All 35 of these people are doing exciting work that could shape their fields for decades. But they’re solving problems in remarkably different ways. We consider some of them to be primarily Inventors; they’re immersed in building new technologies. Others we call Visionaries, because they’re showing how technologies could be put to new or better uses. Humanitarians are using technology to expand opportunities or inform public policy. Pioneers are doing fundamental work that will spawn future innovations; such breakthroughs will be taken up by tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs, people who are building new tech businesses.
Everyone on the list was nominated either by the public or by MIT Technology Review’s editors. Some got our attention when they were picked by our international publishing partners as Innovators Under 35 for their regions. After our editors pared the roughly 500 nominees to 80 finalists, outside judges rated the originality and impact, or potential impact, of their work; those scores guided the editors as they crafted the list.
David Berry, Partner, Flagship Ventures; Edward Boyden, Associate Professor, MIT Media Lab and McGovern Institute; Yet-Ming Chiang, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT; James Collins, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University; John Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, Caltech; Jennifer Elisseeff, Professor of Biomedical; Engineering, Johns Hopkins; Javier García-Martínez, Director of Molecular Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Alicante, Spain; Julia Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, Caltech; Eric Horvitz, Managing Director, Microsoft Research; Hao Li, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Southern California; Cherry Murray, Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University; Kristala Jones Prather, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT; Carmichael Roberts, Entrepreneur and General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners; John Rogers, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science Engineering, University of Illinois; Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor, Information Technology University, Punjab; Laura Schewel, Cofounder and CEO, StreetLight Data; Rachel Sheinbein, Managing Director, Balfour Asset Management; Sophie Vandebroek, CTO, Xerox; Ben Zhao, Professor of Computer Science, UC Santa Barbara
Fadel Adib, 25
Here’s how you can use Wi-Fi to track people moving around in other rooms.
Emily Balskus, 34
More precise knowledge of the bacteria in our guts could lead to better-targeted treatments for chronic conditions.
George Ban-Weiss, 33
A USC professor who studies climate and pollution influences policy in California.
Miles Barr, 30
The CEO of a solar startup hopes you never see his product.
Ayah Bdeir, 31
Electronic blocks that link with one another also connect art and engineering. (+video)
Kuang Chen, 34
A novel way to get data off paper records and into the digital age.
Rumi Chunara, 32
Crucial information about disease outbreaks can be gleaned earlier.
Emily Cole, 31
Can we cheaply convert carbon dioxide into something useful?
Tanuja Ganu, 31
Simple devices allow consumers to cheaply and easily monitor India’s rickety power grid.
Shyam Gollakota, 28
An expert on wireless technology figures out how to power devices without batteries.
Severin Hacker, 30
A novel approach to learning languages is making the Web more accessible.
David He, 28
This watch could finally get your blood pressure under control.
Kurtis Heimerl, 30
Inexpensive boxes could help bring mobile coverage to the billion people who lack it.
Rand Hindi, 29
Guiding your life using the power of big data.
Sarah Kearney, 29
A financial innovator is crafting a way for foundations to invest in clean energy.
Duygu Kuzum, 31
Brain-inspired chips could mean better computer processing and neural implants.
Quoc Le, 32
Frustration with waiting for computers to learn things inspired a better approach.
Jinha Lee, 27
Finding more powerful ways to manipulate and interact with digital data.
Aaron Levie, 29
The founder of Box wants to reconfigure the way we work.
Alex Ljung, 32
SoundCloud is changing how music gets made.
Palmer Luckey, 21
If you can make virtual reality affordable for consumers, things fall into place.
Megan McCain, 31
Heart on a chip paves the way for personalized cardiac medicines.
Maria Nunes Pereira, 28
Patching holes in the hearts of sick infants.
Manu Prakash, 34
Imaginative inventions liberate science from the ivory tower.
Michael Schmidt, 32
There aren’t enough data scientists to go around—unless you automate them.
Julie Shah, 32
This MIT engineering professor is turning robots into ideal colleagues for humans.
Maryam Shanechi, 33
Using control theory to build better interfaces to the brain.
Bret Taylor, 34
The former CTO of Facebook is reimagining the word processor.
Kay Tye, 33
Identifying how the connections between regions of the brain contribute to anxiety.
Santiago Villegas, 29
An online reporting system encourages crime victims and witnesses to speak up.
Jonathan Viventi, 32
A high-resolution interface reveals the brain storms of people suffering seizures.
Kathryn Whitehead, 34
A systematic search discovered nanoparticles that could improve drug delivery.
Tak-Sing Wong, 33
Carnivorous plant inspires solution to “sticky” problems.
Hui Wu, 31
Cheaper and more powerful batteries could help reduce China’s deadly air pollution.
Guihua Yu, 33
Electronic gels could lead to sensors and batteries that are more like biological tissue.
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