireless networks."

 


2012

 
2012 Waterman Award winner Scott Aaronson with NSF Director Subra Suresh

Scott J. Aaronson

TIBCO Career Development Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and Subra Suresh, NSF Director

"For numerous fundamental contributions to quantum computing and theoretical computer science and for popularization of quantum information science. "

 

2012 Waterman Award winner Robert Wood with NSF Director Subra Suresh

Robert J. Wood

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Harvard University, and Subra Suresh, NSF Director

"For his development of multi-scale, multi-material fabrication methods for automated monolithic assembly of high performance, innovative robots, and for his outreach efforts to make science and engineering accessible to all."


2011

 
2011 Waterman Award winner Casey W. Dunn with NSF Director Subra Suresh

Casey W. Dunn

Manning Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, and Subra Suresh, NSF Director

"For his gifted integration of field biology, genomics, and computational science that has led to changing our understanding of the evolutionary tree, integrating morphological and molecular perspectives on diversity, and developing new tools that are revolutionizing biology."

 


2010

 
2010 Waterman Award winner Subhash Khot with NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr.

Subhash A. Khot

Associate Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, and Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

"For unexpected and original contributions to computational complexity, notably the Unique Games Conjecture, and the resulting rich connections and consequences in optimization, computer science and mathematics."

 


2009

 
2009 Waterman Award winner David Charbonneau with NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr.

David Charbonneau

Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University, and Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

"For his pioneering research into the discovery and characterization of planets orbiting other stars, which has allowed, for the first time, the study of their surface conditions and atmospheres, and has revolutionized interdisciplinary research related to exoplanets."

 


2008

 
Photo of Terance Tao, 2008 Waterman Award winner

Terence Tao

Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles and Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

“For his surprising and original contributions to many fields of mathematics, including number theory, differential equations, algebra, and harmonic analysis”

 


2007

 
Photo of Peidong Yang, 2007 Waterman Award winner

Peidong Yang

Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley and Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

“For outstanding contributions in the creative synthesis of semiconductor nanowires and their heterostructures, and innovations in nanowire-based photonics, energy conversion, and nanofluidic applications.”

 


2006

 
Photo of Emmanuel Candes, 2006 Waterman Award winner

Emmanuel Candes

Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, and Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

“For his research in computational mathematics and statistical estimation, with applications to signal compression and image processing.”

 


2005

 
Photo of Dalton Conley, 2005 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Arden Bement

Dalton Conley

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director, Center for Advanced Social Sciences Research, New York University and
Arden L. Bement, Jr., NSF Director

“For his contribution to the field of sociology as a research scientist and published author exemplified by his research on how socio-economic status is transmitted across generations. He brings methodological rigor and sophistication to deep social questions.”

 


   

2004

 
Photo of Kristi Anseth, 2004 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Arden Bement

Kristi Anseth

Tisone Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Assistant Investigator
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
University of Colorado, Boulder and
Arden Bement,
NSF Acting Director

"For her research at the interface of biology and engineering, resulting in the design of innovative biomaterials that significantly facilitate tissue engineering and regeneration."

 

2003

 
Photo of Angelika Amon, 2003 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Rita Colwell

Angelika Amon

Associate Professor of Biology and Assistant Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Center for Cancer Research , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and Rita Colwell, NSF Director

"For her seminal contributions to understanding how cells orchestrate the segregation of their chromosomes during cell division, the key process of life "

 


2002

 
Photo of Erich D. Jarvis, 2002 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Rita Colwell

Erich D. Jarvis

Associate Professor
Department of Neurobiology
Duke University Medical Center and
Rita Colwell, NSF Director

"For his use of gene expression as a tool to map brain fuctional systems and to identify parts of the brain involved in perceiving, learning and producing vocal communication"

 


2001

 
Photo of Vahid Tarokh, 2001 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Rita Colwell

Vahid Tarokh

Associate Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and Rita Colwell, NSF Director

"For the invention of space-time coding techniques that produce dramatic gains in the spectral efficiency of wireless digital communication systems." 

