Speakers

TR35 2011 Winner
Pieter Abbeel

Professor, UC Berkeley

Pieter Abbeel joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008. He has won best paper awards at the International Conference on Machine Learning and the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and the Okawa Foundation award. He has developed apprenticeship-learning algorithms enabling advanced helicopter aerobatics, including maneuvers such as tic-tocs, chaos, and auto-rotation, which only exceptional human pilots can perform. His group has also enabled the first end-to-end completion of reliably picking up a crumpled laundry article and folding it. His current research focuses on robotics and machine learning with a focus on challenges in personal robotics, surgical robotics, and connectomics.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Yemi Adesokan

CEO, Pathogenica

Yemi Adesokan is a scientist and entrepreneur with experience in the development and optimization of multiplex capture and high-throughput genome sequencing technologies. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, he pioneered the development and implementation of the BioWeatherMap project, an initiative that collects real-time assays and uses them to track and limit viral outbreaks and antibiotic resistance in the developing world. Adesokan also has extensive experience as an industry consultant providing strategic advisory services to Fortune 500 life-science companies. Yemi holds a BS in biology from the University of Houston and a PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of California, Irvine.

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Ron Ambrosio

Senior Technical Staff Member, IBM Global Research Executive, Energy & Utilities

Ron Ambrosio leads IBM’s activities in the energy and utilities industries at its 10 worldwide research laboratories. He established IBM’s smart-grid research program in 2000 and began collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy shortly after that. He helped plan and launch the GridWise Alliance. In 2004 he was selected for the 13-member GridWise Architecture Council convened by the DOE, and he served as chairman of the council during 2009 and 2010. Ambrosio is convener of the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Special Working Group on Smart Grid and chairman of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Architecture Committee.

TR35 2011 Winner
June Andronick

Senior Researcher, NICTA & UNSW

Dr. June Andronick focuses on increasing the reliability of critical software systems by mathematically proving that the code behaves as expected and satisfies security and safety requirements. She was recently recognized by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the world’s top young innovators (TR35). She contributed to the project, under Gerwin Klein, that resulted in a formal-correctness proof of a whole operating system kernel, a breakthrough named a top emerging technology (TR10). She previously worked for the smart-card manufacturer Gemalto. She holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Paris-Sud, France.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Judd Antin

Research Scientist, Yahoo Labs

Judd Antin is a social psychologist and research scientist in the Internet Experiences Research Group at Yahoo Labs. His areas of expertise include incentives and motivation for online collaboration, online communities, trust, and privacy. His interests center on user-generated content, social media, the wisdom of crowds, distributed work, and all other forms of online collaboration. Antin strives for a holistic understanding of participation and collaboration and translates that understanding into innovation for Yahoo products. He received a PhD from the UC Berkeley School of Information in 2010.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Solomon Assefa

Research Staff Member, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

Solomon Assefa is a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. His research interests include CMOS-integrated silicon nanophotonics for optical interconnects, ultrafast photodetectors, silicon platforms for quantum communication, and photonic crystals for biosensing. Assefa has filed 30 patents, published 110 articles and conference proceedings, and delivered over 30 invited presentations. He has received a Technical Accomplishment Award and several Invention Achievement Awards from IBM. Assefa received a BS in physics and a BS and MS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 2001. He joined IBM in 2004 after receiving a PhD from MIT for his research on photonic crystals. He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Jernej Barbic

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California

Jernej Barbic earned a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 2007 to 2009. Since August 2009, he has been an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Southern California. His research interests include computer graphics, animation, real-time simulation, FEM deformable objects, haptic rendering of contact for geometrically rich scenarios, sound simulation, and model reduction and control of nonlinear systems.

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Suzanne Berger

Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science, MIT

Suzanne Berger is Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science and cochair of the MIT Production in the Innovation Economy Commission, a 20-member faculty group initiated by MIT president Susan Hockfield to study innovation and manufacturing in industrial countries (http://web.mit.edu/pie/). Berger’s most recent book is How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing to Make It in Today’s Global Economy. She served as head of MIT’s Department of Political Science and director of its International Science and Technology Initiatives. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received the Légion d’Honneur.

TR35 2011 Winner
Dan Berkenstock

Founder, Skybox Imaging

Dan Berkenstock is an entrepreneur and engineer fascinated by scalable and novel data streams that revolutionize the ways in which consumers, businesses, and governments make everyday decisions. As executive vice president and chief product officer of Skybox, Dan leads the vision, implementation, and delivery of information products and services derived from timely satellite imagery. Previously, Dan was the CEO of Skybox, leading the company through its first two rounds of financing, building a team of 50, and overseeing the design and successful critical design review of the company’s first satellite, SkySat-1.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Christopher Bettinger

Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Christopher Bettinger is an assistant professor in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at CMU. His research group uses interdisciplinary strategies to develop next-generation medical implants that combine biodegradability and biocompatibility with unique mechanical properties and electronic functionality. Bettinger received a PhD in materials science from MIT and completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship at Stanford University. He has received international awards in chemistry and tissue engineering, published over 30 journal articles, and has five patents granted or pending. Bettinger was a finalist in the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

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Alexis Borisy

Partner, Third Rock Ventures

Alexis Borisy joined Third Rock Ventures in 2009 as an entrepreneur in residence and was named partner in 2010. He focuses on the formation, development, and strategic direction of new companies, including Foundation Medicine, which he cofounded and served as CEO until 2011. Before joining Third Rock Ventures, Borisy founded CombinatoRx in 2000, serving as its CEO and bringing the company public on the NASDAQ in an IPO. He serves on the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, is an overseer at the Boston Museum of Science, and is the chairman of Forma Therapeutics.

