Thursday, November 18, 2010

President Obama Bestows Science Medals

"I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales."
-- Herbert Farjeon, 1927

Dr. Amnon Yariv and President Barack Obama
Amnon Yariv and President Obama

From the Associated Press: "From super glue to microchips to digital cameras, President Barack Obama on Wednesday celebrated the brains behind these inventions and other breakthroughs as examples of 'the promise of science.'"

After the jump, my own two degrees of separation from this celebration of science.

More from the Associated Press:

"In a ceremony in the White House East Room, Obama bestowed the National Medal of Science on 10 researchers and awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to three individuals and a three-person team. The medals represent the government's highest honor for scientists, engineers and inventors.

"Obama said their achievements 'stand as a testament to the ingenuity, to their zeal for discovery and to the willingness to give of themselves and to sacrifice in order to expand the reach of human understanding. All of us have benefited from their work.'"

Among the recipients of the National Medal of Science is:
"Amnon Yariv, California Institute of Technology, for contributions to photonics and quantum electronics, including his demonstration of the semiconductor distributed feedback laser that underpins today's high-speed optical fiber communications."

Below is Prof. Yariv's research group from the Caltech Optical and Quantum Electronics Laboratory.

Prof. Yariv's research team

Prof. Yariv is the dashing gentleman in the sunglasses. Note the bright young researcher second from the right. He's a Berkner 2004 grad. He's also my son. That makes him the first link in my own two-degrees-of-separation from science fame and honor in the White House. I've shaken hands with a man, who's shaken hands with a professor, who's shaken hands with the President of the USA.

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