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Home > News Room > NEC C&C Foundation Awards 2008: C&C Prize to Dr. Hideo Aiso and Prof. Albert-László Barabási

NEC C&C Foundation Awards 2008: C&C Prize to
Dr. Hideo Aiso and Prof. Albert-László Barabási

Dr. Hideo Aiso

Dr. Hideo Aiso

Prof. Albert-László Barabási

Prof. Albert-László Barabási

***For immediate use October 17, 2008

Tokyo, October 17, 2008 --- - NEC C&C Foundation today announced that the 2008 C&C Prize will be awarded to Dr. Hideo Aiso and Prof. Albert-László Barabási. Each recipient will be recognized with a certificate of merit, a plaque, and a cash award of 10 million yen.

The C&C Prize was established in 1985 and is awarded to distinguished persons in recognition of outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering works related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields. The award is divided into two groups, as outlined below.

The prize ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 19 from 15:30 at ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo and will be followed by acceptance speeches.

Group A

Dr. Hideo Aiso
 Director, Board of Trustees of Tokyo University of Technology
 (Former President, Tokyo University of Technology)
 Professor Emeritus, Keio University

For contributions to the advancement and growth of the computer industry through research and development on computer systems, and for the development of new disciplinary areas in ICT, resulting in the progress of education and research methodologies

Dr. Hideo Aiso was involved in a research project for the development of transistor-based computers at the Electrotechnical Laboratory (ETL) of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in the latter half of the 1950s. He was charged with the basic design of logic circuits for a fully transistor-operated computer, dubbed the ETL Mark IV. Initially, he was expected to design a basic circuit that would work with as few transistors as possible due to their high cost.

However, far beyond all expectations, he created a dynamic logic circuit working with a single transistor by taking advantage of pulse-wave techniques. Furthermore, he demonstrated the circuit’s excellent stability, which was suitable for use in practical operations. The ETL Mark IV went into use in the fall of 1957. Its success led the ETL to promote technical guidelines and technology transfers to companies highly motivated to stimulate the domestic computer industry. He undertook responsibility for promoting the technologies and made great contributions to establishing foundations for the computer industry. He then developed computers with multi-functionality, higher performance, and larger capacity for practical use, in addition to playing a central role in the research and development of the ETL Mark V and VI.

Dr. Aiso then moved on to an academic sphere, but remained involved in the research and development of computer architecture covering parallel processing, distributed processing, adaptive processing, associative processing, specially designed functional processing, and more. Together with those outstanding achievements, he fostered the development of a number of competent academics, researchers, and engineers, who now play active roles in current ICT research areas. Moreover, as the chairperson of numerous committees, he actively worked on government projects such as 5th-generation computers, supercomputers, and interoperable computer systems. As a result, he was recognized as a respected opinion leader on computer architecture throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

In the 1990s, based on his perspectives on leading-edge information technologies, he treated all aspects of knowledge in an interrelated manner. The result was the establishment of university departments both for environment and information studies as well as media and governance studies. Each are expected to contribute to the changing shape of society and to give rise to new cultural advancements. In short, Dr. Aiso successfully introduced important knowledge and suggestions to new educational approaches, desirable research, and environmental information science.

The NEC C&C Foundation highly praises Dr. Aiso for his contributions to the advancement of C&C technologies and the progress of our information linked society through research and development on computers, pioneering studies on computer architecture, fostering human resources, promoting government projects on next-generation computers, and establishing university education systems with leading-edge information technologies.

Group B

Prof. Albert-László Barabási
 Professor of Physics,
 Computer Science and Biology
 Director of the Center for Complex Network
 Research, Northeastern University

For stimulating innovative research on networks and discovering that the “scale-free” property is a common feature of various real-world complex networks

(Scale-free means being free of a typical scale such as the average in a distribution. Mathematically, a scale-free network follows a power-law degree distribution and explains the fat tails observed in real networks.)

Prof. Albert-László Barabási and his team of researchers found in 1999 that the World Wide Web (WWW) is not a randomly connected network but is best described by a new class of networks that he named scale-free. By discovering two generic mechanisms, the first being that networks expand continuously with the addition of new nodes and the second that new nodes preferentially link to already well-connected nodes, Prof. Barabási theoretically derived the power-law distribution for the number of links characterizing the nodes in the WWW. This power-law distribution clearly explains that a handful of hubs having a large number of links coexist with many nodes that have only a few links. For a power-law distribution, the tail of the distribution does not decay fast. Consequently, a power-law distribution is free from a typical scale, which means that the average node is not representative, in contrast to the average in a normal distribution. Prof. Barabási dubbed this feature “scale-free” and the networks having this feature “scale-free networks.”

The most pronounced insight into networks by Prof. Barabási is that the scale-free feature is not at all limited to the WWW. Rather, it is a generic feature of an amazing variety of networks. These include the social networks of actors in Hollywood, the citation patterns of scientific publications, metabolic networks with metabolites linked by chemical reactions in many different living organisms, and flight maps connecting airports. Moreover, his scale-free theory is supported by findings about the physical infrastructure of the Internet with computers linked by wires and cables, by transmission maps for infectious diseases, by business networks, and so on. His results are summarized in the book entitled “Linked: The New Science of Networks” which was published in 2002.

It is now widely accepted that scale-free property is a universal feature of many complex networks existing in reality. Networks in biology, biotechnology, sociology, economics, industrial organizations, and more have been extensively investigated with the powerful knowledge provided by the theory of scale-free networks. Based on findings that scale-free networks are vulnerable to intentional all-out attacks on network hubs, research into matters ranging from preventing terrorism to countering human illnesses such as cancer and mental disease has made great progress.

Prof. Barabási’s research on scale-free networks represents a paradigm change in our understanding of complex systems. Consequently, his trailblazing work into network research has been very highly praised.

See the attachment for profiles of the recipients


About NEC C&C Foundation

The NEC C&C Foundation is a non-profit organization established in March 1985 to foster further growth in the electronics industry by encouraging and supporting research and development activities and pioneering works related to the integration of computers and communications technologies, that is, C&C, and ultimately to contribute to the world economy and the enrichment of human life. The Foundation is funded by NEC Corporation.

The Foundation currently has three main activities. It presents the annual C&C Prizes to recognize outstanding contributions to R&D activities and pioneering works in the area of C&C. Candidates are recommended from all over the world. Each prize winner receives a certificate, a plaque, and a cash award (ten million yen per group). As of 2008, 78 prominent persons had received the prize. In addition, an Outstanding Paper Award for Young C&C Researchers is awarded annually to one outstanding paper presented at an international conference overseas with the support of a grant from the Foundation. The recipient is given a cash award of 200,000 yen.

The Foundation also gives the following four grants: (1) grant to enable researchers in Japan to attend international conferences overseas to make presentations in the field of C&C, (2) grant to non-Japanese researchers in Japan, (3) grant to young researchers who have recently moved to a university in Japan, having received a doctorate from a different university, and (4) grant to students proceeding to doctoral courses.

The Foundation also studies the influences on the world economy and human life resulting from C&C developments.
For additional information, please visit the NEC C&C Foundation website at:

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified and global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:

Press Contacts:

Hiroshi Gokan
NEC C&C Foundation

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation

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