Five New Yorkers are among the nearly two dozen people being recognized by the MacArthur Foundation for their outstanding achievements and their potential to make important contributions in the future.
The organization's fellowships, which grant $500,000 over the five years, are given to outstanding people and institutions that show creativity and promise in their fields.
The honored New Yorkers are Columbia University tectonic plate expert Terry Plank, Columbia University mathematician Maria Chudnovsky, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and musicians Claire Chase and Chris Thile.
Fiction writer Junot Diaz, seen above, who lives in Massachusetts but writes about the Dominican-American experience in the New York metro area, also received the prestigious award.
Each fellow will receive $500,000 over the next five years.
The MacArthur Foundation has honored over 870 "geniuses" since 1981.