Joe Coray

Vice President, The Hartford

Joe Coray is the Vice President, The Hartford's Technology & Life Science Practice and the Marine Practice. In this capacity, he is responsible for all execution activities of the group, including overseeing field sales, underwriting and strategy for the practice, including Life Sciences & Medical Technology. Combining Middle Market, Small Commercial and Professional Liability, the Technology Practice has over $400 Million in written premiums and is growing as an industry vertical and leader in insurance and risk management for technology and life science companies. The Marine Practice focuses on Construction, Transportation, Renewable Energy, Inland and Ocean Marine coverages for a variety of industries.

Tom Dignan

Technical Research Director, Reputation.com

Tom Dignan leads Reputation.com’s technical research. Before joining the company, he was vice president of engineering at Hands-on Mobile, where he managed a cross-functional international team responsible for building infrastructure and applications for mobile devices. Dignan has also led engineering teams at Yahoo, Earthlink, and Excite@Home, and he has proven expertise in architecting large-scale consumer Internet systems. A graduate of San Francisco State University, he received his PhD in physics from Harvard University and spent time at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center as a postdoctoral scholar.

TR35 2011 Winner
Jennifer Dionne

Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Jennifer Dionne is an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Her research investigates metamaterials—engineered materials with optical and electrical properties not found in nature—for applications ranging from nanophotonic manipulation to high-efficiency solar energy conversion. She received a PhD in applied physics in 2009 at the California Institute of Technology, where she won the Clauser Doctoral Prize. In 2010, Dionne served as a postdoctoral research fellow in chemistry, working with Paul Alivisatos at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Scott Elrod

Vice President and Director, PARC, a Xerox company

Scott Elrod is vice president and director of the Cleantech Innovation Program and Hardware Systems Laboratory research organization at PARC, a Xerox company. Under Elrod’s direction, PARC’s Cleantech Innovation Program develops solutions for energy efficiency, clean water, renewable fuels, and more. Before joining PARC, Elrod directed the Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH) Division at Sematech, a consortium of semiconductor manufacturers. A PARC Principal Scientist who holds more than 60 patents, he received his PhD in applied physics from Stanford University and his AB degree in physics from Earlham College.

Juan Enriquez

Managing Director, Excel Venture Management

Juan Enríquez is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impact of life sciences. He is an active investor in multiple startups, helping manage and invest in dozens of companies including Xcellerex, BioTrove, Synthetic Genomics, Saladax, Fina Technologies, MedNetworks, Zonare, Catch.com, and ZipCar. Before founding Biotechonomy and Excel, he was the former founding director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project. He serves on a variety of boards and has advised multiple heads of state and CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies. He earned a BA and MBA from Harvard, with honors.

Christine Furstoss

Technical Director, Manufacturing and Materials Technologies, GE Global Research

Furstoss is technical director for manufacturing and materials technologies at GE, based at GE’s Global Research Center. She is responsible for working with leadership and R&D teams across the company and with strategic partners to set strategy for growth, and implement critical process and materials developments for products and manufacturing. In addition to working with the product teams across GE, Furstoss leads 450 researchers at Global Research; her team is located across North America, Europe, and Asia. Christine joined GE in 1989 at GE Energy. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Simson Garfinkel

Author

Simson L. Garfinkel, the author, coauthor, or editor of 14 books on computing, is perhaps best known for his 2000 book Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. His research interests include computer forensics, the emerging field of usability and security, personal information management, privacy, information policy, and terrorism. He holds six U.S. patents and has published dozens of journal articles and conference papers in security and computer forensics. Garfinkel received three bachelor of science degrees from MIT, a master’s of science in journalism from Columbia University, and a PhD in computer science from MIT.

Craig Gentry

Research Scientist, IBM

Craig Gentry is a research scientist in the cryptography group at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He received his PhD in computer science from Stanford in 2009 and won the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award and the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for his work on developing the first fully homomorphic encryption scheme. His research tends toward the mathematical side of applied cryptography, both constructive (designing efficient and highly functional cryptosystems) and destructive (cryptanalysis). Recently, he has been focusing on making homomorphic encryption more efficient. In a past life, he was an intellectual property attorney.

