Study the science of art and the art of science.
--Leonardo da Vinci

The University is sponsoring its fifth "Art of Science" competition, open to all members of the Princeton community. Submissions are limited to digital images and the deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m., October 17, 2011. There is no cost to enter the competition.

The theme this year is “intelligent design.”

“In recent years, the phrase ‘intelligent design’ has taken on a
polarizing meaning,” said Art of Science co-organizer Andrew Zwicker, who is the head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and a lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program. “But in the broadest sense, beautiful objects, both natural and the manufactured, have an intelligence to their form, their function, and thus, their design.”
Zwicker said that the term “intelligent design” encompasses a wide range of potential images: a field rabbit regulating its body temperature through its posture; a simulation of the birth of a galaxy; an electron micrograph of a computer chip created with novel materials.

“We are seeking images that capture the exquisite harmony of such systems,” said Art of Science co-organizer Adam Finkelstein, professor of computer science and a co-organizer of the competition.

“Regardless of the field of science or the mechanism that created it, this year's competition comes from a desire  to reframe the phrase ‘intelligent design’ in celebration of the idea that both nature and the rearranging of the natural world have inherent beauty.”

The organizers are soliciting images made in the course of scientific research that have aesthetic value. This "found art" might include photographs from a microscope or a telescope; photographs taken for purposes of field research; images generated by computer simulations; 3D renderings of data sets; and data plots. It also may include photographs of physical objects related to science, such as a piece of equipment.

Entries should be scientific images created during an actual research project, rather than art that is inspired by science.

Jurors for the competition include President Shirley M. Tilghman; Dean of the Faculty and Phillip Y. Goldman '86 Professor of Computer Science David Dobkin; and Joel M. Smith, Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography, Princeton University Art Museum.

Cash prizes will be given to the top three winners of the competition: $250 for first place, $154.51 for second; and $95.49 for third. These amounts are derived according to the golden ratio, a mathematical proportion that has been found in aesthetically pleasing designs, from seashells to ancient Greek temples.

The awards will be announced at an opening reception November 11 in the Friend Center, where images selected from the competition will remain on display for a year. Images selected for the Art of Science 2011 show also will be featured in an online gallery.

Submissions are limited to digital images up to 300 dpi and 20 MB in JPEG format that is "print ready." Each submission should include a title and description of the image. The description should briefly explain the research that produced the image in language that is understandable by a non-technical audience.

A page describing frequently asked questions is at this FAQ.

Submitters: The submission page is here:

* David A. Gardner '69 Fund
* Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
* School of Engineering and Applied Science
* Office of the President
* Office of the Dean of the Faculty
* Office of the Dean for Research
* Lewis Center for the Arts
* Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering

* Andrew Zwicker (Princeton Plasma Physics Lab)
* Adam Finkelstein (Computer Science)
* Teresa Riordan (School of Engineering and Applied Science)
* Zach Donnell (Molecular Biology)
* Christina Gupfinger (Undergraduate Intern)
* With advice from organizers of the earlier competitions:
   Perry Cook, Alex Halderman, Jonathan Harris, Kati Lovasz and Andrew Moore

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