The following 23 fellows each will receive $500,000 over the next five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:
- Amir Abo-Shaeer, 38, public school teacher, Goleta, Calif. Inspiring and preparing public high school students for careers in science and mathematics through an innovative curriculum that integrates applied physics, engineering and robotics.
- Jessie Little Doe Baird, 46, language preservationist, Mashpee, Mass. Reviving a long-silent language and restoring to her Native American community a vital sense of its cultural heritage and to the nation a link to its complex past.
- Kelly Benoit-Bird, 34, marine biologist, Corvallis, Ore. Using sophisticated acoustic engineering technology to explore the previously invisible behavior of ocean creatures and address long-unanswered questions about the structure and behavior of food chains.
- Nicholas Benson, 46, stone carver, Newport, R.I. Preserving the legacy of a centuries-old artistic tradition and expanding the art of hand letter carving with the beauty and craftsmanship of his own designs.
- Drew Berry, 40, biomedical animator, Melbourne, Australia. Enhancing understanding biological processes and systems by synthesizing data from a variety of fields into scientifically accurate, aesthetically rich visualizations.
- Carlos D. Bustamante, 35, population geneticist, Stanford, Calif. Mining DNA sequence data to address fundamental questions about the mechanisms of evolution, the complex origins of human genetic diversity and patterns of population migration.
- Matthew Carter, 72, type designer, Cambridge, Mass. Crafting letterforms of unequaled elegance and precision for a range of applications and media that span the migration of text from the printed page to computer screens.
- David Cromer, 45, theater director, New York. Reinvigorating classic American plays with a spirit and urgency that eschews nostalgia and provides audiences with unexpectedly fresh and compelling theatrical experiences.
- John Dabiri, 30, biophysicist, Pasadena, Calif. Investigating the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion, which has profound implications for understanding evolutionary adaptation and such related issues in fluid dynamics as blood flow in the human heart.
- Shannon Lee Dawdy, 43, anthropologist, Chicago. Combining archaeological scholarship with historical preservation to reveal the dynamics of intellectual and social life in New Orleans from its establishment as a French colony to the present day.
- Annette Gordon-Reed, 51, historian, Cambridge, Mass. Enriching understanding of colonial and early American interracial relations by disentangling the complicated history of two distinct founding families.
- Yiyun Li, 37, fiction writer, Davis, Calif. Dramatizing the myriad effects of late-20th-century China's sweeping social changes in a moving, yet understated, style of storytelling.
- Michal Lipson, 40, optical physicist, Ithaca, N.Y. Working at the intersection of fundamental photonics and nanofabrication engineering to design silicon-based photonics circuits that are paving the way for practical optical computing devices.
- Nergis Mavalvala, 42, quantum astrophysicist, Cambridge, Mass. Linking optics, condensed matter and quantum mechanics in research that enhances the ability to detect and quantify gravitational radiation.
- Jason Moran, 35, jazz pianist and composer, New York. Blending musical styles in genre-crossing performances that expand the boundaries of jazz expression.
- Carol Padden, 55, sign language linguist, La Jolla, Calif. Illuminating the unique structure and evolution of sign languages and the specific social implications of signed communication.
- Jorge Pardo, 47, installation artist, Los Angeles. Challenging the distinction between fine art and design, as well as the constraints of museum and gallery spaces, with visually seductive works at the intersection of painting, sculpture and architecture.
- Sebastian Ruth, 35, violist, violinist and music educator, Providence, R.I. Providing richly rewarding musical experiences and education for urban youth and their families while forging new roles beyond the concert hall for the 21st-century musician.
- Emmanuel Saez, 37, economist, Berkeley, Calif. Drawing on quantitative analyses, behavioral experiments and theoretical insights to enhance understanding of the relationship between income and tax policy.
- David Simon, 50, author, screenwriter and producer, Baltimore, Md. Crafting richly textured narratives that engage wide-ranging audiences and confront daunting challenges facing America's urban centers.
- Dawn Song, 35, computer security specialist, Berkeley, Calif. Exploring the deep interactions among software, hardware and networks to increase the stability of computer systems vulnerable to remote attack or interference.
- Marla Spivak, 55, entomologist, St. Paul, Minn. Protecting one of the world's most important pollinators - the honey bee - from decimation by disease while making important contributions to the understanding of bee biology.
- Elizabeth Turk, 48, sculptor, Atlanta. Transforming her signature medium of marble, a traditionally monumental and prone-to-fracture material, into intricate, seemingly weightless works of art.
Source: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)