TR35 2011 Winner
Brian Gerkey

Director of Open Source Development, Willow Garage

Brian Gerkey is director of Open Source Development at Willow Garage. Before joining Willow Garage, he was a computer scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI, and before that, a postdoc in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University. Prior to working on ROS, Brian was founder and colead developer on the open source Player Project, which still produces one of the most widely used software platforms for robotics research and education. Brian has presented at numerous robotics conferences over the last 10 years; recently he was a keynote speaker at SIMPAR 2010, and gave tech talks at Google I/O 2011 at OSCON 2011.

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Dario Gil

Program Director, Smarter Energy, IBM Research

Gil is the worldwide program director for IBM's Smarter Energy research, leading a global team of researchers working on projects ranging from optimizing smart grid operations to increasing the life of batteries for electric vehicles. Previously he had responsibilities in the development of the science and technology strategy for IBM’s world-renowned research laboratories. He serves as the IBM Research program coordinator of the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Gil is a member of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Project and the New York Energy Policy Institute. Gil is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and received his doctorate in electrical engineering from MIT.

William R. Gould, Jr.

Chief Technology Officer, SolarReserve

Gould brings more than 30 years of technical experience to SolarReserve in the areas of engineering, procurement, and construction of power plants and power-related systems—with the last 12 years of his career largely dedicated to solar-energy installations. Gould's highly regarded solar-energy expertise includes extensive feasibility work, design, construction, cost estimating, and financial due diligence on various concentrating solar thermal power plant technologies, including power tower and solar trough designs. Gould holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University.

TR35 2011 Winner
Jeff Hammerbacher

Founder and Chief Scientist, Cloudera

Jeff Hammerbacher is a founder of Cloudera, where he serves as chief scientist. Immediately before founding Cloudera, he was an entrepreneur in residence at Accel Partners; he has also been a quantitative analyst on Wall Street and conceived, built, and led the data team at Facebook. Hammerbacher serves as a director of Sage Bionetworks and as a mentor for Rock Health. He teaches Introduction to Data Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as a contributing editor for O’Reilly’s Beautiful Data. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

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Bryan Hannegan

Vice President, Environment and Renewables for the Electric Power Research Institute

Hannegan is vice president, environment and renewables for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Prior to joining EPRI in September 2006, Hannegan served in a dual capacity as the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and as an acting special assistant to the president for economic policy. Between 1999 and 2003, Hannegan served as staff scientist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hannegan holds a doctorate in earth system science and a master’s in engineering, both from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Mark Harvey & Friends

Mark Harvey, a trumpet performer, teaches jazz studies at MIT and will be joined for this performance by colleagues from his Aardvark Jazz Orchestra (aardvarkjazz.com): Peter Bloom on flute and alto sax and John Funkhouser on bass and piano. Known for creative modal/free improvisation as well as challenging large-ensemble compositions, Mark Harvey & Friends (re.release.net) engage in fresh sonic explorations that have been praised for what Jazz Review has called their “exuberance, imagination, and sheer brio.” Harvey may be heard on more than 30 recordings, including George Russell’s reconceptualization of “So What” on the Blue Note CD of the same title.

Robert Heffernan

Associate Partner, Business Analytics Optimization Services, IBM

Bob Heffernan is an associate partner in IBM’s Business Analytics Optimization Services. He is the global lead for social-media analytics and supports the market strategy and delivery of Cognos Consumer Insight (CCI), IBM’s social-media monitoring tool, as well as predictive analytics applications. Heffernan also has over 15 years of strategy consulting experience with leading domestic and international Fortune 50 companies from the financial services, communications, and consumer products industries. He is a frequent speaker and is recognized as an expert on social-media analytics and customer-experience strategy.

Jef Holove

CEO, Basis

Jef Holove believes that personal wellness is one of the most important trends of our time, at both the personal and the societal levels. Formerly CEO at Eye-Fi, Holove guided the company from a 2007 launch to international retail distribution for its device and service. Before that he was GM of audio and gaming at Logitech, where he also worked in U.S. and EMEA marketing. He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. A confessed gamer, Holove knows that his occasional hike, scuba trip, or Guitar Hero jam session isn’t quite enough wellness, so these days he’s making good use of his running shoes―and his Basis Band.

Joi Ito

Director, MIT Media Lab

Incoming Media Lab director Joi Ito is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways. A vocal advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom, Ito is board chair (and former CEO) of Creative Commons and sits on the boards of the Mozilla Foundation, Witness, and Global Voices. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial Internet service provider. He was an early investor in more than 40 companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, Kongregate, Kickstarter, and Twitter. Ito’s honors include Time magazine’s “Cyber-Elite” listing in 1997 (at age 31) and selection as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum (2001). In 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web.”

Steven Johnson

Author

Steven Johnson is the best-selling author of seven books on the intersection of science, technology, and personal experience. His writings have influenced everything from the way political campaigns use the Internet to cutting-edge ideas in urban planning to the battle against 21st-century terrorism. His books include Everything Bad Is Good for You, The Ghost Map, and most recently, Where Good Ideas Come From. He is also the cofounder of three influential websites: Feed, Plastic.com, and outside.in, which was acquired by AOL in early 2011.

