New Presentations from the Academy!

Several of our professional members are posting video presentations on a range of interesting and relevant scientific topics.  Please visit our new Presentations page for titles available to watch.

Awards Banquet Postponed to Sept. 10, 2020

Ceresville Mansion
Ceresville Mansion

Our annual Awards Banquet has been postponed until September 10, 2020 at Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, MD.   Please save the date on your calendar.   nominations for awards for 2020 are complete. Please consider nominating worthy scientists and engineers for 2021!   Details for the nomination process are here.

Our annual Awards Banquet for 2019 was held at the Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, MD.    Eight leading scientists and engineers were given awards at this event.  Also, new members of the Board of the Washington Academy of Sciences were introduced.  Watch a video of the awards ceremony here.

2019 board
WAS Board, 2019

Here are the 2019-20 Board Members of the Washington Academy of Sciences, from left to right: Ram Sriram, Judy Staveley, Terry Longstreth, Ron Hietala, Joanne Horn, Noriko Behling, Barbara Ransom, Paul Arveson, Eugene Williams, and Mahesh Mani.  (Poorva Dharkar, Sethanne Howard, Michael Cohen, Frank Haig, Lisa Frehill and David Torain are not shown.)

Keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Ming C. Lin.  Below is a video of her presentation, followed by an abstract of her fascinating talk:

“Reconstructing Reality: From Physical World to Virtual Environments”

With increasing availability of data in various forms from images, audio, video, 3D models, motion capture, simulation results, to satellite imagery, representative samples of the various phenomena constituting the world around us bring new opportunities and research challenges. Such availability of data has led to recent advances in “data-driven modeling” that transforms the data captured in the physical world to a digital replica of the real world in a virtual environment. In this talk, Lin surveys recent advances that integrate classical model-based methods and statistical learning techniques to tackle challenging problems that have not been previously addressed. These approaches offer new insights for understanding complex collective behaviors, developing better models for complex dynamical systems from captured data, delivering more effective medical diagnosis and treatment, as well as cyber-manufacturing of customized apparel. She will conclude by discussing some possible future directions and challenges.

Ming C. Lin is currently the Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science at the University of Maryland College Park and John R. & Louise S. Parker Distinguished Professor Emerita of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. She was an Honorary Visiting Chair Professor at Tsinghua University in China and at University of Technology Sydney in Australia. Ming Lin received several honors and awards, including the NSF Young Faculty Career Award in 1995, Honda Research Initiation Award in 1997, UNC/IBM Junior Faculty Development Award in 1999, UNC Hettleman Award for Scholarly Achievements in 2003, Beverly W. Long Distinguished Professorship 2007-2010, UNC WOWS Scholar 2009-2011, IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award in 2010, and many best paper awards at international conferences. She is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and Eurographics. Her research interests include computational robotics, haptics, physically-based modeling, virtual reality, sound rendering, and geometric computing. She has (co-)authored more than 300 refereed publications in these areas and co-edited/authored four books. Ming Lin obtained her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Since 1898, the Washington Academy of Sciences has served as the affiliation of Washington D.C. area scientific societies. The formation of the Academy culminated a decade of planning under the leadership of the Philosophical Society of Washington. The founders included Alexander Graham Bell and Samuel Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The purpose of the new Academy was to encourage the advancement of science and “to conduct, endow, or assist investigation in any department of science.” That purpose guided the Academy throughout its first 100 years and will continue to be our guide through the current century.

Among our nearly 60 Affiliated Societies and Institutions are Meadowlark Gardens and the D.C. Historical Society
Among the recipients of The Washington Academy’s Seals of Approval are Karl Pribram’s The Form Within: My Point of View and Dan Berleant’s The Human Race to the Future – What Could Happen And What to Do.
Among the recipients of The Washington Academy’s Awards for Scientific Work of High Merit are Harry Diamond for Engineering in 1941 and John Mather for Physical Sciences in 2006
Harry Diamond
Harry Diamond
John Mather
John Mather

The Washington Academy of Sciences has published articles of scientific interest continuously since 1899, first as The Proceedings until 1911, when it became The Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences. The Tables of Contents of 100+ issues of the Journal are listed here.