Carnegie Mellon University

Past Winners

In 1970, Carnegie Mellon awarded the first Dickson Prize in Science to Richard Bellman, a then-professor of medicine, mathematics and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Since then, renowned biologists, chemists, engineers, computer scientists, geneticists, physicists and the like have been honored with the Dickson Prize.

Recent Recipients


Dr. Richard Aslin
Senior Research Scientiest, Yale University's Haskins Laboratories and Child Study Center


Geoffrey Hinton
Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto


Lucy Shapiro
Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Developmental Biology, Stanford University


Geraldine Richmond
Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon


Emery N. Brown
Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at MIT, Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School and anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital


Jennifer A. Doudna
Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry and HHMI Investigator at University of California, Berkeley


Chad A. Mirkin
George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University


Judea Pearl
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science and Statistics, University of California, Los Angeles

More Past Recipients

Information listed reflects the recipient at the time of the award.

2014 - 2015
Joseph M. DeSimone

Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology, Institute for Advanced Materials, Institute for Nanomedicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University

2013 - 2014
Karl Deisseroth
D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

2012 - 2013
François M.M. Morel
Albert G. Blanke Professor of Geosciences, Princeton University

2011 - 2012
Marvin L. Cohen
University Professor, University of California, Berkeley

2010 - 2011 
David A. Tirrell
Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

2009 - 2010  
Saul Perlmutter
Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley; Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California

2008 - 2009     
Richard M. Karp
University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley; Research Scientist International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, California

2007 - 2008      
Jean J.M. Fréchet
Henry Rapoport Chair of Organic Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; Director of the Organic and Macromolecular Facility for the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

2006 - 2007  
Jared M. Diamond
Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles

2005 - 2006  
David Haussler
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; Director, Center for Biomedical Science and Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz; Scientific Co-Director, The California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research; Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz

2004 - 2005  
George M. Whitesides
Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University

2003 - 2004  
Marc W.  Kirschner
Head, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School

2002 - 2003  
Robert Langer
The Kenneth J. Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2001 - 2002  
Carver Mead
The Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science (Emeritus), California Institute of Technology

2000 - 2001              
Alexander Pines
The Glenn T. Seaborg Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

1999 - 2000                  
Howard Raiffa
Professor of Managerial Economics (Emeritus), Harvard University

1998 - 1999  
Peter Shor
Principal Research Scientist, AT&T Shannon Laboratory, Florham Park, New Jersey

1997 - 1998  
Walter Alvarez
Professor of Geology and Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley

1996 - 1997  
John P. Hirth
Battelle Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University

1995 - 1996  
Dr. Leland Hartwell
Senior Advisor, Scientific Affairs, Molecular Medicine Division, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center of Seattle; Professor of Genetics, University of Washington

1994 - 1995  
Raymond Kurzweil
Kurzweil Technologies

1993 - 1994  
Vera Rubin
Carnegie Institution of Washington

1992 - 1993  
Paul C. Lauterbur
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1991 - 1992  
David Botstein
Stanford University

1990 - 1991  
F. Sherwood Rowland
University of California, Irvine

1989 - 1990  
Richard E. Dickerson
University of California, Los Angeles

1988 - 1989  
Joan Steitz
Yale School of Medicine

1987 - 1988  
Mitchell Feigenbaum
Rockefeller University

1986 - 1987  
Benjamin Widom
Department of Chemistry, Cornell University

1985 - 1986  
Norman Davidson
Departments of Biology and Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

1983 - 1984
Edward Fredkin
Department of Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1982 - 1983  
Harden M. McConnell
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University

1980 - 1981  
John Werner Cahn
Center for Materials Science, U.S. Department of Commerce

1978 - 1979  
Seymour Benzer
Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology

1977 - 1978  
John H. Sinfelt
Research Scientist, Exxon

1974 - 1975  
David M. Geiger
Geiger Berger Associates

1973 - 1974  
Elias J. Corey
Department of Chemistry, Harvard University

1972 - 1973  
Francis L. Ver Snyder
Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft

1971 - 1972  
George E. Palade
Department of Cell Biology, Rockefeller University

Keith R. Porter
Chairman, Department of Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado
1970 - 1971  
Richard Bellman
Professor of Medicine, Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles