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MIT student honored by Smithsonian Magazine with American Ingenuity Award

Posted by Your Town  November 20, 2013 06:39 PM

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The following is a press release from Smithsonian Magazine:


Smithsonian magazine, the flagship publication of Smithsonian Media, today announces the second annual American Ingenuity Awards, saluting 10 groundbreaking individuals across categories including technology, performing and visual arts, natural and physical sciences, education, historical scholarship, social progress and youth achievement. Honorees will be recognized at the November 19 awards gala held at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., in Smithsonian magazine’s special Ingenuity Awards December issue, and at Smithsonian.com. NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro will emcee the event, sponsored by Porsche and Prudential Financial, Inc.

MIT Freshman Saumil Bandyopadhyay was among the ten individuals honored last night at Smithsonian Magazine's Ingenuity Awards. Saumil received the Youth award for a unique, sensitive infrared radiation detector that promises to be inexpensive and has scientific, civilian and military applications. The device has already attracted the interest of the US Army.

Among this year’s winners are singer-songwriter St. Vincent, multi-media artist Doug Aitken, Dave Eggers, co-founder and Mimi Lok, executive director of Voice of Witness. Annie Clark, commonly known by her stage name, St. Vincent, will receive the Performing Arts award for her solo albums, in addition to her most recent venture, Love This Giant, a collaboration with David Byrne that features innovative lyrics and unexpected sounds and rhythms. She will also be doing a special musical performance during the awards gala. Doug Aitken will be honored with the Visual Arts award for “Mirror,” a new permanent installation at the Seattle Art Museum that changes in real time to reflect Seattle’s weather information, pedestrian traffic and other activity. Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok are being honored in the Social Progress category for their development of Voice of Witness, a non-profit organization that uses oral history to bring the stories of human rights injustices in the U.S. and around the world into high schools and impacted communities. They produce an acclaimed book series and run an education program that connects schools and impacted communities with their stories and oral history resources.

The 2013 American Ingenuity Award winners:
-Mr. Doug Aitken (Visual Arts)
-Mr. Saumil Bandyopadhyay (Youth Award)
-Mr. Dave Eggers & Ms. Mimi Lok (Social Progress)
-Dr. Caroline Hoxby, Stanford University (Education)
-Dr. John Rogers, University of Illinois (Physical Science)
-Dr. Michael Skinner, Washington State University (Natural Science)
-Dr. Adam Steltzner, NASA (Technology)
-St. Vincent (Performing Arts)
-Dr. Caroline Winterer, Stanford University (Historical Scholarship)

Presenting this year’s awards are a series of high-profile personalities including multiple Nobel laureates, a former U.S. Surgeon General and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award winner, an ABC News correspondent, and award winning artist Jeff Koons, who also designed this year’s award.

The 2013 American Ingenuity Awards presenters:
-Dr. Carol Greider, Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University (Natural Science)
-Dr. Regina Benjamin, 18th Surgeon General of the United States (Physical Science)
-Dr. John Mather, American astrophysicist & Nobel Laureate (Youth Prize)
-Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art & Culture at the Smithsonian Institution (Historical Scholarship)
-Ms. Claire Shipman, Author, Womenomics & ABC News Correspondent (Education)
-Mr. David Byrne, Musician – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominee (Performing Arts)
-Mr. Jeff Koons, Distinguished American Artist (Visual Arts)
-Mr. Ari Shapiro, NPR White House Correspondent (Social Progress)
-Dr. Mario Livio, Astrophysicist at the SpaceTelescope Science Institute (Technology)

“We’ve polled the directors, curators and staffers at the Smithsonian Institution to find those innovators who are revolutionizing their fields with recent, high-impact achievements,” says Smithsonian magazine editor-in-chief Michael Caruso. “While their work is different in objective, each winner is embracing the Smithsonian’s mission to increase knowledge and shape the world of tomorrow. We are delighted to showcase their work across all platforms.”

Introduced in 2012, the American Ingenuity Awards is the continuation of Smithsonian’s long tradition of showcasing American innovation. Last year’s honorees included Academy Award nominated director Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Elon Musk, CEO & CTO of SpaceX and CEO & Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors, Grammy-winning artist Esperanza Spalding and Jack Andraka, a 15-year old high school student who invented a new test for detecting pancreatic cancer.

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