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

Vahid Tarokh, 34

Telecommunications

MIT

Iran native Vahid Tarokh works so quickly that by the time people apply his advances, he is often on to something else. Such is the case with his breakthrough codes to improve the speed, capacity and clarity of wireless voice and data communications. He developed the codes in 1996 at AT&T Labs, yet U.S. and international telecom standards bodies didn’t adopt them until 1999.Tarokh’s codes solved the problem of how best to get a signal from a base station to a cellular phone without fading. Solutions proposed by others, such as adding an extra antenna to the phone or sending the same signal on different frequencies, weren’t practical, so he created algorithms whereby multiple antennas at the base station could send the same signal simultaneously on the same frequency. For two months Tarokh worked day and night handcrafting his solution on huge sheets of paper. He moved to MIT in 2000 to work on “orthogonal frequency division multiplexing,” an advanced scheme for wide- band wireless communications. This summer Tarokh joins Harvard University as an electrical engineering professor.

2002 TR35 Winners

Andrew Barrows

Transportation

Elisabeth M. Belding-Royer

Telecommunications

Vincent Berger

Telecommunications

Eric Bonabeau

Software

Daniel Branagan

Materials

Arnaud Brignon

Hardware

Howie Choset

Hardware

Michelle Effros

Telecommunications

Alexander Fay

Transportation

Claire Gmachl

Telecommunications

Michael Hansen

Hardware

Tom Hyongsok Soh

Telecommunications

Matt Keyser

Energy

Kara Kockelman

Transportation

Paul Krajewski

Transportation

Der-Horng Lee

Transportation

Ihor Lys

Hardware

Larry Mianzo

Transportation

Chahab Nastar

Software

Bill Nguyen

Telecommunications

Rajesh Reddy

Telecommunications

Vincent Rijmen

Software

Jonathan Rosenberg

Telecommunications

Steven Shaw

Energy

Anna Stefanopoulou

Transportation

Lisa Su

Hardware

Vahid Tarokh

Telecommunications

Steve Tuecke

Software

Les Welch

Transportation

Sean Willems

Software

Neil Young

Entertainment

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