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News Release 12-018

2011 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners Announced

For the first time, public allowed to vote on entries

Poster showing different aspects of the Cosmic Web, from global to local dynamics.

"Cosmic Web" took first place in the Informational Posters and Graphics category.

February 2, 2012

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.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 the ninth annual International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Illustrators, photographers, computer programmers and designers from around the world submitted visualizations to a once-a-year challenge designed to celebrate and encourage the visual communication of science for education and journalistic purposes. Two-hundred-twelve entries were received from 33 countries, representing every continent except Antarctica.

For the first time, this year's challenge allowed participants to submit entries online. The public also participated for the first time in the voting process, selecting their favorite images as People's Choice winners. One entry, "Velu the Welder" in the Interactive Games category, received 286 public votes. All together, the entries received 3,204 public votes.

Another entry, "Rapid Visual Inventory & Comparison of Complex 3D Structures" won 1st place from the judges and was the People's Choice in the Video category.

Also for the first time this year, participants and the public were able to use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to share their favorites with others.

Winning entries can be viewed on the NSF website, the Science website and in the February 3rd print issue of Science.

First place, Honorable Mention, and People's Choice winners are listed below.


1st Place & People's Choice: Rapid Visual Inventory & Comparison of Complex 3D Structures
Graham Johnson
The Scripps Research Institute: Molecular Graphics Lab

Andrew Noske
National Center for Microscopy & Imaging Research

Bradley Marsh
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland

Honorable Mention: There's No Such Thing as a Jellyfish
Steven Haddock and Susan Von Thun
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute &

Honorable Mention: High Density Energy Storage Using Self-Assembled Materials
Christopher Wilmer, Omar K. Farha and Patrick E. Fuller
Northwestern University


1st Place: Foldit
Seth Cooper, David Baker, Zoran Popoviæ, Firas Khatib, Jeff Flatten, Kefan Xu, Dun-Yu Hsiao and Riley Adams
University of Washington

Honorable Mention: Meta!Blast 3D Interactive Application for Cell and Metabolic Biology. Level 1: The Cell
W. Schneller, P.J. Campbell, M. Stenerson, D. Bassham and E.S. Wurtele
Iowa State University

Honorable Mention: Build-a-Body
Jeremy Friedberg, Nicole Husain, Ian Wood, Genevieve Brydson, Wensi Sheng, Lorraine Trecroce, Kariane St-Denis, David Rowe, Ruby Pajares, Arij Al Chawaf, Shaun Rana and Nancy Reilly
Spongelab Interactive

Honorable Mention: Powers of Minus Ten
Laura Lynn Gonzalez
Green-Eye Visualization

People's Choice: Velu the Welder
Muralitharan Vengadasalam, Ganesh Venkat, Vignesh Palanimuthu, Fabian Herrera and Ashok Maharaja
Tata Consultancy Services


Honorable Mention: Tumor Death-Cell Receptors on Breast Cancer Cell
Emiko Paul and Quade Paul
Echo Medical Media

Ron Gamble
UAB Insight

Honorable Mention: Variable-Diameter Carbon Nanotubes
Joel Brehm
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Office of Research & Economic Development

Honorable Mention: Exploring Complex Functions using Domain Coloring
Konstantin Poelke and Konrad Polthier
Free University of Berlin

People's Choice: Separation of a Cell
Andrew Noske and Thomas Deerinck
The National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego

Horng Ou and Clodagh O'Shea
Salk Institute


1st Place: Metabolomic Eye
Bryan William Jones
The University of Utah, Moran Eye Center

Honorable Mention: Microscopic Image of Trichomes on the Skin of an Immature Cucumber
Robert Rock Belliveau

People's Choice: The Cliff of the Two-dimensional World
Babak Anasori, Michael Naguib, Yury Gogotsi and Michel W. Barsoum
Drexel University


1st Place: The Cosmic Web
Miguel Angel Aragon-Calvo
Johns Hopkins University

Julieta Aguilera and Mark SubbaRao
Adler Planetarium

Honorable Mention: The Ebola Virus
Ivan Konstantinov, Yury Stefanov, Alexander Kovalevsky, Anastasya Bakulina
Visual Science

People's Choice: Transmission Electron Microscopy: Structure, Function & 3D Reconstruction
Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Victoria Wahl-Jensen and Laura Bollinger
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Natasha Pinol, AAAS, (202) 326-7088, 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 2021 budget of $8.5 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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