Email Print Share

News Release 11-037

NSF and AAAS Name 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge Awardees

This year's Visualization Challenge winners grab viewers attention and draw them into unseen worlds in very different ways

Illustration of fungi.

"Introduction to Fungi" took first prize in Informational Posters and Graphics.

February 17, 2011

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.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 winners and honorable mentions in the eighth annual International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge are featured in the Feb. 18 issue of the journal Science.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sponsored the awards.

Jeff Nesbit, NSF's director of Legislative and Public Affairs and Colin Norman, Science Magazine's news editor, described the competition: "An 'ocean' composed of a single layer of molecules; an intricate depiction of an HIV particle as a study in orange and gray; a phantasmagoria of fungi; a video tracing the long-distance travels of items dumped in the trash in Seattle. The four first-place winners in this year's International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge grab your attention and draw you into unseen worlds in very different ways.

"Researchers are generating mind-boggling volumes of data at exponentially increasing rates. The ability to process that information and display it in ways that enhance understanding is an increasingly important aspect of the way scientists communicate with each other and-especially-with students and the general public. That's why, for the past 8 years, Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have co-sponsored annual challenges to promote cutting-edge efforts to visualize scientific data, principles, and ideas."

A committee of staff members from Science and NSF screened the 111 entries from 63 countries, including U.S. entries from 24 states.  It sent forth finalists to an outside panel of experts in scientific visualization to select the winners.

The winning entries are featured in the links below, in a slideshow, and on NSF's International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (SciVis) Special Report. In addition, a segment of the Science Podcast includes interviews with one of the competition's judges.

THE WINNERS (Winners by categories may be accessed via the links below)


First Place - Human Immunodeficiency Virus 3D
Honorable Mention - AraNet: A Genome-Wide Gene Function Association Network for Arabidopsis thaliana
Honorable Mention - Proposed Structure of Yeast Mitotic Spindle

Informational Posters and Graphics

First Place - Introduction to Fungi
Honorable Mention - Everyone Ever in the World


First Place - Rough Waters
Honorable Mention - TRICHOMES (Hairs) on the Seed of the Common Tomato
Honorable Mention - Centipede Millirobot

Non-Interactive Media

First Place - TrashTrack
Honorable Mention - GPS and Relativity
Honorable Mention - GlyphSea
Honorable Mention - Computer Simulation of a Binary Quasar
Honorable Mention - Visualization of the Whole Brain Catalog

Scientific Visualization Judges

Patrice Legro Marian, Koshland Science Museum, Washington, DC
Thomas Lucas, Thomas Lucas Productions. Ossining, NY
Alisa Zapp Machalek, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Corinne Sandone, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Tom Wagner, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

The submission of applications for next year's challenge are encouraged; details are found in the SciVis Special Report.


Media Contacts
Natasha Pinol, AAAS, (202) 326-7088, email:
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, 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.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social