The Art of Science

View the 2013 winning images at the Davidson Library Exhibit:

CSEP photo

the art of science first annual competition organized by the PDS, the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at CNSI, and the Schuller Lab.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. " -- Albert Einstein

Can you see beauty in your science?

In science, as in art, the practitioner pursues moments of discovery when observations become greater than the sum of their parts and begin to reveal an untold story. The Art of Science initiative recognizes the creative and experimental nature of science and challenges UCSB researchers to visually communicate the beauty inherent to scientific investigations.  Visualizing these discoveries connects scientists, artists, and the community at large.  The Art of Science initiative encourages researchers to express the joy of scientific discovery through aesthetics.

Join us this summer in an event to capture the imagination and share the beauty of science through photographs and images that describe some aspect of research; whether it be spectroscopic images of a new material, data from a series of simulations, photos of a device or instrument, or some other aspect of research captured visually. We look forward to seeing the images you create!

Image submissions are due July 26, 2013.

Finalists will be displayed in the UCSB Library and Elings Hall Aug 5-9th for community voting.

Winning images will be announced at The Art of Science reception on August 16th, 2013, at 4pm in Elings Hall.

Winning entries will be exhibited at the UCSB Library.


Competition Requirements:

  • All UCSB undergraduate, graduate students and post-docs are eligible to submit pieces for the competition. The best images will be exhibited online and in an exhibit in Elings Hall.
  • All photograph and image submissions should be original pieces of work.  Submissions are limited to one image per contestant. Multiple students may submit one image.
  • Images may be obtained by any imaging technique, or may be the result of modeling and simulation, or can be obtained by combining multiple images into one artistic image. Photographs may be of instrumentation, apparati, devices or other objects used in your scientific investigation. Images may be modified to enhance their aesthetic. Please do not submit cartoons or schematics.
  • Entries may be submitted online as a high-resolution jpeg file of at least 300 dpi (10MB maximum size). Please include the submitter's last name in the title of the jpg file. All submitted images must include a description (800 character maximum) geared toward a general audience. The description should be clear and easy to understand. It should explain the content of the image including the technique used and any special conditions, if applicable. In addition, the submitter's name, affiliation, and e-mail address must be given. Submissions are due at 5PM, July 26, 2013. Please submit at:
  • Winning pieces will be selected by a committee of judges with a separate prize awarded based on a community vote. First-place will receive a prize of $250. Prizes of smaller amounts will also be awarded to second and third-place winners. Each entry is eligible for only one prize. Finalists will be displayed in the UCSB Library and Elings Hall Aug 5-9th for community voting. Winning entries will be exhibited at the UCSB Library.
  • Submissions will be judged for their aesthetic excellence as well as scientific or technical interest. A clear and engaging associated description that communicates the science behind the image will also be a key element in the selection.

Here are a few websites for inspiration:

Princeton University:

California Institute of Technology:

Materials Research Society:

Competition Flyer