Richard Karp Wins Kyoto Prize

ICSI is delighted to announce that Professor Richard M. Karp has been awarded the prestigious 2008 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, in the field of Information Sciences. The prize, given by the Inamori Foundation in Japan, is sometimes referred to as the "Japanese Nobel", and is one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

The Inamori Foundation only issues an award for information technology every four years. In recognition of Karp's achievements, the Inamori Foundation explains that "Dr. Richard M. Karp has had a profound influence on the guiding principles for analysis and design of algorithms which are being used for a broad range of applications today by establishing the theory of NP–completeness," and that "the magnitude of his fundamental contributions to the development of the theory of computational complexity is immeasurable, and holds potential for even further development beyond the framework of information science."

Karp has been an integral part of the ICSI community since our inauguration. Not only was he instrumental in seeing that Berkeley would become ICSI's home, but he founded the Algorithms group, and still serves as both the group leader and a long–time member of ICSI's Board of Trustees. But beyond the specific accomplishments, Karp embodies the spirit of ICSI at its finest. He is a brilliant and innovative researcher at the leading edge of his field; moreover, he is a gracious leader and team–builder.

ICSI's Director, Professor Nelson Morgan, says "we are thrilled to have this valued member of our community receive this richly deserved award. His previous work was a key part of the development of the field of computer science, and he continues to generate important results, currently in bioinformatics and computational biology. We're honored to have him in our community."

Professor Shankar Sastry commented "The Kyoto Prize recognizes not only outstanding achievements, but also the stellar personal characteristics that have shaped those achievements. I can imagine no more appropriate recipient for this honor than Dick Karp." Sastry is Chairman of ICSI's Board and UC Berkeley's Dean of Engineering.

On July 14, a ceremony was held at UC Berkeley's Hearst Memorial Mining Building in congratulation of Karp's achievements. The ceremony was emceed by Dean Sastry, and included comments by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau.

Karp's other notable achievements include a Turing Award, the U.S. National Medal of Science, and eight honorary doctorates.