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Technology Review’s 35 innovators under 35

Technology Review Magazine has just announced this year’s crop of 35 high tech innovators under the age of 35. TR goes through an amazing process to select the figures they feature here, and the research they’re doing is often a good preview of the most interesting emerging topics in computing, engineering and medicine.

(TR was good enough to honor me with an award in 2002, back when they were being slightly less selective and honoring 100 innovators a year. I helped judge the 2003 contest, so have a good sense for just how careful and painstaking the process is and just how extraordinary the folks honored with this award are.)

Depending on what field you work in, you’ll understand somewhere between some and none of the research topics these innovators are studying. Don’t feel bad – when TR holds the annual meeting for the award winners, there are endless conversations where one very smart person says to another, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sounds very cool.” Special congratulations to two friends, whose work I actually do understand, kinda sorta:

Andy Carvin, fellow traveller in the digital divide world and, bizarrely, my long-lost cousin. Andy’s one of the founders of the Digital Divide Network and is an endless font of ideas for ways to use new technology to give voices to people who currently don’t have access to the Internet.

David Pennock, senior research scientist for Yahoo! David’s one of the smartest guys out there about prediction markets – including BuzzGame, which he helped create – and the economics of search engine keyword auctions, a personal research interest of mine.

Congrats to everyone named by TR, whether or not I have a clue about what you did to be honored!