Dawn Song and Emmanuel Saez, a computer scientist and an economist at the University of California Berkeley, were yesterday named MacArthur Fellows, often dubbed the “genius” grants. Awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, the fellowships are five-year “no strings” grants of $500,000.

UC Berkeley was the only institution to garner more than a single fellow this year (faculty at UC San Diego and UC Davis were also among the 23 fellows).

Song, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was cited for her work “exploring the deep interactions among software, hardware, and networks to increase the stability of computer systems vulnerable to remote attack or interference”.

Saez, the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics and the Director of the new Center for Equitable Growth (first covered here on Berkeleyside), was singled out for his “quantitative analyses, behavioral experiments, and theoretical insights to enhance our understanding of the relationship between income and tax policy”.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...