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Faster fourier transform named one of world’s most important emerging technologies

Earlier this year, Professors and CSAIL Principal Investigators Piotr Indyk and Dina Katabi, along with CSAIL graduate students Haitham Hassanieh and Eric Price, announced that they had improved upon the Fourier transform, an algorithm for processing streams of data. Their new algorithm, called the sparse Fourier transform (SFT), has been named to MIT Technology Review’s 2012 list of the world’s 10 most important emerging technologies.

With the SFT algorithm, streams of data can be processed 10 to 100 times faster than was possible before, allowing for a speedier and more efficient digital world.

“We selected the sparse Fourier transform developed by Dina Katabi, Haitham Hassanieh, Piotr Indyk and Eric Price as one of the 10 most important technology milestones of the past year because we expect it to have a significant impact,” said Brian Bergstein, Technology Review’s deputy editor. “By decreasing the amount of computation required to process information, this algorithm should make our devices and networks more powerful.”

Each year, the editors of MIT Technology Review select the 10 emerging technologies with the greatest potential to transform our world. These innovations promise fundamental shifts in areas including energy, health care, computing and communications. The SFT is featured in the May/June edition of Technology Review and is posted on the web at

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