Since 1999, Technology Review magazine has recognized the best, the brightest — and the youngest — technical minds. The magazine assembles an annual list of 35 top innovators under age 35.
This year, three Harvard-affiliated researchers won the award, known as the TR35. They were selected from a field of 300 nominees.
“We celebrate their success,” said magazine editor Jason Pontin of the young and promising 35, who this year come from the United States, China, France, Germany, India, and Switzerland. At least 15 of the 35 have university affiliations; the rest are from industry.
An official announcement from Technology Review, which is published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “Their work — spanning medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and more — is changing our world.”
The Harvard winners alone cover much imaginative technical ground.
Alán Aspuru-Guzik, 34, is an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard. He led a team of theoretical chemists who helped to design the first quantum computer capable of precise simulations of chemical systems. When scaled up, quantum computers running Aspuru-Guzik’s algorithms could predict the properties of materials or drug candidates exactly. With current computers, researchers settle for approximate solutions.
The work could one day inspire computers that are much faster and more efficient than present-day models based on binary computing. The implications are vast, affecting fields as diverse as Internet cryptography and materials science.
He is excited about some of his latest work with the Clean Energy Project. His team is using computational chemistry to search for just the right molecules to make cheap, flexible, organic, photovoltaic cells.
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