Computer science wins Chemistry Nobel prize

October 18, 2013 at 1:51 am 6 comments

A big win for computational science, and for the argument that computer science is important, even for people who aren’t going to be professional software developers.

When he conceived his prestigious prizes in 1895, Alfred Nobel never imagined the need to honor an unknown field called computer science.

But the next best thing happened on Wednesday: Computing achieved a historic milestone when the Nobel Prize for chemistry went to a trio of researchers — one of them a Stanford University professor — for their groundbreaking work using computers to model the complex chemistry that sustains life.

“Computers in biology have not been sufficiently appreciated. Now they have been,” said ebullient winner Michael Levitt of Stanford’s School of Medicine, the university’s second Nobel winner this week.

via Stanford’s Nobel chemistry prize honors computer science – San Jose Mercury News.

About these ads

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Coding the Curriculum: How High Schools Are Reprogramming Their Classes A Collision Between Changes in Higher Education and Changes in Publishing | The Next Bison: Social Computing and Culture

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mokter  |  October 18, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Thanks for the post!!

    Reply
  • 2. gasstationwithoutpumps  |  October 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    The headline is a bit of an overstatement. The prize was for computational chemistry—there is almost no “computer science” involved. If you are looking for a CS Nobel prize, the one for CAT scans in 1979 is a better case—that really was for an algorithm.

    Reply
    • 3. Mark Guzdial  |  October 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      I’m not quite getting it. Are you arguing that computer science is solely the study of algorithms? If it isn’t algorithmic, it’s not computer science?

      Reply
      • 4. gasstationwithoutpumps  |  October 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        I would accept that the Nobel prize was for “computational science”, but not for “computer science”. What was being studied was not primarily computation, but approximations to physics, in which the computer was a useful tool.

        Not everything done on a computer is computer science, nor is everyone who uses a computer a computer scientist.

        I don’t have a hard boundary between computer science and other fields (I have math and CS degrees, and have been a professor of computer engineering and of bioinformatics), but I think that this particular body of work was far more about the chemistry and physics than about the computers.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Recent Posts

Feeds

October 2013
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Blog Stats

  • 880,709 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,783 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,783 other followers

%d bloggers like this: