- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Singer Rosanne Cash and the founder of virtual reality firm Oculus are being honored with American Ingenuity Awards at the Smithsonian Institution, along with 8 other scientists and scholars for their groundbreaking work.

Smithsonian magazine is awarding the prizes Thursday night to 10 innovators in art, science and culture. The magazine polls Smithsonian museum directors and curators to find innovators impacting their fields.

Cash will receive the performing arts award for her 2014 album “The River & The Thread” that was inspired by a series of trips to the Deep South, not to mention her 11 No. 1 country singles.

Oculus VR Inc. founder Palmer Luckey will receive the youth award. He was 16 when he began inventing the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for consumers. Facebook acquired Irvine, California-based Oculus in March for $2 billion.

Additional Awards:

- Social Progress Award: Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, the first group devoted to teaching web coding skills to girls of color.

- Physical Sciences Award: Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin-Madison physicist who created a giant particle detector to study cosmic neutrinos under the South Pole.

- Education Award: Max Kenner, founder of the Bard Prison Initiative to educate prison inmates.

- Visual Arts Award: Janet Echelman, who created an interactive artwork over Vancouver using light from viewers’ smartphones.

- Historical Scholarship Award: Bill Morrison, a documentary filmmaker for his film “The Great Flood.”

- Natural Sciences Award: Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for discoveries about how memories form.

- Technology Award: Huge Herr for developing a highly functional bionic leg at MIT Media Lab for a dancer wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing.


American Ingenuity Awards: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/ ingenuity

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