Erik Winfree and Paul W.K. Rothemund
The Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes are given in two categories, one for experimental work and the other for theory in advances in nanotechnology. Established in 1993, these prizes honor researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of productive nanosystems. This year’s winning research team, Drs. Erik Winfree and Paul W.K. Rothemund of Caltech, received the prizes in both categories. This is the first time the same research team has received both Foresight Institute Feynman prizes.
Drs. Erik Winfree and Paul W.K. Rothemund from Caltech received the Foresight Feynman Prize in Theory for their "Theory in Molecular Computation and Algorithmic Self-assembly" research. Winfree is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computation & Neural Systems, and Rothemund is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Physics of Information. Their research findings are based on their demonstration of methods for universal computation with DNA, including using DNA tiles to simulate cellular automata. Their work with DNA tiles has led to the field of "Algorithmic Self-assembly", in which computations are embedded in the process of crystal growth. Their work with DNA tiles combines computer science and atomically-precise construction. Algorithmic self-assembly could be a step towards the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems.
Drs. Erik Winfree and Paul W.K. Rothemund, also received the Foresight Feynman Prize in Experiment, for their work demonstrating that DNA tiles can be designed to form crystalline nanotubes that exhibit a stiffness greater than the biological protein nanofilament actin. They also established that algorithmic self-assembly could work well enough to generate non-trivial non-periodic patterns. The work Winfree and Rothemund have pioneered leads directly to the production of ever more complicated two-dimensional arrays of nanostructures, an ability on the pathway to "the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems."
The 2006 finalists for the Experimental prize:
The 2006 Finalists for the Theory prize:
Two prizes in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman's goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. Separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work. The winners of this year's prizes will be announced at an Exhibitor's Cocktail Reception on September 27, 2006 at nanoTX '06. Presentations of the winner's research are scheduled for the following day, September 28, 2006, at 10 a.m.
This prize is given in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said "The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developed — a development which I think cannot be avoided."
A committee chaired by a previous Feynman Prize recipient will be asked to select this year's honorees.
The 2006 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize will be the most recent in a series of annually awarded prizes for accomplishment in molecular nanotechnology. Both the annual Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and the Feynman Grand Prize are sponsored by the Foresight Institute to encourage and accelerate the development of molecular nanotechnology. Both are named in honor of Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman. However, these prizes differ in focus, frequency of award, and scale.
Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.
Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes Submission or Nomination Instructions. Nominations were closed June 30, 2006.
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