Philly’s Geek of the Year is …

Plus Best Startup, Best Social Media Project and Scientist of the Year.

(Photo from Philadelphia Geek Awards.)

(Photo from Philadelphia Geek Awards.)

Remember when “geek” was considered a derogatory word? Boy that seems like a long time ago.

In Philly, there are plenty of geeks making their way to the top of the business world. So why not celebrate them? The Philly Geek Awards held its 2015 ceremony on Saturday evening. Here are some of the winners:

Geek of the Year: Ather Sharif

The founder of EvoXLabs, Sharif is a software engineer, freelance web developer and consultant. He won the Delegates Award for the Most Significant Accessibility Research at International World Wide Web Conference due to his research on accessible graphs. Sharif is a developer for Unlock Philly and founded the SCI Video Blog, packed with tutorial videos that help people with spinal cord injuries perform daily activities. Learn more here.

Scientist of the Year: Penn’s “Twitter Predicts Heart Disease” Team

The World Well-Being Project combines computer scientists and psychologists at Penn examining big data techniques for measuring physical and psychological health and well-being based on language in social media. In fact, the team says Twitter can predict community mortality rates from heart-disease better than 10 common demographic, socioeconomic, and health risk factors, including smoking and hypertension.

Social Media Project of the Year: Nicole Angemi’s Instagram Account

No, it’s not filled with photos of her kids, food she just cooked or funny memes. Instead Nicole Angemi‘s Instagram account is filled with photos of body parts and organs from autopsies. She’s a pathologist aiming to educate and inform. That still hasn’t stopped Instagram from shutting down her account multiple times.

Web Project of the Year: Open Data Philly’s Relaunch

OpenDataPhilly provides access to more than 300 data sets, applications and application program interfaces related to the region. Built by Philly-based software firm Azavea, OpenDataPhilly is based on the idea that providing free and easy access to digital information creates a better and more transparent government — and a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry. It relaunched in February 2015.

Best Startup: Billy Penn

Launched in October 2014, Billy Penn is a mobile-first news platform covering the Philly region. It posts original and aggregated content — and isn’t afraid of the occasional emoji.

Check out Newsworks for a full list of winners.