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US computer scientist Ivan Sutherland wins Kyoto Prize

Sutherland, of Portland State University, is regarded as the “Father of Computer Graphics” for his breakthrough in visual methods of interacting with computers.

American scientist, Ivan Sutherland, considered a pioneer of the computer graphics industry, has received the Kyoto Prize, one of the most prestigious international prizes in technology.

The prize is bestowed by the Inamori Foundation of Japan, a charitable body to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind.

It is awarded in categories of advanced technology, basic sciences, arts and philosophy.

Sutherland will receive a diploma, a 20-karat gold Kyoto Prize medal, and 50 million yen (approximately US$630,000) in prize money for his work in the field of Information Science.

Sutherland is most recognized for developing a computer program called Sketchpad in 1963 which allowed users to manipulate visible objects on a computer screen through a pointing device.

Sutherland’s contributions
Sutherland, of Portland State University, is regarded as the “Father of Computer Graphics” for his breakthrough in visual methods of interacting with computers.

He is most recognized for developing a computer program called Sketchpad in 1963 which allowed users to manipulate visible objects on a computer screen through a pointing device.

The technology, used in most operating systems today made it easier for people to use computers, tablets and smartphones without the need for complicated programming.

Sutherland is also well known for his role in virtual reality and 3D computer graphics. He was awarded the popular A.M. Turing Award by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1988 for his work in the field of computer graphics.

The Inamori Foundation said in a statement, "Numerous computer graphic-based applications -- ranging from films, games and virtual reality systems to educational materials, scientific and technological simulations, and other design aids for engineers -- are descendants of Dr. Sutherland's original work on Sketchpad.”

Other winners
Yoshinori Ohsumi, a molecular biologist at the Frontier Research Center of the Tokyo Institute of Technology was awarded the coveted Kyoto Prize for his pioneering work on the molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of autophagy.

Autophagy is a process which demonstrates how cells break down and recycle their own proteins to adapt to nutritional deficiency and other influences.

India's Gayatri Spivak, an Indian intellectual, activist, and professor at Columbia University won the prize for arts and philosophy.