14 Mar UW professor and WARF receive presidential medals
Madison got a double dose of national honors on Monday as President Bush gave medals to University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Carl R. de Boor and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for achievements in mathematics and technology transfer, respectively.
The 2003 National Medals of Science and Technology recognized 14 accomplishments in various fields. They included discoveries about how genes work, the invention of Ethernet, and the work that led to the first automobile catalytic converters.
De Boor received his medal in mathematics for contributions to approximation theory, which finds many uses in computer graphics, image processing, and computer-aided design and manufacture. The professor, now emeritus, is credited with pioneering the scientific study of splines – smooth curves that are defined by two or more points that lie along them. He developed practical algorithms for working with them, including one named after him.
WARF was awarded a medal in technology for supporting the process of innovation, from invention to commercialization. WARF is the patenting and licensing arm of UW-Madison, handling patents on university-developed technologies and working with spinoff companies.