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Nine Indians in the MIT’s Top Innovators
si Team
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Indians across the world have always brought glory to the homeland by their spectacular achievements in business, science, and technology. Nine Indian innovators under the age of 35 are among the top 100 in the list of innovators selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review magazine for the year 2007. After Bobby Jindal and Lakshmi Mittal, it’s time for these navratnas (nine jewels) to bring glory to the country.

Be it the 31 year old Srinidhi Varadarajan, Director of Terascale Computing Facility at Virginia Polytechnic Institute who built the world’s third fastest supercomputer for $5 million (Other supercomputers of this class cost $100 million or more) or Smruti Vidwans with her new approach to develop drugs for tuberculosis, the chosen hundred represent a group whose innovative work in technology has a profound impact in today’s world.

28-year-old Vikram Sheel Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Dimagi, founded this organization in Boston to develop interactive software that motivates patients to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and AIDS.

Chaitali Sengupta, a systems architect at Texas Instruments, made it to the list for her work on communications chips used in advanced cellular systems now coming to market. These chips allow multimedia cell phones handle Internet access, videoconferencing, and mobile commerce more easily.

The other Indian innovators in the list are Anuj Batra, systems engineer, Texas Instruments, Ramesh Raskar, visiting research scientist in Mitsubishi Electric, Mayank Bulsara, cofounder and Chief Technology Officer, AmberWave Systems, Ravi Kane, Assistant Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Ananth Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer, Infinite Biomedical Technologies.

While Ramesh Raskar has built large computer display systems that seamlessly combine images from multiple projectors, Anuj Batra leads one of the industry’s top teams advancing ultra wideband wireless technology, which provides the high transmission speeds needed for streaming-media applications that also consume less power.

Mayank Bulsara co-founded AmberWave to develop strained silicon, an advanced form of silicon that makes computer chips run faster and consume less power. Ravi Kane has to his credit the invention of a highly potent anthrax treatment and he is extending the concept to anti-HIV therapies as well. Ananth Natarajan innovated a lifesaver as he has developed the technology to enable implantable cardiac devices to detect incipient heart attacks.

“The biggest challenge an Indian student faces is finding the space to develop an independent mind. Resources abound and so do inspiring minds. The secret is to be foolish and stubborn enough to believe one can do what has not been done before,” says Kumar.

“As regards research, India has brilliant minds that need direction and adequate resources. A critical component of direction is patience and a hard work ethic - none of the awardees achieved their goals overnight,” he adds.

The chosen 100 (TR100) represent a group that demonstrates that the barriers to innovation, both geographical and disciplinary, are crumbling, the Technology Review said. Many are developing technologies that defy easy classification, often fusing recent advances in computing, medicine, and nanotech.

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