UW News

August 15, 2007

UW’s College of Engineering wins three of Technology Review’s TR35 awards

UW News

Technology Review magazine today announced it has recognized three members of the University of Washington’s College of Engineering as being among the world’s top innovators under the age of 35. Selected from more than 300 nominees in industry and academia, the TR35 salutes an elite group of 35 people who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business, technology and the arts.

“I’m extremely proud of our TR35 winners, and thrilled to be congratulating three winners in one year,” said Matthew O’Donnell, dean of the College of Engineering. “This speaks to the exceptional talent we’ve been able to attract to the College,” he added. “Top-notch young engineers choose the University of Washington because we have a culture that supports creative, interdisciplinary work.”

The winners are chosen by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review. This year’s winners will be profiled in the magazine’s September issue.

“The TR35 judges reviewed each entry independently, looking for innovators whose accomplishments are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world as we know it,” said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review. “It is remarkable to have three recipients at one institution. We congratulate the three winners, and the University of Washington, for exemplifying the spirit of innovation that the magazine seeks to promote.”

The University of Washington’s winners are:

  • Yoshi Kohno, 29, an assistant professor in the department of computer science and engineering, who is recognized for his work in computer security. Kohno invented the concept of systems-oriented provable security, which promises to beef up the safety and privacy of online transactions. His other research has looked at the privacy implications of electronic voting machines, consumer electronics, Web browsers and radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic tags.

Winner’s profile: http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/Profile.aspx?Cand=T&TRID=611

More information: http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/yoshi/  

  • Tapan Parikh, 33, a doctoral student in the department of computer science and engineering, who uses mobile phones and open-source software to create novel tools for the developing world. He started a company in India to develop a product for microfinance co-ops and is now creating tools for healthcare diagnoses and agricultural certification. Parikh was also selected by the judges as Humanitarian of the Year.

Profile for Humanitarian of the Year: http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/Profile.aspx?Cand=T&TRID=619

More information: http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/tapan/  

  • Babak Parviz, 34, an assistant professor in the department of electrical engineering, who is recognized for his research at the interface of biology and nanotechnology. Parviz works on biologically inspired self-assembly. He has used the method to build flexible plastic circuits, nano-scale electronics and low-cost biological sensors for detecting diseases such as HIV.

Winner’s profile: http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/Profile.aspx?Cand=T&TRID=620.

More information: http://www.ee.washington.edu/research/parviz/html/  

“For people in our age group, it’s one of the highest awards you can get,” Parviz said. “When I look at the magazine’s history, a lot of the people they’ve picked are pretty good,” he added. Previous TR35 winners include Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google; Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang; and Linus Torvalds, the founding developer of Linux. “It’s a privilege to be part of this group.”

Kohno subscribed to the magazine as an undergraduate and was inspired by past winners. “I remember looking at all the amazing things they were doing,” he said. “It’s an honor now to have my own research recognized in the same magazine.'” Although Technology Review was originally founded in 1899 as an alumni publication, it is now independent media outlet owned by MIT. The magazine is one of the most widely read popular magazines covering technology research.

The three winners will accept their awards at the Emerging Technologies Conference held at MIT in September. At the conference they will meet with previous winners and rub shoulders with big names in the technology world.

Two other winners also had connections to the UW’s College of Engineering.

Desney Tan, 31, of Microsoft Research in Redmond was recognized for his work using electroencephalography (EEG) signals to operate computers. Tan is an affiliate professor in the UW’s department of computer science and engineering. Karen Liu, 30, of George Institute of Technology was recognized in part for her doctoral research at the UW. Liu develops realistic body language for characters in computer animation.

“The fact that this award is given early in your career is exciting,” said Parikh, who will begin a faculty position at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. “You’re not being recognized for a whole body of work; your work is being recognized as exciting and promising. But that’s kind of intimidating, too, because people are expecting big things.”


For more information, contact Kohno at (206) 685-4853 or yoshi@cs.washington.edu; Parikh at (206) 412-8978 or tapan@cs.washington.edu; and Parviz at (206) 616-4038 or babak@ee.washington.edu.

More information about the TR35 award is available at www.technologyreview.com/tr35/