John V. Atanasoff Discovery Award

Awarded to alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who have significantly advanced scientific knowledge through laboratory accomplishments and/or management.

The award recognizes the achievements of John V. Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry, who invented the world’s first electronic digital computer. At the time of the discovery, Dr. Atanasoff was a faculty member in Iowa State’s Department of Physics. The computer incorporated several major innovations in computing including the use of binary arithmetic, regenerative memory, parallel processing, and separation of memory and computing functions.


2021 Kenneth Sufka, ’86 Psychology; MS ’88; PhD ’90

2020 Carla M. Koehler, ’86 biochemistry; MS ’89 biochemistry and molecular biology; PhD ’95 biochemistry and molecular biology

2019 Gordon Shepherd, ’55 zoology

2017 Srinivas Aluru, MS ’91 computer science, ’94 Ph.D.

2015 Oden L. Warren, Ph.D. ’93 physical chemistry

2014 Jun Ye, ’91 physics and astronomy

2013 Keith R. Yamamoto, ’68 biochemistry

2012 John Ohlfest, ’01 biology

2011 John L. Gustafson, MS ’80 mathematics, ’82 Ph.D.

2010 Tetsuro Motoyama, MS ’75 psychology, MS ’76 statistics, Ph.D. ’78 psychology and statistics, MS ’83 mathematics

2009 Sallie Keller, Ph.D. ’83 statistics

2007 Darleane Hoffman, ’48 chemistry, Ph.D. ’51

2006 W. Lynn Watney, ’70 geology, MS ’72

2005 Douglas Van Houweling, ’65 government