2013 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge winners named

Today the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the journal Science named 18 winners, honorable mentions and People’s Choice awardees in the highly acclaimed International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

The challenge, in its 11th year, was created to exemplify the old axiom: A picture is worth a thousand words. It celebrates the long tradition of using various types of illustrations to communicate the complexities of science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes when words aren’t enough.

“We asked contestants to provide visualizations that illustrate powerful scientific concepts,” said Judith Gan, NSF’s director of Legislative and Public Affairs. “We were delighted by this year’s entries. These visualizations are both beautiful and captivating; they connect scientists with citizens in a way that excites popular interest of subjects normally reserved for academic rigor.”

“The winners offer a feast for the eye and the mind, making complex science vivid and beautiful,” said Tim Appenzeller, Science‘s chief news editor.

NSF and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishesScience, sponsored the awards.

Visualization challenge awardees were selected from 227 submissions from 12 countries, including entries from 17 U.S. states and Canadian territories.

A committee of staff members from Science and NSF screened the entries and sent finalists to an outside panel of experts in scientific visualization to select the winners. In addition, nearly 2,000 votes determined the public’s favorite images as People’s Choice awardees.

The competition was conducted in 2013.

Winning entries feature the Earth and planets sitting in the crosshairs of multiple streams of solar power, a game that allows users to map the brain, wearable energy storage to power future generations of electronic clothing and other compelling visualizations.

See and learn more about the images on the winners page.

The 2013 winning entries are included in five categories:


First Place:
Vicente I. Fernandez, Orr H. Shapiro, Melissa S. Garren, Assaf Vardi and Roman Stocker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Invisible Coral Flows

Honorable Mention:
Stephen Francis Lowry, Steve Lowry Photography
Stellate leaf hairs on Deutzia scabra

People’s Choice:
Anna Pyayt and Howard Kaplan, University of South Florida
Polymer Micro-structure Self-assembly


First Place:
Greg Dunn, Greg Dunn Design
Cortex in Metallic Pastels

Honorable Mention:
Lorrie Faith Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University
Security Blanket

People’s Choice:
Lydia-Marie Joubert, Stanford University
Human Hand controlling Bacterial Biofilms

Informational Posters and Graphics

First Place and People’s Choice:
Kristy Jost, Babak Anasori, Majid Beidaghi, Genevieve Dion and Yuri Gogotsi, Drexel University
Wearable Power

Honorable Mention (two-way tie):
Robert I. Saye and James A. Sethian, UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Life Cycle of a Bubble Cluster: Insight from Mathematics, Algorithms, and Supercomputers

Katelyn McDonald and Timothy Phelps, Johns Hopkins University; Jennifer Dittmar, The National Aquarium
Effects of Cold-stunning on Sea Turtles

Games and Apps

First Place:
Amy Robinson, William Silversmith, Matthew Balkam, Mark Richardson, Sebastian Seung and Jinseop Kim, EyeWire
EyeWire: A Game to Map the Brain

Honorable Mention (two-way tie):
Mark Nielsen and Satoshi Amagai, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Michael Clark, EarthBuzz Software, Ltd.; Blake Porch and Dennis Liu, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Daniel Rohrlick, Eric Simms, Cheryl Peach, Debi Kilb, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego; Charina Cain, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Deep-sea Extreme Environment Pilot (DEEP)

People’s Choice:
Eve Syrkin Wurtele, William Schneller, Paul Klippel, Greg Hanes, Andrew Navratil and Diane Bassham, Iowa State University
Meta!Blast: The Leaf


First Place:
Greg Shirah and Horace Mitchell, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center – SVS; Tom Bridgman, Global Science & Technology, Inc.
Dynamic Earth visualization excerpt: Coronal Mass Ejection and Ocean/Wind Circulation

Honorable Mentions (three-way tie):

Ben Paylor, Michael Long, David Murawsky, James Wallace and Lisa Willemse
Stem Cell Network

Doug Huff and Elizabeth Anderson, Arkitek Studios; Zoltan Fehervari, Nature Immunology; Simon Fenwick, Nature Reviews
Immunology of the Gut Mucosa

Geoffrey J. Harlow, Shou Li, Albert C. Cruz, Jisheng Chen and Zhenbiao Yang
University of California, Riverside
Visualizing Leaf Cells from Within

People’s Choice:
Quintin Anderson, The Seagull Company; Chad Mirkin and Sarah Petrosko, Northwestern University
Spherical Nucleic Acids

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