Donald Jones

VP of Wireless Health, Global Strategy, and Market Development, Qualcomm Incorporated

Donald Jones serves as vice president of wireless health, global strategy, and market development at Qualcomm. He founded and is chairman of the Wireless Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA), a trade organization that works with the wireless and health industries to enable new business models, new businesses, and clinical process improvements in all sectors of the health industry. Jones is a board member of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation and the American Telemedicine Association. In 2010, Fierce Health IT named him one of the “10 Disruptive Forces in Health IT.” Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, a JD from the University of San Diego, and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

Bill Joy

Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

A senior partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Bill Joy helps disruptive early-stage “green” ventures innovate in areas including energy storage, chemicals and materials for renewable fuels, and energy-efficient electronics. He was cofounder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems and also designed and implemented Berkeley UNIX, the first open-source operating system with built-in TCP/IP, which led Fortune magazine to dub him “Edison of the Internet.” Joy has 40+ patents. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a lifetime trustee of the Aspen Institute.

Henry Kelly

Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Kelly is the acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean-energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Kelly oversees a broad energy portfolio, helping hasten the transition to a clean-energy economy. Prior to his arrival at DOE, Kelly served as the president of the Federation of American Scientists. Kelly draws on vast experience in a variety of government positions including assistant director for technology for the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Clinton White House; senior associate at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and assistant director for the Solar Energy Research Institute (the predecessor of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Kelly has a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University and a B.S. in physics from Cornell University.

TR35 2011 Winner
Bhaskar Krishnamachari

Associate Professor, University of Southern California

Bhaskar Krishnamachari is an associate professor in electrical engineering and computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He received his BE from Cooper Union and his MS and PhD from Cornell University. His research focuses on the design of algorithms, protocols, and applications for next-generation wireless networks and mobile devices. He is the coauthor of more than 200 technical papers, as well as a book titled Networking Wireless Sensors. He serves as an editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks. He has received the NSF Career Award, the ASEE Terman Award, and best-paper prizes at IPSN 2010, MobiCom 2010, and other conferences.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Gert Lanckriet

Associate Professor, UC San Diego

Lanckriet received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from KU Leuven, in Belgium, in 2000, and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005. He is currently an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UC San Diego and heads the Computer Audition Lab. He has been awarded the SIAM Optimization Prize, a Hellman Fellowship, an IBM Faculty Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship. His lab received a Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award, Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, and Google Research Award. His research focuses on convex optimization and machine learning, with applications in computer audition and music information retrieval.

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David Lee

Managing Member, SV Angel

David Lee is the managing member of SV Angel. Prior to SV Angel, he was at Google, where he led new business development efforts in video, media, and content/data partnerships. After Google, he led all business development-related efforts for StumbleUpon. He was a partner at Baseline Ventures, a leading seed-stage investment firm. He was also an attorney at Morrison and Foerster representing high-tech companies in commercial transactions. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins, NYU (JD) and Stanford (MSEE), where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate fellow. He is an individual investor in Square, WePay, Chomp, and EQAL; an adviser at SocialDeck (acquired by Google), ScanScout, and Rupture (acquired by EA); and was on the board of directors of BookFresh.

Jim Mainard

Head of Production Development, DreamWorks Animation

Mainard joined the DreamWorks team in its early inception in 1997. He serves as the head of production development for DreamWorks Animation. In this capacity, Mainard is the executive responsible for the transition of the Studio to 3-D (stereoscopic) filmmaking. Prior to this, he served as DreamWorks’ head of research and development, in which he was responsible for establishing and delivering on the strategic vision for the software tools used to produce its computer-generated films. Mainard joined DreamWorks as a system engineer in 1997 creating the animation tools for its first feature film, The Prince of Egypt. Mainard joined the entertainment industry after 13 years in aerospace. Mainard is a graduate of USC in computer science.

Aviad Maizels

President and Founder, PrimeSense

Aviad Maizels is an experienced technology leader who founded and created PrimeSense, the global front-runner in the market for interfaces based on gesture recognition. Maizels’s vision is to make devices more sentient and bring them closer to the world we live in, where many people remain slow to adapt to new technologies. His enthusiasm for eliminating the technology barriers between people and devices has been the driving force behind the creation and growth of PrimeSense. Maizels earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in computer science from the Technion, Israel’s institute of technology, and a master’s degree in mathematics and computer science from the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he studied under Professor Adi Shamir.

Dave Marvit

Vice President, Fujitsu Labs of America

Dave Marvit is vice president at Fujitsu Labs of America, where he leads the Connected Information Innovation Center. He has worked as a writer and producer with WGBH’s Nova Science Team, served as a Mellon visiting professor at Caltech, and been involved with many Silicon Valley startups. He was a founder, VP of production, and lead creative at Worlds Inc. and founder and VP of marketing at Disappearing Inc. Marvit was selected as one of Time magazine’s 2001 Digital Dozen, one of the 12 most influential people in the digital world. He has more than 40 patents granted and pending.

