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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Tanzeem Choudhury, 33

Inferring social networks automatically

Dartmouth College

Social-networking sites such as Facebook require users to find and confirm connections with other people. But what if your cell phone could automatically identify the people you know, and even sort them into categories?

If that capability arrives, it will be thanks to reality mining, a field that Tanzee­m Choudhury pioneered as a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab. Working at Intel after graduation, she created a pager-size sensor pack--loaded with software plus microphones, accelerometers, and other data-gatherin­g devices--to collect and analyze data about human interactions and activity. For instance, by processing verbal utterances, she can identify the most influential people in a social network.

Now an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth, Choudhury is conducting experiments with the sensor-laden iPhone. Within a few years, she says, simple versions of her software could be available for cell phones. --Kate Greene

2008 TR35 Winners

Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Building immersive 3-D environments

Dries Buytaert (video)

Simple, flexible Web publishing

Jenova Chen (video)

Gaming with the flow

Tanzeem Choudhury (video)

Inferring social networks automatically

Jack Dorsey (video)

Personal updates made simple

Stefanus Du Toit (video)

Programming for parallel processors

Seth Hallem

Deconstructing software to find bugs

Xian-Sheng Hua

Enhancing video search

Sundar Iyer

Making memory at Internet speed

Farinaz Koushanfar

Locking microchips to prevent piracy

Johnny Lee (video)

Streamlining human-computer interactions

Meredith Ringel Morris (video)

Searching websites jointly

Andrew Ng

Building household robots

Adam Smith (video)

Making sense of e-mail madness

JB Straubel (video)

Engineering electric sports cars

Eric Wilhelm (video)

Putting DIY projects online

Robert Wood (video)

Building robotic flies

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