IBMer Robert Dennard Named Laureate in Advanced Technology by Inamori Foundation

KYOTO, JAPAN — June 21, 2013 — The Inamori Foundation today announced the 29th annual Kyoto Prize laureates: all three Americans continuing to work well into their 80s providing real-life proof of the adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Dr. Robert Dennard, IBM Fellow and electronics engineer, will receive the Advanced Technology Prize in the field of Electronics; Dr. Masatoshi Nei, an evolutionary biologist and Professor at Penn State will receive the Basic Sciences Prize in the field of Biological Sciences; and music pioneer Cecil Taylor, one of the most original pianists in the history of jazz, will receive the Arts and Philosophy Prize in the field of Music.

The Kyoto Prize is an international award bestowed by The Inamori Foundation to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. At a November ceremony in Kyoto, Japan, each laureate will receive a diploma, a 20-karat gold Kyoto Prize medal and a cash gift of 50 million yen (approximately US $500,000-630,000) in recognition of lifelong contributions to society. The Inamori Foundation was started by noted philanthropist Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corporation and KDDI Corporation, and director and chairman emeritus of Japan Airlines. Including this year’s laureates, 93 individuals and one organization (The Nobel Foundation) have been honored with the Kyoto Prize.

The 2013 Kyoto Prize Laureates

IBM Fellow Dr. Robert Heath Dennard, 80, invented the basic structure of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), which is now extensively utilized as one of the integrated circuit (IC) memory systems. His innovation has immensely increased the capacity of digital information storage, leading to dramatic progress in information and telecommunications technology. Dr. Dennard and his colleagues also proposed guidelines, called “scaling theory”, to miniaturize field-effect transistors (FET), which play key roles in most ICs, including DRAM, thereby promoting the amazing advance in IC technology.

Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Masatoshi Nei, 82, made it possible to discuss evolutionary divergence, genetic diversity, and the mode of selection on genes in a quantitative manner by devising diverse statistical methods such as Nei’s genetic distance, and applying them to molecular data. Using these methods, Dr. Nei’s research has yielded important contributions to molecular evolutionary biology, as well as many other academic disciplines including ecology and conservation biology, and helped with understanding the evolutionary mechanism of genes, such as positive selection.

Music visionary Cecil Taylor, 84, is one of the most original pianists in the history of jazz.  He developed his innovative improvisation departing from conventional idioms through distinctive musical constructions and percussive renditions, thereby opening new possibilities in jazz. His unsurpassed virtuosity and strong will inject an intense, vital force into his music, which has exerted a profound influence on a broad range of musical genres.

About the Inamori Foundation and the Kyoto Prize
The non-profit Inamori Foundation was established in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corporation, founder of and honorary adviser to KDDI Corporation, and director and chairman emeritus of Japan Airlines. The Foundation created the Kyoto Prize in 1985, in line with Dr. Inamori’s belief that a human being has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between our scientific progress and our spiritual depth. With the 2013 laureates, the prize has honored 93 individuals and one foundation — collectively representing 15 nations. Individual laureates range from scientists, engineers and researchers to philosophers, painters, architects, sculptors, musicians and film directors. The United States has produced the most recipients (39), followed by Japan (16), the United Kingdom (12), and France (8).  More information can be found at