Cyrus Massoumi

Cofounder and CEO, ZocDoc

Cyrus Massoumi is cofounder and CEO of ZocDoc, a company dedicated to improving access to health care. Before founding ZocDoc in 2007, he served as an engagement manager at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he focused on health care and technology. He founded his first business, a Web startup specializing in e-commerce management tools, in 1999. Massoumi began his career working for Trilogy Software, which recruited him upon his graduation cum laude from the Wharton School, and received an MBA from Columbia University in 2003.

Andrew McAfee

Author and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Digital Business

McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT, studies the ways that information technology affects businesses. He is the coauthor, with Erik Brynjolfsson, of the e-book Race Against the Machine: How Technology Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, to be published this fall. He has also held appointments as a professor at Harvard Business School and a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In 2008, he was named the 38th most influential person in IT.

Ellen McGirt

Senior Writer, Fast Company

When she’s not chasing former vice presidents or leaping social networks in a single bound, Ellen McGirt occasionally shows up for her job as senior writer at Fast Company magazine. She covers a range of business topics but never stops looking for the holy grail: the business ideas—and people—changing the world. McGirt joined Fast Company in February 2007 from Fortune, where she was a senior writer. She was also a columnist and editor at large for Money, where she covered a wide variety of topics in health care, consumer issues, personal finance, and investing. She has served as a guest correspondent for CNN’s American Morning, and has appeared frequently on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News, CNBC, CNN, and American Public Media.

TR35 2011 Winner
Miriah Meyer

Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Miriah Meyer is a USTAR assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah and a faculty member in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. Her research focuses on the design of visualization systems that help scientists make sense of heterogeneous data. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University and a PhD in computer science from the University of Utah. Before joining the faculty at Utah, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

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Bill Miller

Director of Robotics, FIRST

Bill Miller brings more than 35 years of leadership experience in multiple manufacturing and military organizations to his role as the director of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Since 2005 he has been responsible for successfully executing the FRC season and scaling the FRC staff and resources to support a growing organization. Previously, Miller served as senior vice president of operations at PEP-Direct, a direct-mail operation with 215 full-time employees, up to 475 additional temporary workers, and an operating budget of $25 million. He spent 26 years with Polaroid in multiple leadership roles, including vice president of technology for an entrepreneurial commercial battery spinout. He also served six years of active duty in multiple military leadership command positions, including airborne ranger and infantry officer, and served 18-plus years in the United States Army Reserves.

Preston R. (Jeff) Miller

Partner, Tremont Energy Partners

Jeff Miller is a founding partner of Tremont Energy Partners, a Boston-area private investment and strategic advisory firm specializing in energy and the environment. He has 30 years of experience in leadership positions in financial services and investment firms, including JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs, the Beacon Group, and Standard & Poor’s. Miller has investment experience in public markets, private equity, and late-stage venture capital, including clean tech and smart-grid technologies (microturbines, flywheels, power technology, transmission grid software, fuel cells, and environmental controls). He received his BA from Yale University and his MPA from Harvard University.

Ernest J. Moniz

Director, MIT Energy Initiative

Ernest J. Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, director of the Energy Initiative, and director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served as head of the Department of Physics and as director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. His research focus is energy technology and policy, including a leadership role in MIT multidisciplinary technology and policy studies addressing pathways to a low-carbon world. Moniz served as undersecretary of the Department of Energy from 1997 until January 2001 and, from 1995 to 1997, as associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. He is currently a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, and the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee.

Kristen Morrissey

Principal, Google

Kristen Morrissey Thiede serves as a principal at Google, where she has led many early-stage business development efforts in search, mapping, global commerce, mobile, advertising, and other areas over the past 10 years. As a member of the New Business Development Team, she has worked on a wide range of project work with partners including NASA, Time Inc., the United Nations, and the Harlem Children’s Zone. She established and grew Google’s new-business development team in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Most recently she led partnership efforts for Google.org’s crisis response team to Haiti, Chile, and Pakistan and set up the systems for Google’s overall crisis response. Early in her career at Google she led the U.S. and global launch team for the AdSense for Content business. She also launched the company’s dedicated distribution efforts in emerging markets including Brazil and India. She graduated with a BA in political science from the University of the South.

Kenneth P. Morse

Chairman, Entrepreneurship Ventures

Technology innovation and Ken Morse go together. He cofounded six tech startups with MIT friends and classmates, including 3Com and AspenTech; five had IPOs or were successfully merged, and one was a disaster. Morse was founding managing director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center from 1996 to 2009 and currently holds a chair in entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness at Delft University of Technology. Morse is a member of Telefonica’s Disruptive Council, President Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Citibank’s SFS Advisory Board. He serves on the boards of advisors for several early-stage technology ventures worldwide.

