Sunday, February 10, 2013

Science Visualization Award

Science magazine has announced the winner of its 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. This annual illustration competition recognizes the work of artists to give visual form to scientific ideas or discoveries.

The image shows "Connectivity of a Cognitive Computer Based on the Macaque Brain."

The National Science Foundation explains: "Inspired by the neural architecture of a macaque brain, this ghostly neon swirl is the wiring diagram for a new kind of computer that, by some definitions, may soon be able to think. Over the past 2 years, IBM's cognitive computing group in San Jose, Calif., has made great strides toward designing a computer that can detect patterns, plan responses, and learn from its mistakes, says Emmett McQuinn, a hardware engineer at IBM who designed the image. First, he clustered and colored the nodes based on the 77 different functional regions that neuroscientists have identified in the macaque brain. Then, he found a circular arrangement that pleased him. "They took something that we know works fantastically efficiently in nature—the circuitry of the brain—and applied that geometry to computing. Then, they found an elegant and beautiful way to display it," says judge Thomas Wagner."
Credits: Emmett McQuinn, Theodore M. Wong, Pallab Datta, Myron D. Flickner, Raghavendra Singh, Steven K. Esser, Rathinakumar Appuswamy, William P. Risk, and Dharmendra S. Modha
See the other winners of the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

1 comment:

Roberto said...

Wow! This is some really fun stuff! Thanx for sharing. Here’s a little more info (from the site) about the next competition. (the videos on the sight are great!) -RQ
About the Challenge:
Some of science's most powerful statements are not made in words. From DaVinci's Vitruvian Man to Rosalind Franklin's X-rays, science visualization has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten! Illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. They are a necessity for public understanding of research developments.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the journal Science created the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge to celebrate the grand tradition of science visualization and to encourage its continued growth. The spirit of the competition is to communicate science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes.
Judges appointed by NSF and Science will select winners in five categories: Photography, Illustration, Posters & Graphics, Games & Apps, and Video. The winning entries will appear in a special section of Science (with one entry chosen for the front cover) and be hosted at and In addition, each winner will receive a one-year online subscription to Science and a certificate of appreciation.
We urge you and your colleagues to enter the competition now, which closes on September 30, 2013. If you have questions, please contact us at
Important Dates
• The International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge competition opens February 1, 2013.
• The deadline for all entries is 11:59 p.m. EST on Sept. 30, 2013.
• Competition judging rounds take place in October 2013.
• The 2013 winning entries will be published in a February 2014 issue of the journal Science.