Geniuses under 35

Technology Review ranks the 100 best in the world

From college-age wunderkinds to seasoned entrepreneurs: The science magazine Technology Review, presents with the TR100 one hundred innovators whose ideas are announced to change the world.

The jury is made up of company CEOs and scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner (medicine). Nominees are geniuses under 35 from the fields of information technology, biotechnology, medicine, nanotechnology and nanostructure materials, energy and transportation. This year, a special discipline was added: Transforming industries and creating new ones. The judges say they focused on the impact technology can have on the traditional economy, and the "moribund" New Economy largely ignored.

Particularly highlighted as Innovator of the Year Max Levchin, only 26 years young and co-founder of the Internet payment service provider Pay Pal, which now handles more than 10 percent of financial transfers on the Internet for more than 16 million registered customers, according to its own data. Individuals can quickly transfer funds via email using credit cards or regular bank accounts, which is especially popular for online auctions. In the field of Technology in the Service of Humanity 28 year old Ethan Zuckerman from Geekcorps received a special award. He founded Geekcorps after being denied access to the Internet in Ghana in 1993. As a true Usenet junkie, he found this fatal and decided to found an organization that would bring the Internet to all countries communities brings to the world. Geekcorps has more than 1,000 volunteers on its waiting list, ready to take their knowledge of information technology to countries that could use it. Meanwhile, the parliament of Ghana, for example, has a web site.

At the award ceremony, Ethernet pioneer Bob Metcalf described the invention as a flower, but the innovation as a weed. Young innovators were made to suffer from an itch but were not allowed to scratch it. Regarding the list of 100 young itch patients, there are 20 women among them and one dead person: Daniel Lewin died on Flight 11, the first airplane to crash into the World Trade Center. He was co-founder and chief technologist of Akamai, a Web content load-balancing service based on Lewin’s computer algorithms. The top 100 also includes Neil Young, who created the computer game Majestic (cf. It Plays You), the artist Camille Utterback (cf. Are scientists in action the contemporary performance artists??), Larry Page, co-founder of Google, slasdot founder Rob Malda, Kelvin Lee, who makes protein indicators for Creutzfeldt-Jakob diagnosis, or Scour founder Travis Kalanick (Scour Exchange is back), whose new company Red Swoosh specializes in peer-to-peer content delivery, or Winamp programmer Justin Frankel who released Gnutella in March 2000 (cf.Gnutella: Not yet dry behind the ears and already "a damn cult"). Quite a few of the 100 most ingenious minds in the world scratch their heads at MIT, no wonder the Technology Review is its house journal.