TR35 2011 Winner
Ajit Narayanan

Founder and Managing Director, Invention Labs of Chennai, India

Ajit Narayanan, the founder and managing director of Invention Labs in Chennai, India, is the inventor of Avaz, India’s first assistive communication device for children with speech disabilities. In 2010, he won the National Award for Empowerment of People with Disabilities from the president of India. Before founding Invention Labs in 2007, Narayanan was employed at American Megatrends in California, where he filed 18 patent applications in storage systems. He has undergrad and postgraduate degrees in electrical engineering from IIT Madras. Narayanan’s dream is to create inventions that improve Indian society. Besides engineering, he loves the great outdoors and enjoys learning new languages.

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Chris Norris

President and CEO, Alta Devices

Chris Norris is president and CEO at Alta Devices, which has raised over $100 million in financing and set world records for both cell and module efficiency based on its flexible solar-cell technology. He was previously the CEO of MicroDisplay and a venture partner at Blue Run Ventures. Before joining Alta, Norris spent much of his career in the semiconductor industry, first at Intel and then later at Cypress. He has seven patents and BSEE/MSCE degrees. Norris is also an amateur chef and a private pilot, and he enjoys wakeboarding, long-distance running, and riding off-road motorcycles with his four sons.

TR35 2011 Winner
Alina Oprea

Principal Research Scientist, RSA Laboratories

Alina Oprea is a principal research scientist at RSA Laboratories, the security division of EMC. Her research interests span multiple areas in computer and communications security, including applied cryptography, storage security, network security, and malware detection. More recently, her research has focused on providing strong assurances to cloud computing users about handling of their data and computation. Oprea’s work has been published in leading computer security conferences. She holds a BS degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Bucharest, Romania, and a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Andrew Phillips

Researcher, Microsoft Research

Andrew Phillips is head of the Biological Computation Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, where he is currently developing programming languages and methods for simulating and analyzing biological systems. Phillips received a postgraduate degree in computer science from the University of Cambridge, under a scholarship from the Barbados government. He pursued a PhD in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he developed an experimental language for specifying and implementing secure mobile applications. He later joined Microsoft Research Cambridge in 2005 to conduct research at the intersection of programming language theory and biological modelling.

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K. Venkatesh Prasad

Senior Technical Leader, Infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation

K. Venkatesh Prasad is Ford’s “What’s Next” guy, responsible for research, architecture, standards, applications development, and vehicle system integration of electronics and embedded software. Prasad imagines the vehicle as a software platform where features and services can be beamed in from the outside. This revolutionary mind-set led to the development of the software-based, voice-activated Ford SYNC, which allows vehicle owners to seamlessly connect with digital media players and cell phones. Before moving to the U.S. from India, Prasad earned engineering degrees from IIT Madras and NIT Trichy. He also has a PhD from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Washington State University. Before joining Ford in 1996, he was a senior scientist at RICOH Innovations and helped design the International Space Station while working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

TR35 2011 Winner
Aishwarya Ratan

Director, Microsavings and Payments Innovation Initiative, Yale University

Ratan works as the director of the Microsavings and Payments Innovation Initiative at Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action. Previously, she worked as an associate researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets group at Microsoft Research India. Her primary research interests are in enabling financial service delivery to the poor, understanding household social and economic mobility, and exploring the value of basic digital literacy in improving the welfare of low-income workers. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Jesse Robbins

Cofounder, Opscode

Jesse Robbins is cofounder of Opscode, the leader in cloud infrastructure automation. He previously worked at Amazon.com, where as “Master of Disaster” he was responsible for website availability for every property bearing the Amazon brand. He founded the Velocity Web Performance & Operations Conference and contributes to the O’Reilly Radar. Robbins is also a volunteer firefighter and served as a task force leader during Hurricane Katrina.

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Jeff Rodman

Cofounder and Chief Evangelist, Polycom

Jeffrey Rodman’s career has been spent at the forefront of audio and video communications. Rodman cofounded Polycom in 1990 and has been instrumental in the realization of its iconic products for voice, video, and network communications. His experience includes building a hardware engineering organization and implementing a revolutionary architecture for startup PictureTel; pioneering new digital video processing systems for broadcast/production at Harris Video Systems; developing video/test capabilities for military guided missile systems for Hughes Aircraft; and cofounding Specialty Video Systems to market digital video effects to the entertainment industry. Rodman holds a BSEE cum laude in electronic engineering from California State University, Northridge.

Jonathan Rothberg

Founder, CEO and Chairman, Ion Torrent

Jonathan M. Rothberg is best known for pioneering high-speed, massively parallel DNA sequencing, which became known as next-generation sequencing in the mid-1990s. The technology came to market at 454 Life Sciences and was the first new method for sequencing genomes since Sanger and Gilbert won the Nobel Prize in 1980. In 2007 Rothberg invented a second sequencing technology, which directly translates chemical signals into digital information on a semiconductor chip, making sequencing faster, simpler, and more scalable than ever before. He launched Ion Torrent in March 2011, and the Ion PGM sequencer is now the fastest-selling sequencing in the world.

