The 2013 Kyoto Prize presentation ceremony organized by Japan's Inamori Foundation was held in Japan 's ancient capital of Kyoto on Sunday to honor three laureates for their contributions to the "scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind."
The awards were given in three fields this year: electronics, biological science and music.
The recipients were Robert Heath Dennard, a fellow at an IBM Corporation research center; Masatoshi Nei, professor at Pennsylvania State University; and Cecil Taylor, a distinguished jazz musician.
They and more than 1,500 guests from around the world, including former laureates of the prize, gathered to join the festivities at the international event held at the Kyoto International Conference Center in the late afternoon on Sunday.
According to the foundation, which was established in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corporation, Dennard was awarded for his "invention of Dynamic Random Access Memory ( DRAM) and proposal of guidelines for field-effect transistors (FET) miniaturization."
During the ceremony, the 81-year-old electronics engineer repeatedly expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in the IBM research institute, saying he has been taught and inspired by many people and he would deeply thank those providing opportunities and the environment in his office, where he can learn something new every day.
Also, Nei, 82, was praised for his "research on the evolution of biological populations using quantitative analyses of genetic variation and evolutionary time." The foundation noted his research has yielded important contributions to molecular evolutional biology, including ecology and conservation biology.
Meanwhile, Taylor, the 84-year-old American musician, won a prize for furthering the possibilities of piano in jazz. He has devoted himself to innovative improvisation that departs from conventional idioms through distinctive musical constructions and percussive renditions, the organizer said.
Each prize winner is presented with a diploma, a medal and a reward of 50 million yen (about 504,000 U.S. dollars) at the awards ceremony, which is held every year on Nov. 10. The prize is presented in each of the following categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.