'Top Innovator' wins MacArthur 'Genius Award'

 
 

University of Washington computer science professor
Shwetak Patel, recognized as a Top Innovator in the November
2010 issue of Seattle Business, has been named a 2011 MacArthur
Fellow
, an honor that brings with it a $500,000, no-strings-attached “Genius
Award.”

Patel, also a 2011 Microsoft
Research Faculty Fellow, has invented computer devices and programs to
use existing home utility infrastructure, such as electric wiring and water
pipes, to monitor and reduce utility usage. With several collaborators, Patel organized the startup Zensi,
subsequently acquired by connectivity-device manufacturer Belkin, to
commercially exploit the idea.

Patel, 29, expects to use the award money to continue to apply human-computer interaction
devices and programs to energy conservation, health care and other natural
user interfaces.

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