 


2000

 
Photo of Jennifer A. Doudna, 2000 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Rita Colwell

Jennifer A. Doudna

Professor, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University and Assistant Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
and Rita Colwell, NSF Director

"For innovative research that led to the development of a technique that facilitates crystallization of large RNA molecules; for determining the crystal structures of catalytic RNA molecules and an RNA molecule that forms the ribonucleoproteincore of the signalr econgition particle; and for deciphering structural features of those molecules that permit a greater understanding of the mechanistic basis of RNA function in both catalysis and protein synthesis."

 

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1999

 
Photo of Chaitan S. Khosla, 1999 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Rita Colwell

Chaitan S. Khosla

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering,
Chemistry, and Biochemistry, Stanford University and
Rita Colwell, NSF Director

"For his outstanding work in elucidating the mechanisms of enzyme biocatalysis of polyketides, thereby opening an exciting potential route to new drug discovery."

 

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1998

 
Photo of Christopher C. Cummins, 1998 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Neal Lane

Dr. Christopher C. Cummins

Department of Chemistry,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
Neal Lane, NSF Director

"For innovative research in transition-metal activation of small molecules, including the discovery of reactions to cleave nitrogen-nitrogen multiple bonds under mild conditions. His revolutionary approach to chemical reactivity has answered key questions and furthered development in catalyst design and nitrogen fixation."

 

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1997

 
Photo of Eric Cornell, 1997 Waterman award winner

Dr. Eric Cornell

Department of Physics University of Colorado at Boulder and Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology


"For his leading role in the creation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas, and for innovations in the manipulation, trapping and cooling of atoms that led to the realization of this new state of matter."

 

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1996

 
Photo of Robert M. Waymouth, 1996 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Neal Lane

Dr. Robert M. Waymouth

Department of Chemistry, Stanford University
and Neal Lane, NSF Director

"For his seminal contributions to the design of well-defined organometallic catalysts for the synthesis of novel polymers, including chiral cyclopolymers and stereoblock polyolefins. The development of catalysts which change their structure as they work has established a new paradigm in the synthesis of block-polymers."

 

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1995

 
Photo of Matthew P.A. Fisher, 1995 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Neal Lane

Dr. Matthew P. A. Fisher

Institute for Theoretical Physics University of California-Santa Barbara
and Neal Lane, NSF Director

"For his broad and original contributions to the theory of the quantum dymanics of macroscopic systems and quantum phase transitions, specifically his prediction of a vortex glass phase in high temperature superconductors, his studies of the superconductor-insulator transition and is seminal work on quantum transport in Luttinger liquids."

 

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1994

 
 Photo of Gang Tian, 1994 Waterman award winner, with NSF Director Neal Lane

Dr. Gang Tian

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University
and Neal Lane, NSF Director

"For his deep understanding and penetrating insights in the field of complex differential geometry, including his solution of the problem of existence of Kahler-Einstein metrics on complex surfaces, his proof that the moduli space for Kahler-Einstein metrics with zero first Chern class is nonsingular, and his proof of the stability of algebraic manifolds by using differential geometric methods."

 

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1993

Dr. Deborah L. Penry

Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley

"For her innovative applications of chemical engineering principles and chemical-reactor theory in analysis of the process of digestion in marine invertebrates, filling an important gap in existing ecological theory dealing with animals strategies for acquiring energy and nutrients. Her research is important to understanding the cycling of materials in the sea--in particular the global carbon cycle and global climate change cycles."

 

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1992

Dr. Shrinivas R. Kulkarni

Radio Astronomy
California Institute of Technology

"For his major contributions to the understanding of diffuse interstellar medium and the physics and evolution of neutron star pulsars and x-ray binary stars. For his leading role in the discovery of fast pulsars, a major new phenomenon, and in the development of optical and radio spatial interferometry."

 

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1991

Dr. Herbert Edelsbrunner

Professor of Computer Science
Department of Computer Science
University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign

"For his pioneering research in computational geometry through which he has made fundamental contributions to the theory of computer science and to discrete mathematics. His work has solved open problems, built rich theoretical structures, developed algorithmic paradigms, produced robust implementations of geometric algorithms, and brought computational geometry in close touch with application areas in computer technology."

 

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1990

Dr. Mark E. Davis

Professor of Chemical Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
& State University

"For his pioneering work in catalytic materials, catalysis, and reaction engineering, including the first synthesis of a molecular sieve with pores larger than 1 nanometer and the invention of supported aqueous-phase catalysts; each of these accomplishments opens up a new and potentially important area in catalytic science and technology, and also has implications for separations technology and environmental control."

