Public Release: 

2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced

Winning entries will appear in the Sep. 26, 2008, issue of the journal Science

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Seeing the world of science through a photographer's lens or through other forms of media can dazzle the creative mind. In the winning entries of the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored jointly by the journal Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit international science society, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), breathtaking photographs and graphics often reveal intricate details of our world--the three-dimensional path made by a rapidly spinning string cutting through space and the unique anatomy of the half-meter-long Loligo pealei squid whose tiny suckers are 400-micrometers in diameter.

"I wanted to reveal the tiny world we trample through, creating scenes that at first glance parallel to our macroscopic world, until you look a little closer," said Colleen Champ, a first-place winner with Dennis Kunkel in the Informational Graphics category. "The 'Mad Hatter's Tea' is one scene from many, depicting a quote from the fanciful mind of Lewis Carroll," she added. This scene will be featured on the cover of the 26 September issue of the journal Science.

Kunkel said he appreciates that with artistic license, science and art can be combined in an exciting way. "Science and NSF instituted this international competition to reward scientists for using visualization techniques to demonstrate the beauty and wonder of science," said Monica M. Bradford, executive editor of the journal Science. "We appreciate their results and encourage others to participate."

Currently in its sixth year, the international competition honors artists who use visual media to promote our understanding of scientific research. The criteria for judging the entries included visual impact, effective communications, freshness, and originality.

The winning entries communicate information about the creation of spontaneous buckling of a poly(ethylene glycol) layer resembling wrinkles that appear on flowers' petals and leaves' edges; the 3D rendering, at nanometer resolution, of a melanoma cell through ion abrasion electron microscopy; the display of microbial biofilm from a stream, explaining its role within the stream's micro-ecosystem; and, more. The 26 September 2008 issue of Science will feature the winning entries, which will also be freely available at and the NSF's website at

The 2008 winning entries are included in the following five categories:

First Place:
Mario De Stefano, The 2nd University of Naples The Glass Forest

Honorable Mentions (tie):
Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology String Vibrations

Jessica D. Schiffman and Caroline L. Schauer; Drexel University Squid Suckers: The Little Monsters That Feed the Beast

Ye Jin Eun and Douglas B. Weibel; University of Wisconsin-Madison Polymazing

First Place:
Linda Nye and the Exploratorium Visualization Laboratory; The Exploratorium Zoom Into the Human Bloodstream

Honorable Mentions (tie):
Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon University; Christoph Römhild, North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church Visualizing the Bible

Donald Bliss and Sriram Subramaniam; National Library of Medicine, NIH 3D Imaging of Mammalian Cells with Ion-Abrasion Scanning Electron Microscopy

First Place:
Colleen Champ and Dennis Kunkel; Concise Image Studios "Mad Hatter's Tea" from Alice's Adventures in a Microscopic Wonderland

Honorable Mention:
Andrew Dopheide and Gillian Lewis; University of Auckland Stream Micro-Ecology: Life in a Biofilm

First Place:
Jeremy Friedberg and Tommy Sors; Spongelab Interactive Genomics Digital Lab: Plant Cells

Honorable Mention:
Janet Iwasa; Massachusetts General Hospital Exploring Life's Origins

Honorable Mentions (tie):
Travis Vermilye and Kenneth Eward A Window Into Life

Mirjam Kaplow and Katharina Strohmeier; Fraunhofer FIRST
Smarter than the Worm

Etsuko Uno and Drew Berry; The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Fighting Infection by Clonal Selection


Further information about the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge is available at Please contact Susan Mason at +1-703-292-7748 (phone) or (email).

Reporters may request copies of the Science feature, which describes the winning entries, from the AAAS Office of Public Programs' Science Press Package team at +1-202-326-6440 (phone) +1-202-789-0455 (fax) or (email).

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

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