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About Sigma Xi » News » 2012 Sigma Xi Members Receive Nobel Prize

2012 Sigma Xi Members Receive Nobel Prize

Sigma Xi members Dr. David J. Wineland(SX 1979) and Dr. Lloyd Shapley (SX 1950) were honored this past year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden with the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Economics, respectively.

David J. Wineland was recognized for the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Serge Haroche from the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France for their mutually "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems." Wineland and Haroche are close friends, and systems developed by the two have were called, by their Nobel citation, "the very first steps towards building a new type of super-fast computer based on quantum physics." Wineland's advancements in physics have focused mainly in the field of optics, specifically applying laser cooling techniques of ions and the use of trapped ions in the implementation of quantum computing systems.

Wineland is currently employed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado and is the fourth Nobel Prize recipient in physics for that institution in the last 15 years.

Lloyd Shapley won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for his work on "the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design" along with Alvin E. Roth of Stanford University. Among his many achievements, Shapley is best known for his work in game theory, and multiple theorems carry his name including the Shapley value (a solution concept in game theory); the Bondareva-Shapley theorem (which implies that convex games have non-empty cores); the Shapley-Shubik power index (for weighted—or block voting power); and the Gale-Shapley algorithm (for the stable marriage problem). He currently serves as professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles.

It is interesting to note that Shapley's connection to Sigma Xi began long before his own induction into the Society at Princeton University in 1950. His father, Harlowe Shapley, served as president of Sigma Xi in the early 1940s and played a central role in the renaming of this publication from Sigma Xi Quarterly to American Scientist. Harlowe Shapley also created a special endowed fund within Sigma Xi's Grants-In-Aid Program specifically for students either at Harvard University or at institutions in the Boston area.

 

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