Nobel Prize

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See also Wikipedia's article about "Nobel Prize".

The Nobel Prize is a highly prestigious academic award. It was founded by Alfred Nobel who decided to give back to the world after his dynamite creations were used to kill lots of people.

Today, many Nobel Prizes are claimed by the faculty and alumni of Columbia.

Contents

Methods of Counting

Universities count their Nobel Prizes in various ways, normally whatever gives them the most or the highest ranking among universities. By most accounts, Columbia has most Nobel Laureates of any university in the world, with 98 affiliated prize-winners[1]. The University of Chicago, despite all of their claims to be the best, comes in third with only 85, trailing Cambridge by only 2 laureates.

However, there is controversy in this. Columbia counts all past and present alumni, faculty, and "affiliates" of the university who have ever won a Nobel Prize in its tally. This includes such questionable names as Linda Buck (postdoctoral research fellow), who fortunately shared it with alumnus and professor Richard Axel. Another questionable choice was Orhan Pamuk, whose principal pre-Nobel Columbia affiliation stemmed from the fact that he wrote a novel in a Butler reading room and gave a lecture to a mob of graduate students once. Naturally, after he won the prize, he was instantly promoted to Visiting Professor and named to the prestigious, prominent, and coherent Committee on Global Thought.

However, the one thing Columbia does pretty well in terms of counting is exclude affiliates who were with the university for less than one year. Chicago, on the other hand, decides to include them, even if they were there for just a few weeks.

Understandably, schools juggle and warp the numbers to fit their goals of maximizing their Nobel yield. For example, prior to Linda Buck and Richard Axel jointly winning the 2004 Prize in Physiology, Columbia praised its number of Nobel Prizes. After the Prize announcement, Columbia began to tout its number of Nobel Laureates (since Buck and Axel shared the Prize, it made for two laureates, instead of one prize). A second example is that Princeton shares Columbia's obsession with counting all alumni, faculty, and "affiliates" for the simple reason that Princeton, until post-World War II, did not have a sizable research program, and to this day is primarily an undergraduate institution.

The Nobel authorities seem to count university affiliation by the institution the laureate was affiliated with at the time of the award-winning announcement[2], a standard that Harvard adheres to. Nonetheless, a sizable community of purists believes that university affiliation should only be awarded where the laureate conducted the prize-winning research at said university. By that "official" Nobel count, Columbia may claim a modest 17 prizes.

Columbia-affiliated Nobel Prizes

Alumni

Chemistry

1932 Irving Langmuir (B.S., 1903; M.A., 1906)  
1946 John H. Northrop (B.S., 1912; M.A., 1913; Ph.D., 1915)  
1972 William H. Stein (Ph.D., 1938)  
1981 Roald Hoffmann (B.A., 1958)  
1985 Herbert A. Hauptman (M.A., 1939)  
1989 Sidney Altman (graduate student, teaching assistant, 1960 to 1962)  
2001 William S. Knowles (Ph.D., 1942)
2005 Robert H. Grubbs (Ph.D., 1968)
2012 Robert Lefkowitz (B.A., 1962, M.D., 1966)

Economics

1971 Simon S. Kuznets (B.S., 1923; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1926)  
1972 Kenneth J. Arrow (M.A., 1941; Ph.D., 1951)  
1976 Milton Friedman (Researcher, 1943 to 1945; Ph.D., 1946; faculty member, 1937 to 1940 and 1964 to 1965)  
1993 Robert W. Fogel (M.A., 1960)  
1996 William S. Vickrey (M.A., 1937; Ph.D., 1948; faculty member, 1946 to 1996)  
1997 Robert C. Merton (B.S., 1966)  
2012 Alvin E. Roth (B.S., 1971)  

Peace

1906 Theodore Roosevelt (Law student, 1880 to 1882)
1931 Nicholas Murray Butler   (B.A., 1882; M.A., 1883; Ph.D., 1884, president of Columbia, 1902 to 1945)  
2009 Barack Obama   (B.A., 1983)  

Physics

1923 Robert A. Millikan (Ph.D., 1895)  
1944 I. I. Rabi (Ph.D., 1927; faculty member, 1929 to 1988)  
1965 Julian S. Schwinger (B.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1939)  
1972 Leon N. Cooper (B.A., 1951; M.A., 1953; Ph.D., 1954)  
1975 James Rainwater (M.A., 1941; Ph.D., 1946; faculty member, 1939 to 1986)  
1978 Arno A. Penzias (M.A., 1958; Ph.D., 1962)  
1980 Val L. Fitch (Ph.D., 1954; faculty member, 1953 to 1954)  
1988 Leon M. Lederman (M.A., 1948; Ph.D., 1951; faculty member, 1951 to 1989)  
1988 Melvin Schwartz (B.A., 1953; Ph.D., 1958; faculty member, 1958 to 1966, 1991 to 2006)
1989 Norman F. Ramsey (B.A., 1935; Ph.D., 1940; faculty member, 1941 to 1947)  
1995 Martin L. Perl (Ph.D., 1955)  