Deb Roy

Cofounder and CEO, Bluefin Labs

Deb Roy comes to Bluefin Labs with over 20 years of research experience in machine intelligence, cognitive science, and media convergence, combined with a long history of working with Fortune 500 companies to translate research ideas into commercial use. He is a tenured member of the MIT faculty and director of the Cognitive Machines group at the MIT Media Lab, where he pioneered research on modeling human behavior using massive data sets. A native of Canada, Roy received his bachelor of computer engineering from the University of Waterloo and his PhD in cognitive science from MIT. He is currently on leave from MIT.

TR35 2011 Winner
Benjamin Rubin

Cofounder and CTO, Zeo

Ben Rubin cofounded Zeo, the company behind the world’s first personal sleep coach, during college and now serves as the CTO. He aims to change how we measure and talk about sleep and constantly explores methods of self-improvement. Rubin’s most recent accolade is being named to Technology Review’s TR35, the magazine’s annual list of 35 inventors under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology. He holds a BS in computer engineering from Brown University.

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Emanuel "Ely" Sachs

CTO, 1366 Technologies

As the CTO of 1366 Technologies, Ely Sachs leads the company’s technical innovation in its mission to produce the world’s highest-efficiency, most cost-effective solar wafers and cells. Sachs is a Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and specializes in the design of high-efficiency manufacturing processes. Before joining the MIT faculty, he spent seven years working in the photovoltaics industry. Sachs holds over 45 patents and has received a number of prestigious awards, including the R&D 100 award in 1994 for his work on 3-D printing. He holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

TR35 2011 Winner
Umar Saif

Associate Professor, LUMS, Pakistan

Umar Saif is an associate professor of computer science at LUMS, Pakistan. He also founded SCI, Pakistan’s first startup incubator. Technologies developed by Saif’s research group and startups are used by millions of people in the developing world. They include BitMate (BitTorrent for the developing world) and SMSall.pk (Pakistan’s largest Twitter-like SMS social network). Saif was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. He is a recipient of the MIT Technovator Award, Mark Weiser Award, Digital Inclusion Award from Microsoft Research and the IDG Technology Pioneer Award. Before moving to Pakistan, Saif worked at MIT and received a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

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Ann Marie Sastry

CEO and Cofounder, Sakti3

Ann Marie Sastry is an entrepreneur, researcher, and educator in energy science and technology. She and her teams have worked in battery technologies and on fundamental problems in mathematics, mechanics, biology, and electrochemistry. Her longstanding research and partnerships in battery technologies led her and her cofounders to form Sakti3, a manufacturer of high‐tech advanced batteries, in 2008. Sastry is on leave as the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. She holds PhD and MS degrees from Cornell University and a BS from the University of Delaware in mechanical engineering.

Gerwin Schalk

Research Scientist, V, Wadsworth Center, NYS Department of Health

Gerwin Schalk holds two MS degrees and a PhD in computer and systems engineering. He is interested in the engineering, scientific, and commercial aspects of devices that interface the brain with external devices. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, one book, and several book chapters, and has given more than 100 invited lectures worldwide. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, Technology Review, Discover magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and Wired. He is also listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and has received several awards.

Willy Shih

Professor, Harvard Business School

Willy Shih is a professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School. His interests are in economic development, the acquisition of capabilities by firms in emerging markets, and the management of science-based businesses. Before joining the Harvard Business School, Willy spent 18 years in the computer industry and 10 years in consumer electronics. He has two SB degrees from MIT and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He is on the board of directors of Flextronics International, and he chairs the technical advisory board for QD Vision in Watertown, MA.

TR35 2011 Winner
Riccardo Signorelli

CEO, FastCAP Systems Corporation

Riccardo Signorelli is the CEO of FastCAP Systems, which has been internationally recognized for its groundbreaking work in developing its innovative ultracapacitor technology. After raising nearly $8 million in federal funding and private investment in 2009, Signorelli and the FastCAP team are working to commercialize the technology, based on six years of research and development by Signorelli at MIT. FastCAP's technology and Signorelli's entrepreneurship have been widely recognized in publications such as the New York Times and Science magazine, and FastCAP was recently recognized by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for its workforce development and internship programs.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Noah Snavely

Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Noah Snavely is an assistant professor in the department of Computer Science at Cornell University. He received a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008. He works in computer graphics and computer vision, with a particular interest in using massive collections of imagery from the Internet to reconstruct and visualize our world in 3-D. His thesis work was the basis for Microsoft's Photosynth, a tool for building 3-D visualizations from photo collections that has been used by many thousands of people.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Piya Sorcar

Founder and CEO, TeachAIDS

Dr. Piya Sorcar is the founder and CEO of TeachAIDS, a nonprofit social venture started at Stanford University, which develops breakthrough HIV prevention software. She began TeachAIDS as part of her graduate work, assembling a team of leading experts in medicine, public health, and education, to design software that solves numerous persistent problems in HIV prevention. Today, TeachAIDS software is used in more than 30 countries. Sorcar holds a PhD in learning sciences and technology design from Stanford. She has been an invited speaker at many universities, including Caltech, Columbia, Tsinghua, Utrecht, and Yale.

