Four Indian Americans in MIT Technology Review’s 2016 ‘35 Innovators Under 35’

An Indian and Bangladeshi American too make the cut.

AB Wire

Four Indian Americans, and one Indian, are among the MIT Technology Review’s list of “35 Innovators Under 35” for 2016.

The four Indian American innovators who figure in the list are: Maithilee Kunda, Sonia Vallabh, Dinesh Bharadia and Jagdish Chaturvedi. Samay Kohli is the sole innovators chosen from India, while a Bangladeshi American, Ehsan Hoque, made the cut too.

“They’re inquisitive and persistent, inspired and inspiring,” Technology Review said of the selectees. “No matter whether they’re pursuing medical breakthroughs, refashioning energy technologies, making computers more useful or engineering cooler electronic devices — and regardless of whether they are heading startups, working in big companies or doing research in academic labs — they all are poised to be leaders in their fields.”

Kunda, 32, is an assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. She holds a B.S. in mathematics with computer science from MIT and a doctorate in computer science from Georgia Tech.

“I’ve been taking what we learn from people on the autism spectrum who have interesting visual abilities and building that into AI systems,” Kunda said in Technology Review. “It’s early, but I expect that they ultimately will be very valuable. If we want to help students learn to solve difficult problems, then we ought to have several AI tutors that can show students different ways of solving the same problem. “If we want to help doctors find patterns of disease outbreaks, then we ought to have multiple AI analysts that can sift through the data using different styles of pattern finding,” she added.

Vallabh, 32, is a prion scientist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and the director of Boston-based Prion Alliance.

Bharadia, 28, of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, invented a way to simultaneously transmit and receive data on the same frequency. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and earned his master’s from Stanford, both in electrical engineering.

“I invented a low-cost ear, nose, and throat imaging device. So I call myself the first ENTrepreneur!” Chaturvedi said in the MIT report. “…As a trainee doctor I saw many farmers with advanced throat cancer. I discovered that expensive imaging systems were only available in major cities, so rural doctors relied on outdated mirrors and headlamps. I asked my boss why no one had tried attaching endoscopes to small off-the-shelf cameras,” he said.

Chaturvedi added, “The Stanford-India Biodesign program teaches Indian doctors and engineers how to invent. Their process showed me where I’d gone wrong and gave me the connections to arrange a pitch with Medtronic. We simplified and focused on ears. Not the original goal, but the path of least resistance to market, and now the platform can evolve.”

Kohli, 30, is the founder and chief executive officer of GreyOrange, based in Gurgaon, Haryana. He did his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.

GreyOrange sells swarms of “Butler” robots, which store products and bring shelves to human workers, and “Sorters,” which automatically scan and sort packages of any size or shape.

Hoque, 34, is a researcher at the University of Rochester, and has created two computer systems that train people to excel in social settings.

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