More than news & views -­ A complete source for South Asians

June 2002


Letter from U.S.A.

South Asians win prestige nominations

A. Swami

GlobalomNet Media Service


Technology Review, the authoritative source on innovation, early in May, brought “the TR100 - a unique gathering of today's top young (under 35)- from college-age wunderkinds to seasoned entrepreneurs, innovators and key leaders in technology and business, whose work and ideas will change the world”.


This is the second time Technology Review has picked such a group. The first was in 1999, the magazine’s centennial year.


From the list of 100 innovators the TR Panel of Judges, on May 23, at an awards dinner, recognizing the Innovator of the Year and all the TR100 nominees, selected Max Levchin, age 26, Chief Technology Officer, and director since March 2000, of PayPal, in the field of Internet and Web.


“These 100 brilliant young innovators - all under 35 as of Jan. 1, 2002 - are visitors from the future, living among us here and now. Their innovations will have a deep impact on how we live, work and think in the century to come”, reports the Technology Review.


The special theme for this year of the TR100, as per Technology Review, " was transforming existing industries and creating new ones. We looked for technology’s impact on the real economy, as opposed to the now moribund 'new economy'. The major hot spots where we think a fundamental transformation is in progress include information technology, biotechnology and medicine, nanotechnology and materials, energy, and transportation. The bulk of the TR100 come from those five areas." 

Six South Asians - one from Canada and five from USA - were amongst the TR100 nominees.


Vinay Gidwaney  Software


Surya K Mallapragada  Medicine


Vijay Pande   Biotechnology


Rajesh Reddy  Telecommunications


Ramesh Hariharan  Software


Vivek Subramanian Materials

Vinay Gidwaney

Vinay Gidwaney, age 21, is from Alberta, Canada. He is Co-Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of a software tools support company, Control F-1. 

Vinay's mission is to guide Control-F1's technology and product strategy. Vinay co-founded DDES Corporation and led the development of ‘Classrooms’. Vinay is a self-taught software designer and architect, and has received numerous industry accolades for the Control-F1 eSupport solution.


Vinay was born in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada in 1981. His parents moved from India to England (1977) and then to Canada (1980).


Vinay told South Asian Outlook that he didn’t have any “social acceptance issues because of my background. Throughout my childhood, family has always been a cornerstone in my development. I have tended to keep a small group of friends around me to support my efforts.”


Regarding his business dealings, he says, “Having started a company when I was fairly young, there would normally be apprehensions from the potential customers we would meet with. Those concerns would usually be eliminated as factors because of our knowledge of the industry, openness to advice and passion to succeed.


Was his young age an obstacle in developing business?


Vinay’s answer: “Generally, one can succeed at any age as long as they have knowledge and passion - intelligence and experience is developed over time.”


Reaction to his becoming a nominee: “ My family is very proud of me for being selected in this group. I think the biggest feeling is that this is an opportunity for me to meet some truly great people who are changing the world in much more provocative ways than I am. At the same time, they are very happy to a lot of hard work come to fruition with this award.”


His message to young South Asians: “A passion is not something you can force. You must experiment and try new things. Eventually, you will find something that excites you and is self-fulfilling. Once you find that, share it with as many people as you can because it is not a gift to treat lightly. Also, remember that the applications of your passion can change, try to find the root of what drives you, then you truly become a dynamic and accomplished individual.”

Surya K Mallapragada

Surya K Mallapragada was nominated in the field of Medicine. She is Associate Professor at Iowa State University.

At Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Surya was nominated as the Best Female Student in 1993. After graduating with B.S. ChE , she came to US on Andrews Graduate Fellowship at Purdue University for 1993-95, and finished her doctorate in ChE in 1996.


The work she is “doing in biomedical engineering can help people anywhere, irrespective of where they are.”


Responding to South Asian Outlook, whether she would return to India, country of her birth, to give the benefit of her research and work abroad, she says, “It is difficult for me to do this sort of work in India at this point since Chemical Engineering in India has not yet embraced biomedical engineering.”


How do you feel getting the honour?

“I am very thrilled about it. And I would like to express my gratitude to my family, collaborators and students.”


Surya’s message for South Asians is, “Always believe in yourself, even when things are not going well.”


For detailed information on her bio, research and publications, please click here.

Vijay Pande

Vijay Pande was nominated in the field of Biotechnology. He is doing  structural genomics research at the Pande Group. For information  about his distributed computing projects, check out @ Folding@Home and its successor, Genome@Home


Vijay is Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Structural Biology at Stanford University and principal investigator at the Pande group, which works on theory and simulations of how proteins, RNA, and nanoscale synthetic polymers fold.


