Smart People Get Prizes

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There are plenty of prizes out there, and while it would be nice to win a Nobel, the award I dream of winning is the MacArthur. Just think about it: You don’t have to apply, you just get a phone call one day informing you that you’ve won $625,000–no strings attached. Oh, and now everyone has to call you a genius. While a number of Baltimore-based folks have won the prize in recent years, this year no local profs were on the list. But one of the honorees does have different strong ties to Johns Hopkins.

Jacob Lurie was one of those smart kids who spent four summers (!!) nerding out with Hopkins’s Center for Talented Youth. He then went on to become a professor of mathematics at Harvard, where he works on “transforming algebraic geometry to derived algebraic geometry—replacing the role of sets by topological spaces—making it applicable to other areas in new ways.” Or something like that. At 36, he’s one of the younger geniuses. Sounds like “talented” might have been an understatement.

And while it’s not a MacArthur, it’s still pretty cool that Hopkins biomedical engineer Jordan Green has been named one of Popular Science’s “brilliant ten” scientists for his work training immune systems to fight cancer. Put him on the MacArthur shortlist for next year, committee?


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