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Gregory Sorensen

Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Healthcare USA and Canada

Gregory Sorensen is CEO of Siemens Healthcare USA and Canada. He was appointed in June 2011 and gives Siemens the benefit of having a leader who understands the technology, the biological basis of disease, the importance of measurable outcomes, and the clinical practice environment. Previously Sorensen practiced neuroradiology. He also served as professor of radiology and health sciences and technology at Harvard Medical School, as a faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and as codirector of the A.A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Alex Tkachenko

President, Siluria Technologies, Inc.

Tkachenko joined Siluria in 2008 and is business cofounder of the company. He brings a combination of commercial and technical expertise in the biotech and chemical engineering sectors. Prior to Siluria, Tkachenko was vice president, corporate development and strategic planning of Hana Biosciences. Prior to that, Tkachenko was employed by Genentech, where he led the Companion Diagnostics initiative to maximize clinical benefit from Genetech’s therapeutics. Tkachenko earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Eric Toone

Deputy Director for Technology, Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)

Eric Toone is the deputy director for technology at the Advanced Research Projects Agency– Energy (ARPA-E), where he is responsible for oversight of all ARPA-E technology, and the program director for ARPA-E’s electrofuels program. He is also a member of the faculty in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Duke University, studying biophysical, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry. Toone is a scientific founder of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a research-based ophthalmology company, and Vindica Pharmaceuticals, a nitric oxide delivery company. He has authored over 100 scientific papers and over 30 patents.

Mark Vachon

Vice President, GE ecomagination

Mark Vachon leads ecomagination, GE's sustainable business strategy, which has generated over $85 billion in revenues since its launch in 2005. Previously, Mark served as president & CEO of GE Healthcare's $9 billion Americas Region, leading commercial activities in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. As a leader of GE's healthymagination initiative, Mark focused on strategic engagements to lower costs, improve quality, and achieve greater access to health care worldwide. A 29-year veteran of GE, Mark is also a member of GE's Corporate Executive Council, and he serves on the Overseers Board for Northeastern University, his alma mater.

TR35 2011 Winner
Paul Wicks

Director of R&D, PatientsLikeMe

Paul Wicks, PhD, is director of R&D at PatientsLikeMe, a health-care company that builds online communities for patients with life-changing illnesses. The site empowers patients to share their health data in order to improve their outcomes and be a catalyst for research. Wicks leads an award-winning team from a range of backgrounds including predictive modeling, genetics, sociology, and natural-language processing. Since 2006 his team has published research including an innovative patient-lead trial of lithium in ALS, the development of novel patient-reported outcomes, and establishing the benefits of sharing health data online.

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Gary Wolf

Cofounder, The Quantified Self

Gary Wolf is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he writes regularly about the culture of science and technology. He is also the cofounder, with Wired colleague Kevin Kelly, of The Quantified Self, a blog about “self-knowledge through numbers.” His work has appeared in The Best American Science Writing (2009) and in The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2009). In 2010, he was awarded the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Prize. In 2005–2006 he was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University.

TR35 2011 Winner
Fengnian Xia

Research Staff Member, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Fengnian Xia received a bachelor of engineering degree with highest honors in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University in 1998 and MA and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 2001 and 2005, respectively. His PhD thesis is about integrated photonic circuits for optical communications. He joined IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, as a postdoc in March 2005 and now, as a research staff member, is exploring novel electronic switches and optical communication devices using group IV materials (carbon, silicon, and germanium). He has authored or coauthored approximately 40 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been invited to deliver numerous talks at leading universities and international conferences.

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TR35 2011 Winner
Fan Yang

Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Fan Yang is an assistant professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University. Yang received a PhD in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2006 and completed a Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship in Institute Professor Robert Langer’s laboratory at MIT during 2006–2009. Working at the interface of biology, materials science, engineering, and medicine, Dr. Yang seeks to understand how microenvironmental cues regulate stem-cell fate and to develop novel biomaterials and stem-cell-based therapeutics for regenerative medicine.

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Gianfranco Zaccai

Chairman, President, and Chief Design Officer, Continuum

Gianfranco Zaccai cofounded Continuum in 1983. Under his direction, Continuum has been a leader in defining the roles of design research, interdisciplinary design, and concurrent development as drivers of human-centered business and product innovation. Zaccai holds degrees in industrial design from Syracuse University, where he serves on the Board of Advisors to the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and a degree in architecture from the Boston Architectural College, where he serves as an Overseer. He has received honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and Syracuse University and was inducted as a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the president of Italy.

Shadman Zafar

Futurist, Verizon

As senior vice president for rapid product development, Shadman Zafar is Verizon’s futurist. Passionate about anticipating and embracing emerging trends in technology and intensely curious about the user experience, Zafar leads the direction the company’s products and services will take in the coming decade. He continues to foster a culture of innovation at Verizon that helped transform the company, placing its high-IQ networks at the epicenter of an ecosystem of innovation. As with past achievements like FiOS TV and Internet services, he continues to champion Verizon’s vision as consumer tastes and behavior drive trends even in the business-to-business sector.

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