Fri, 29 Sep 2023

SHANGHAI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday announced the winners of two 10-million-yuan (1.4 million U.S. dollars) science prizes, aiming to boost basic research globally.

Five scientists have been honored with two individual World Laureates Association Prize (WLA Prize) awards: the WLA Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics, and the WLA Prize in Life Science or Medicine. Each of the two awards has a cash prize of 10 million yuan.

Arkadi Nemirovski from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. and Yurii Nesterov from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium shared the 2023 WLA Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics. The pair were awarded the prize "for their seminal work in convex optimization theory," the WLA said in a statement.

Their work "has sparked the 'first-order revolution' that has allowed optimization algorithms to be applied to the large-scale problems characteristic of modern applications," said Michael I. Jordan, chair of the 2023 WLA Prize Selection Committee in Computer Science or Mathematics.

The 2023 WLA Prize in Life Science or Medicine went to Daniela Rhodes from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the U.K., Karolin Luger from the University of Colorado Boulder in the U.S., and Timothy J. Richmond from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, "for elucidating the structure of the nucleosome at the atomic level, providing the basis for understanding chromatin, gene regulation, and epigenetics."

The three laureates "have left an indelible mark on the history of our understanding of chromosome structure" through more than two decades of research, said Randy Schekman, chair of the WLA Prize Selection Committee in Life Science or Medicine and 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

WLA Prize awards, which come with one of the highest cash prizes in the world, aim to stimulate an innovative spirit, help support basic research globally, promote international scientific and technological cooperation, and enhance the common welfare of all people around the world.

"The WLA Prize is designed to recognize and support the contributions to science by outstanding researchers and technological pioneers around the world, in a bid to support global scientific and technological progress, better address the common challenges faced by humanity, and advance the long-term progress of human society," said Wu Xiangdong, executive director of the WLA and chair of the WLA Prize Management Committee.

The WLA Prize is an international science prize in two categories, established in Shanghai in 2021 by the WLA, a non-governmental and non-profit international organization, and managed by the WLA Foundation. It aims to recognize and support eminent researchers and technologists around the world for their contributions to science.

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