MIT Technology Review announced its annual list of the top 35 innovators under the age of 35 — the TR35 — on August 23, and more than one-third of the honorees have a connection to MIT. The 2016 group features three current faculty and researchers and at least eight MIT alumni.
According to Tech Review, the TR35 honors young innovators, disrupters, and dreamers who are pursuing medical breakthroughs, refashioning energy technologies, making computers more useful, and engineering cooler electronic devices. The 2016 list is split into five categories: Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Humanitarians, Pioneers, and Visionaries.
Honorees with MIT connections include:
Dinesh Baradia — Inventor; current postdoc in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
“Dinesh Bharadia invented a telecommunications technology that … found a way to simultaneously transmit and receive data on the same frequency.”
Kevin Esvelt — Visionary; assistant professor in the MIT Media Lab
“Esvelt’s Take: No gene drive able to spread globally should be released. Or even tested. Scientists need to disclose their plans. His Solution: He’s designed safer gene drives that can be controlled.”
Sonia Vallabh — Humanitarian; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
“[Sonia] learned she has a genetic mutation that causes a deadly brain disease. She and her husband have published research showing a possible pathway to a treatment.”
Muyinatu Lediju Bell '06 — Inventor; Johns Hopkins University
“Bell is working to improve another type of noninvasive medical imaging technique. Called photoacoustic imaging, it uses a combination of light and sound to produce images of tissues in the body.”
Adam Bry '12 — Inventor; Skydio
“We’re building a drone for consumers that understands the physical world, reacts to you intelligently, and can use that information to make decisions,” Bry says.
Ying Diao SM '10, PhD '12 — Pioneer; University of Illinois
“Ying Diao is creating printing techniques that bring order to the otherwise chaotic assembly of plastic molecules. She has made organic solar cells with double the efficiency of previous ones.”
Jonathan Downey '06 — Visionary; Airware
“The creator of control software for drones has foreseen the advantages of autonomous aircraft for years. … In 2015, Airware launches several products intended to help big companies use drones.”
Ehsan Hoque PhD '13 — Humanitarian; University of Rochester
“Can computers teach us to be our best selves? Ehsan Hoque believes so. He has created two computer systems that train people to excel in social settings.”
Maithilee Kunda '06 — Visionary; Vanderbilt University
“What if you had an AI system that used data made up entirely of images and reasoned only using visual operations, like rotating images around or combining images together?” Kunda asks.
Stephanie Lampkin MBA '13 — Entrepreneur; Blendoor
“Lampkin coded Blendoor, a job-search platform that hides the candidates’ names and photos during the initial stages of the process. So far more than 5,000 people have signed up.”
Jean Yang SM '10, PhD '15 — Visionary; Carnegie Mellon University
“Yang created Jeeves, a programming language with privacy baked in. With Jeeves, developers don’t have to scrub personal information from their features. …Yang’s code does it automatically.”
For more details on this year's group of honorees, visit the TR35 section of MIT Technology Review.