MIT’s top 35 under 35 innovators: A Kenyan makes the list

The annual Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Technology Review, released the annual list of 35 innovators under 35 years. The 2013 list includes inventors, entrepreneurs, visionaries, humanitarians and pioneers from across the globe. The judges picked the finalists on the originality and impact of their work. Kenyan Evans Wadongo made the cut on this prestigious list.

Here are the brilliant young people using technology to solve complex, community and common problems in the world.

 

Dmitri Alperovitch

Dmitri Alperovitch

Dmitri Alperovitch

Dmitri Alperovitch, 32, is a computer security and software executive. In January 2010, he led an investigation named Operation Aurora, which unearthed Chinese intrusions into Google and two dozen other companies. The intrusions had previously gone unnoticed. Subsequently, he led the investigation of Night Dragon espionage operation of the western multinational oil & gas companies and traced them to Song Zhiyue, a Chinese national living in Heze City, Shandong Province.

In late 2011, he co-founded and became the Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike, a stealth-mode security startup focused on helping enterprises and governments protect their intellectual property and secrets against cyberespionage threats, with a focus on attribution and employment of offensive strategies against cyber adversaries.

 

Vijay Balasubramaniyan

Vijay Balasubramaniyan

Vijay Balasubramaniyan

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, 33, is the founder of Pindropsecurity.In previous years, fraud over the telephone has costed banks and retailers more than $1.8 billion annually. Criminals who call customer service lines pretend to be legitimate customers and often dupe the operators into approving a transfer or divulging sensitive account information.

Vijay Balasubramaniyan can detect where a call is coming from by analyzing its audio quality and the noise on the line. If a call purportedly from one place has the audio signature of a call from the other side of the world, his technology can sound an alert. The company he founded, counts several banks and an online brokerage firm as customers.

 

Caroline Buckee

Caroline Buckee

Caroline Buckee, 34, an epidemiologist, figured out ways to use the cellphone as a weapon against disease. In her work, Caroline researched about Malaria a lot. In 2006, during a research trip to Kenya, it occurred to her that data about cell-phone use might be employed in the service of malaria prevention. What if, Buckee wondered, location data from cell phones were used to intuit a malaria outbreak’s point of origin? Locals might then be warned via text messages to avoid the area or use bed netting. Health officials could know where to concentrate their mosquito-spray efforts.

Indeed, when Buckee pored over data from 15 million Kenyan cell phones, telltale patterns emerged. People who had made calls or sent messages through a certain phone tower were extremely likely to later visit a region near Lake Victoria where malaria wound up erupting in force. The area near that tower was probably the original hot spot—and thus where health officials should focus.

 

Leah Busque

Leah Busque

Leah Busque, 33, founded TaskRabbit, an online and mobile marketplace that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood.Busque quit her job as a software engineer at IBM and began working on RunMyErrand. In 2010, Busque changed the name of the company from RunMyErrand to TaskRabbit.

Busque received credit for coining the phrase “service networking,” which is now an industry-wide term. In 2011, she was nominated for a TechCrunchCrunchie Award for Founder of the Year and TaskRabbit was nominated for a Best Mobile App Crunchie

“Our vision is huge: to revolutionize the way people work,” she says. “It’s about offering people more choice on how they work, what their schedules are like, how much they get paid, [and the choice of] being their own bosses.”

 

John Dabiri

John Dabiri

John Dabiri, 33, is best known for his research of the hydrodynamics of jellyfishpropulsion and the design of a vertical-axis wind farm adapted from schooling fish. He is the director of the Biological Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of technology, which examines fluid transport with applications in aquatic locomotion, fluid dynamic energy conversion, and cardiac flows, as well as applying theoretical methods in fluid dynamics and concepts of optimal vortex formation

“Why not use how fish form schools as a starting point for understanding how to design wind farms?” asks Dabiri.

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About The Author

Philip Etemesi

I am an Economics and Finance student at Kenyatta University. Writing is my Joie de Vivre. I'm a superman, thanks to God @etemessy