“We wrote the client and server code for the Genome@home project. We run and maintain     virtually all aspects of the project, in addition to doing the scientific work that goes into and comes out of Genome@home”, he says.


For details of his work, please click here.

Rajesh Reddy

Rajesh TS Reddy was nominated in the field of Telecommunications. He has spent the last seven years building pioneering products in the anywhere, any device wireless data market. He holds a computer engineering degree from the Bangalore Institute of Technology. 


In 1996 Rajesh founded Unimobile Inc., previously known as Gray Cell, which developed the world's first commercial Internet-to-wireless messaging gateway.


As the Founding CEO and Chairman of Unimobile Inc Rajesh conceptualized and developed a global wireless messaging network across 500 mobile service providers in 130 countries worldwide and a data delivery platform that enables enterprises to deliver data wirelessly worldwide.


Rajesh received the Golden Mouse award for his contribution towards the development of internet in India. He holds multiple patents in the area of wireless data communications.


Rajesh founded July Systems, the Bangalore-based wireless infrastructure solutions company, with Ashok Narasimhan, the man who convinced Azim Premji, presently the Chairman of Wipro Technologies,  to get into the IT business as early as 1978.


From the wireless mantra of a few years ago, “Anytime, any­where”, the current mantra is “Any­time, anywhere, anyhow”.  July System’s mission is to create a new paradigm in wireless data communications - a wireless superstructure knitting together various elements of next generation wireless including devices, services, platforms, networks, applications and the underlying technologies - to make delivery of enterprise class wireless data applications a reality.


“We are going to operate on an extended corporation model and work with other Indian technology companies to come up with our solutions,” says Reddy.

Ramesh Hariharan

Ramesh Hariharan was nominated in the field of Software. He has a Ph.d from New York University (Courant, NYU, 1994) and is visiting professor at New York University, the Max Planck Institute in Saarbrucken, Germany, and HKUST in Hong Kong. He has been teaching at Bangalore's prestigious Indian Institute of Science for the past 6 years. 


Ramesh has research interests in Sequence Analysis, String Algorithms, Computational Biology, Computational Geometry and Foundations of Computing, and geometry.


With three other Ph.ds - professors Swami Manohar, Vijay Chandru, and V. Vinay - Ramesh is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of a company at the cutting-edge of a new world,  Strand Genomics, one of India's first bioinformatics companies.

Strand Genomics is the coming together of two worlds, the research-heavy world of biotechnology and the market-savvy world of infotech. The company's Vision - Computing away the deep mysteries of Biology  and slogan: 'Algorithms for Life'


Ramesh also helped to start the Simputer Trust. Syrrx is a San Diego-based biotechnology company that works with StrandGenomics in the field of structural proteomics.


For details about him (please click here) and his company (please click here).

Vivek Subramanian

Vivek Subramanian was nominated for his work in the field of Materials. He is a recognised expert in polysilicon physics and technology and co-founded Matrix Semiconductor in 1998. Dr. Subramanian's substantial work in the field enabled Matrix to successfully develop the Company's process and device technology.


Vivek’s company, Matrix Semiconductor, Inc. has developed the means to create three-dimensional integrated circuits using standard manufacturing techniques and materials. In making the best use of a semiconductor wafer's area by building "up" rather than "out," this technology allows the company to design chips for high-volume markets at the absolute lowest cost.


Matrix evolved from the work of four of Silicon Valley's most revered innovators and engineers. Having grown several other successful start-ups together, these four individuals continue to drive Matrix's day-to-day vision and development.


While working full time at Matrix, Vivek held a consulting assistant professor position at Stanford and a visiting research engineer appointment at University of California, Berkeley.


In 2000, he was invited to join the faculty of University of California, Berkeley as an assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. At Berkeley, Vivek’s research interests include advanced CMOS devices and technology and polysilicon thin film transistor technology for displays and vertical integration applications. His current research focuses on organic electronics for display, low-cost logic, and sensing applications.


Vivek has held numerous other consulting and advisor positions for leading semiconductor companies. He currently sits on the Technology Advisory Board for ITU Ventures and continues to advise Matrix on process and device technology development.


Vivek received an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and has served on the technical committee for the Device Research Conference and the International Electron Device Meeting. He holds two U.S. patents, has over eleven patents pending, and has authored or co-authored more than thirty research publications.


For his faculty bio and publications, please click here.