3 Indians in MIT`s Technological Review

Three Indians have been named in MIT`s prestigious annual `Technology Review` list of top young innovators under the age of 35 "who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology."

Boston: Three Indians have been named in
MIT`s prestigious annual `Technology Review` list of top young
innovators under the age of 35 "who exemplify the spirit of
innovation in business and technology."

Rikin Gandhi, 29, Ranveer Chandra, 34 and Indrani
Medhi, 32 are in the `2010 TR35` - list of 35 "outstanding men
and women" compiled by Technology Review, an independent media
company owned by MIT, that focusses on identifying emerging
technologies and analyzing their impact for leaders.

"This year`s winners have created innovations over a
wide variety of fields, including energy, biomedicine,
communications, IT, transportation and web.

"Their groundbreaking work is liberating patients from
sleep clinics, shaping the rules for social networks and
helping populations cope with crisis. The 2010 TR35 are
transforming technology and tackling problems in a way that is
likely to benefit society and business," editor in chief and
publisher of Technology Review Jason Pontin said.

Since 1999, the editors of Technology Review have
honoured young innovators whose inventions and research they
find most exciting.

The TR35 is a list of technologists and scientists,
all under the age of 35.

"Their work--spanning medicine, computing,
communications, electronics, nanotechnology, and more--is
changing our world," Pontin added.

Gandhi is the founder of the nonprofit `Digital Green`
that focuses on educating farmers about farming techniques
through locally produced videos, in which local farmers are
featured.

"Gandhi demonstrated that for every dollar spent, the
system persuaded seven times as many farmers to adopt new
ideas as an existing programme of training and visits," the
Technology Review said.

He helped launch the programme as a 2006 project at
Microsoft Research, India and spent six months testing various
video schemes in villages in Karnataka before concluding that
featuring local farmers was the key.

Villagers produce the videos using handheld
camcorders; workers from partner nongovernmental organizations
then check the quality of the videos and the accuracy of the
advice before screening them in the villages with handheld
projectors.

So far 500 videos have been made, but three times that
number--which should reach four times as many villages--are
currently planned.

Chandra of Microsoft Research worked on delivering
high-speed wireless Internet connections over longer
distances.

He made the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington
his laboratory for the first large-scale network to
demonstrate the potential of using white spaces to deliver
broadband wireless as a solution to the problem that Wi-Fi
uses frequencies that can`t carry a signal more than a few
tens of meters.

"If such a system gains currency, all of us should be
connected and better connected, and not just here in the US,"
says Chandra.

Spectrum regulators from Singapore, India, Brazil and
China have visited his prototype network to explore the
potential for white-space signals to connect large rural areas
with minimal infrastructure.

Medhi focuses on "building interfaces for the
illiterate".

Based at Microsoft Research India`s Bangalore lab, she
has conducted field research in India, South Africa and the
Philippines to design text-free interfaces that could help
illiterate and semiliterate people find jobs, get medical
information, and use cell-phone-based banking services.

Computer icons differ from one culture to another, so
Medhi used symbols, audio cues and cartoons that are specific
to particular poor communities.

Through a short video dramatization, her target
audience is shown how an application is supposed to work.

The 2010 TR35 were selected from more than 300
submissions by Technology Review editors in collaboration with
a panel of judges from leading organizations such as Carnegie
Mellon University, Hewlett-Packard, MIT, Stanford University,
the University of California, Berkeley, and Yahoo Labs.

-PTI

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