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In Review

NOBEL ARCHIVESNot ‘Just Another Award’
thaler_koshibaPAST PAGES: Review introduced Masatoshi Koshiba ’55 (PhD), in 2002, when he was named a Nobel Prize recipient. (Photo: )

“It seems as if everyone thinks of the Nobel Prize as being something very special,” Nobel laureate Masatoshi Koshiba ’55 (PhD) told Rochester Review with unironic understatement in fall 2002, when he was named a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics. “[In 2000] I got the Wolf Prize, and I thought this would be same kind of thing—just another award.”

He soon realized that Japanese citizens, scientists, and media had a different impression, treating him as a national hero, one whose social calendar became filled with invitations to receptions featuring the nation’s leaders.

Koshiba shared one half of the prize with two American scientists for work to detect the subatomic particles known as neutrinos. When he received the prize, Koshiba was a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, where he’s still a member of the faculty.

He and others in Rochester’s Nobel club added a new member this fall, when economist Richard Thaler ’74 (PhD) was selected to receive this year’s Nobel Prize in economics (see page 6).

Altogether, a total of nine people with ties to Rochester have received Nobel Prizes, including six alumni. —Scott Hauser