Thee people from the Bay Area, two from Berkeley and one from San Francisco, were named MacArthur fellows last night. The "genius award," one that allows its members to work on their craft full-time, comes with heaps prestige and a whopping $500,000 booty. San Francisco artist Camille Utterback, Berkeley computer nerd Maneesh Agrawala, and Berkeley molecular biologist Lin He were among this year's 24 recipients.

Utterback, as described in her bio, is a "pioneering artist and programmer in the field of interactive installation." She also "develops long term and permanent installations for commercial and museum settings via her company Creative Nerve, Inc." A recent installation, Abundance (at right) is a temporary public installation that was commissioned for San Jose, CA.

Congratulations to all three recipients. Drinks are on you!