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

Pamela Lipson, 34

Software

Imagen

In 1997, after finishing her PhD and starting up Imagen in Cambridge, MA, Pamela Lipson would get phone calls from her mentor Alex d’Arbeloff, chairman of the MIT Corporation. “Focus,” he’d always tell her. Lipson had devised algorithms that could rapidly identify and classify digital images. Venture capitalists wanted them, but for far-flung applications: to improve Web searches for images, or for face recognition, video-database indexing or pharmaceutical R&D. But it was not clear any of these emerging markets would embrace Lipson’s technology. In a quest for real customers, Lipson bet on inspection of printed circuit boards. She adapted Imagen’s software so it could identify production errors from a digital snapshot without misidentifying normal variations in parts. She designed a straightforward interface so users could easily modify the software. Inspections using Imagen software enhanced productivity without introducing lag. “What used to take five minutes now takes 20 seconds,” says Paul Keating at Teradyne, which has rights to use Lipson’s technology. Now that’s focus.

2002 TR35 Winners

Richard Barton

Internet and Web

Sergey Brin

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John Carmack

Entertainment

Josh Coates

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Paul Debevec

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Shawn Fanning

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Justin Frankel

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Vinay Gidwaney

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Robert Guttman

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Travis Kalanick

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Lydia Kavraki

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Reiner Kraft

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Raymond Lau

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Max Levchin

Innovator of the Year

Pamela Lipson

Software

Rob Malda

Internet and Web

Steve McCanne

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Lou Montulli

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Kazuho Oku

Internet and Web

Larry Page

Internet and Web

Joseph Reagle

Internet and Web

Tim Tuttle

Internet and Web

Susie Wee

Internet and Web

Ethan Zuckerman

Internet and Web

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