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Roboticist, Nanotechnologist Awarded 'Genius' Grants
Sep 2004
CHICAGO, Sept. 28 -- A marine roboticist and a nanotechnologist are among the 23 winners of the 2004 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships. Each winner will receive $500,000 in support over the next five years.

The MacArthur Fellows Program places no restrictions on how recipients may use the $500,000, and no reports are required. Just as there are no restrictions on how the winners may use their awards, there are no constraints on the kinds of creativity that are recognized.

Recipients this year include marine roboticist Naomi Ehrich Leonard, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University who is building multiple, miniature, autonomous underwater vehicles that mimic the behavior of schooling fish, and nanotechnologist Angela Belcher, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is dissolving the distinctions between organic and inorganic chemistry by coaxing viruses to manufacture microelectronic devices.

Other winners include a farmer, a poet, a ragtime pianist, a high school teacher and a glass technologist. Daniel J. Socolow, the director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, said, "It is exciting, especially in these times, to see such a collection of decidedly bold and risk-taking people who are changing our landscape and advancing our possibilities. What they share in common is that each is highly focused, tenacious and creative. As in past years, these Fellows are not only very good at what they do, their work is also important and distinctively original."

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