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News Release 18-102

NSF, Popular Science announce this year’s Vizzies winners

Challenge recognizes effective visualizations from science and engineering

Image of gravity visualized

Gravity Visualized, an image generated by Arjun Lev Pillai Hausner.

November 7, 2018

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Today, Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announce the winners of the 16th Annual Vizzies Challenge, celebrating the use of visual media to artfully and clearly communicate scientific data, principles, and research.

The competition recognizes the best visualizations of all types, including photographs, illustrations, posters and graphics, interactives, videos, GIFs and other submissions produced by artists, hobbyists or academic researchers.

"NSF's goal is to educate and engage the public in science and engineering," said NSF Director France Córdova. "Visualizations like these can inspire people with the wonder and beauty of science."

Amy Schellenbaum, Online Director, Popular Science had the following remark on this year's Challenge: "We're thrilled to once again be the National Science Foundation's media partner for the Vizzies. We always appreciate an opportunity to show how cool and impressive science can be. This year's winners really reflect our mission to keep people engaged with the work scientists do, and we couldn't be happier to publish them on"

This year's contest gave entrants even more opportunities than previously, offering them the chance to animate data, create science apps, illustrate engineering concepts, take photographs of the natural world and more. A team of experts at NSF and Popular Science pared hundreds of submissions down to 28 finalists; from those, a panel of outside experts in science, art and visualizations determined the top 5 winning teams, while the public voted on their top 3 favorite finalists.

The winning projects and their creators are listed below. More information, including each visualization, is available at the NSF winners page or on Popular Science's site.

  • Experts’ Choice Winner- Visualizing Scissors Congruence, Dmitriy Smirnov, Ziv Epstein, Satyan Devadoss.
  • Experts’ Choice Winner- In Search of Earth's Secrets, Saskia Madlener, Dan Brinkhuis, Dick Peterse, Ageeth Rademaker, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, International Ocean Discovery Program, & Columbia University.
  • Experts’ Choice Winner- Earth Day 1970-2018: Sea Changes, Vivian Trakinski, Laura Moustakerski, Shay Krasinski, Jason Morfoot, Jeremy Jackson and Ana Porzecanski.
  • Experts’ Choice Winner- Anatomy of the Bite, Rebecca Konte.
  • Experts’ Choice Winner- Pascal's Blaising Barrel, Katerina Visnjic, Lance Herrington, Omelan Stryzak, Rick Soden, Julio Lopez, William Dix, Dan Quiyu, Lisa Jackson, Janine Nunes.
  • People’s Choice Winner- Gravity Visualized, Arjun Lev Pillai Hausner.
  • People’s Choice Winner- Muscles and nerves of a developing lizard, Daniel Smith Paredes, Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar.
  • People’s Choice Winner- Coupled motions of the brain and blood flow, John Martinez, Mehmet Kurt.


Media Contacts
Rob Margetta, NSF, (703) 292-2663, 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 2020 budget of $8.3 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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