Medicine

1946 Hermann J. Muller (B.A., 1910; M.A., 1911; Ph.D., 1916; faculty member, 1918 to 1920)  
1950 Edward C. Kendall (B.S., 1908; M.A., 1909; Ph.D., 1910)  
1956 Dickinson W. Richards (M.A., 1922; M.D., 1923; faculty member, 1925 to 1973)  
1958 Joshua Lederberg (B.A., 1944; medical student, 1944-1946; faculty member, 1990 to 1999)  
1964 Konrad E. Bloch (Ph.D., 1938; faculty member, 1938 to 1946, 1966)  
1967 George Wald (M.A., 1928)  
1973 Konrad Lorenz (Columbia College, 1922 to 1923)  
1976 Baruch S. Blumberg (Grad student in Mathematics, 1946 to 1947; M.D., 1951; resident, 1951-1953; fellow 1953-1955)  
1980 Baruj Benacerraf (B.S., 1942; research scientist, 1948 to 1950)  
1989 Harold E. Varmus (M.D., 1966; Presbyterian Hospital staff, 1966 to 1968, University Trustee, 2002 to 2005)  
1998 Louis J. Ignarro (B.S., 1962)  
2004 Richard Axel (A.B., 1967; resident, fellow and research scientist, 1971 to 1978; faculty member, 1978 to present)

Faculty and others

Chemistry

1934 Harold Clayton Urey (faculty member, 1929 to 1945)  
1960 Willard Libby (research scientist, 1941 to 1944)  
2008 Martin Chalfie (faculty member, ? to today)  

Economics

1982 George J. Stigler (research scientist, 1942 to 1945; faculty member, 1947 to 1958)  
1987 Robert Solow (fellowship year, 1949 to 1950)  
1992 Gary S. Becker (faculty member, 1957 to 1970)  
1999 Robert Mundell (faculty member, 1974 to present)  
2000 James J. Heckman (faculty member, 1970 to 1974)
2001 Joseph Stiglitz (faculty member, 2001 to present)
2006 Edmund Phelps (faculty member, 1971 to present)

Literature

1987 Joseph Brodsky (faculty member, 1978 to 1985)  
1991 Nadine Gordimer (faculty member, 1971 to 1972, 1976 to 1978, 1983)  
1992 Derek Walcott (faculty member, 1979, 1981 to 1983, 1984)
2006 Orhan Pamuk (visiting scholar, 1985 to 1988; fellow, 2006 to present)

Physics

1938 Enrico Fermi (faculty member, 1939 to 1945)  
1949 Hideki Yukawa (faculty member, 1949 to 1954)  
1955 Polykarp Kusch (faculty member, 1937 to 1972)  
1955 Willis E. Lamb (faculty member, 1938 to 1952, 1960 to 1961)  
1957 Tsung Dao Lee (faculty member, 1953 to present)
1963 Maria Goeppert Mayer (faculty member, 1940 to 1946)
1964 Charles H. Townes (faculty member, 1948 to 1961)  
1975 Aage Bohr (faculty member, 1949 to 1950)  
1976 Samuel C.C. Ting (faculty member, 1964 to 1967)  
1979 Steven Weinberg (faculty member, 1957 to 1959)  
1981 Arthur L. Schawlow (faculty member, 1949 to 1951, 1960)  
1984 Carlo Rubbia (postdoc at Nevis Laboratories, 1958 to 1960)  
1988 Jack Steinberger (faculty member, 1950 to 1970, 1985 to 1986, 1988 to 1998)  
1998 Horst Störmer (faculty member, 1998 to present)
2006 John C. Mather (postdoc in Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1974 to 1976)

Medicine

1933 Thomas Hunt Morgan (faculty member, 1904 to 1928)  
1956 Andre F. Cournand (faculty member, 1935 to 1988)  
1969 Salvador E. Luria (faculty member, 1940 to 1942)  
1976 D. Carleton Gajdusek (postgraduate training, 1946 to 1947)  
1978 Daniel Nathans (intern and medical resident, 1954 to 1959)  
1982 Sune Bergström (research fellowship, 1940 to 1941)  
1990 E. Donnall Thomas (faculty member, 1955 to 1963)  
2000 Eric Kandel (faculty member, 1974 to present)
2004 Linda Buck (postdoctoral fellow, 1980 to 1984; research scientist, 1984 to 1991)

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation
  2. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/universities.html
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