Caltech recognizes four of its graduates who highlight the breadth of fields in which the Institute’s alumni have gone on to become leaders—ranging from astrophysics and mathematics to biology and medicine.
First presented in 1966, the awards recognize a particular achievement of noteworthy value, a series of such achievements, or a career of noteworthy accomplishment.
(MS ’95, PhD ’96, Mathematics)
Professor of Mathematics, University of Geneva; Director of SwissMAP, National Centre of Competence in Research
For his achievements in mathematics, particularly in statistical physics. Smirnov produced the first rigorous proofs of conformal invariance in lattice models, a discovery that has opened new directions in probability theory.
QUYNH-THU XUAN LE
(BS ’89, Biology, Chemistry)
Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor; Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University
For her contributions to the development of new radiotherapy-treatment paradigms for cancer of the head, neck, and lungs, and for her leadership in medicine on prominent national panels and as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University.
DAVID D. HO
(BS ’74, Biology)
Director and Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center; Irene Diamond Professor, The Rockefeller University
For his positive impact on human health, elucidating the dynamic nature of HIV replication in infected persons and forming the foundation for combination antiretroviral therapy, which has led to reductions in AIDS-associated mortality.
KIP S. THORNE
(BS ’62, Physics)
Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, Caltech
For his contributions to gravitational physics and astrophysics; his mentorship of physics students, many of whom have become leaders in their fields; and for helping to increase the awareness of science through books and film.