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News Release 07-126

2007 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners Announced

Hidden worlds revealed in stunning array of entries

What Lies Behind Our Nose? This image tied for first place in the photography category.

What Lies Behind Our Nose? This image tied for first place in the photography category.

September 27, 2007

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) along with the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), today announced the winners of their fifth annual International Science and Technology Visualization Challenge.

Illustrators, photographers, computer programmers, and graphics specialists from around the world were invited to submit visualizations that would intrigue, explain and educate. More than 200 entries were received from 23 countries, representing every continent except the Arctic and Antarctica.

"Breakthroughs in science and engineering are often portrayed in movies and literature as 'ah-ha!' moments. What these artists and communicators have given us are similar experiences, showing us how bats fly or how nicotine becomes physically addictive," said Jeff Nesbit, director of NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. "We look at their visualizations, and we understand."

Winning entries can be viewed on the NSF Web site, the Science website ( ), and in the print issue of Science. First place and honorable mention winners are listed below. A number of semifinalist awards were made as well. Note: only two researchers are listed in this release; in some instances several others contributed to the winning visualization. No first place or honorable mention awards were made this year in the Illustrations category.

Informational Graphics

First Place: Modeling the Flight of a Bat. David J. Willis and Mykhaylo Kostandov.

Brown University

Honorable Mention: How Does a Muscle Work? Mark McGowan and David Goodsell.

Exploratorium Institute


Interactive Media

First Place: Physics Education Technology Project (PhET). Carl Wieman and the PhET Team.

University of Colorado

Honorable Mention: Breast Cancer Virtual Anatomy. Cathryn Tune, PhD and Samantha Belmont.

CCG Metmedia



First Place -tie: Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus. Andrea Ottesen.

University of Maryland

First Place -tie: What Lies Behind Our Nose? Dr. Kai-hung Fung.

Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

Honorable Mention: Tiny Metal Pathways. Adam C. Siegel and George M. Whitesides.

Harvard University


Non-Interactive Media

First Place: Nicotine: The Physiologic Mechanism of Tobacco Dependence. Donna DeSmet and Jason Guerrero.

Hurd Studios

Honorable Mention: Mobius Transformations Revealed. Douglas N. Arnold and Jonathan Rogness.

University of Minnesota

Honorable Mention: Towers in the Tempest. Gregory W. Shirah and Lori K. Perkins.



Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7750, email:
Susan Mason, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7748, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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