from the invention-and-innovation dept.
The Lemelson-MIT Program announced on 24 April 2001 that its annual $500,000 prize — world's largest single award for invention and innovation — is being presented to futurist Raymond Kurzweil According to the award citation, Kurzweil is being honored as "a pioneer of pattern recognition technologies who has made a career of helping others, while showing a flair for integrating technology and the arts. Over the past 35 years, Kurzweil has produced a lengthy list of achievements and innovations that have enriched society, including: advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies; founding, developing and selling four successful companies; and writing two best-selling books that support his predictions for the 21st century." His controversial views on the future notwithstanding, Kurzweil is being recognized by the Lemelson-MIT Program for the breadth and scope of his inventive work, and for his commitment to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities through technology.
It is also notable that this year's Lemelson-MIT Student Prize goes Brian Hubert, a Ph.D. candidate who has already done significant work in the field of nanotechnology. Hubert plans to finish his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, with a concentration in nano-assembly techniques. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.