 

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1989

Dr. Richard H. Scheller

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Stanford University

"For his work leading to the development of recombinant DNA technologies, and for his current research which has illuminated cellular and molecular mechanisms used to regulate animal behavior. These basic studies will lead to a better understanding of the molecular basis of brain function and should, in the future, help in the understanding of major psychiatric illnesses."

 

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1988

Dr. Peter G. Schultz

Professor of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley

"For innovative research at the interface of chemistry and biology, both in the development of new approaches for the study of molecular recognition and catalysis and in the application of these studies to the design of selective biological catalysts."

 

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1987

Dr. Lawrence H. Summers

Professor of Economics
Harvard University

"For outstanding contributions to economic research on unemployment, taxation of capital, savings behavior and macroeconomic activity. His work combines powerful analytic insights and imaginative econometric methods aimed at subjects of fundamental National importance."

 

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1986

Dr. Edward Witten

Professor of Physics
Princeton University

"For path-opening contributions to the physics of elementary particles and gravity, to the search unification, and to the imaginative pursuit of the implications for cosmology."


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1985

Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton

Professor of Chemistry
Columbia University

"For her imaginative and significant work in bioinorganic chemistry. Her use of small inorganic molecules to recognize and modify DNA sites in very specific ways has led to two major discoveries--enantiomeric selectivity in binding t DNA helices of different handedness, and Z-DNA "punctuation" at the end of genes--with important implications for drug design and for the theory of gene expression."

 

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1984

Dr. Harvey M. Friedman

Professor of Mathematics
Ohio State University

"For his revitalization of the foundations of mathematics, his penetrating investigations into the Godel incompleteness phenomena, and his fundamental contributions to virtually all areas of mathematical loqic."

 

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1983

Dr. Corey S. Goodman

Associate Professor of Biology
Stanford University

"For his contributions to our understanding of the development of the nervous system. His imaginative choice of model systems and modern technologies are enabling him to discover how individual nerve cells acquire their unique identities and interact with the appropriate cells during embryogenesis."

 

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1982

Dr. Richard Axel

Institute of Cancer Research
Columbia University

"For devising a novel procedure for introducing virtually any gene into mammalian cells. Gene transfer now permits the analysis of the mechanisms regulating the expression of genes in an appropriate cellular environment. This information is prerequisite to a rational approach towards gene therapy."

 

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1981

Dr. W. Clark Still

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Columbia University

"For showing that fundamental conformational principles can be used in organic synthesis to describe nonrigid molecular arrays and for the design of chemical reactions which use such arrays to control the three-dimensional structure of flexible molecules."

 

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1980

Dr. Roy F. Schwitters

Professor of Physics
Harvard University

"For his contributions to the understanding of the basic structure of matter through experiments that discovered and explored an entirely new collection of subatomic particles. The experiments led to the interpretation of the new particles as being composed of simpler constituents, possessing a new property of matter."

 

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1979

Dr. William P. Thurston

Professor of Mathematics
Princeton University

"In recognition of his achievements in introducing revolutionary new geometrical methods in the theory of foliations, function theory and topology."

 

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1978

Dr. Richard A. Muller

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Space Sciences Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley

"For his original and innovative research, which has led to important discoveries and inventions in diverse areas of physics, including astrophysics, radioisotope dating and optics."

 

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1977

Dr. J. William Schopf

Professor of Paleobiology
University of California, Los Angeles

"For his outstanding research on Precambrian biotas. His work on these delicate and ancient fossil microorganisms will contribute significantly to the knowledge of the origin of life and the evolution of the earliest known biotas of the world."

 

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1976

Dr. Charles L. Fefferman

Professor of Mathematics
Princeton University

"For his research in Fourier analysis, partial differential equations and several complex variables which have brought fresh insight and renewed vigor to classical areas of mathematics and contributed signally to the advancement of modern mathematical analysis."

 

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Inquiries

For further information concerning the Waterman Award program or nomination process, contact:

Mayra N. Montrose
Office of Integrative Activities
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Rm. 1270
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8040
Fax: 703-292-9040

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