Indians Getting Attention in US

If US wouldn’t have the bookstores such as Borders or Barnes and Nobles, perhaps it would have been difficult for me to enjoy my America’s long stays. Anand had taken me to Borders in Cary, but I didn’t find that to my satisfaction. On October 6, Anand took me to Barnes and Nobles. The collection and ambience both were to my liking. I went through some of the magazines and found Indians in the news that I shall like to share.

Fortune has a major article, ‘Touched by scandal‘ on Rajat Gupta, one of successful IITians. However, this one relates to a bad aspect about Rajat if it has any truth whatsoever.

Gupta has been the only non-Westerner to have served as managing director of storied management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., adviser to CEOs the world over. In a front-page article on April 15, the Wall Street Journal reported that the government was investigating whether Gupta had shared confidential information with his onetime friend and business partner Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund heavyweight whose $3 billion Galleon fund disintegrated in October 2009 after authorities announced sweeping charges of illegal trading. Between 2006 and 2009, Gupta picked up seats on the boards of five public companies — American Airlines parent AMR (AMR, Fortune 500), global outsourcer Genpact (G) (of which he is also chairman), Goldman Sachs, audio equipment giant Harman International (HAR), and Procter & Gamble. He also joined the supervisory board of Russia’s Sberbank and the board of the Qatar Financial Centre. Altogether, those positions paid him more than $3.2 million in 2009.

The same issue of Fortune has selected PepsiCo Inc chief Indra Nooyi as the most powerful woman in U.S. business for the fifth year in a row According to Fortune, “Nooyi completed the purchase of PepsiCo’s two largest bottlers, bringing revenues to a projected $60 billion,” Fortune said. “Now she’ll have to deliver the $400 million annual cost savings she promised. Investors seem assured: The stock is up 12 percent since September 2009.”

Technology Review has published its list of 2010 Young Innovators Under 35, a list of technologists and scientists, all under the age of 35, whose inventions and research TR find most exciting. Their works span medicine, computing, communications, electronics, nanotechnology, and more that are changing our world. Three of them are Indians.


b>Indrani Medhi, 32, Microsoft Research India

Based at Microsoft Research India’s Bangalore lab, Indrani Medhi has conducted field research in India, South Africa, and the Philippines to design text-free interfaces that could help illiterate and semiliterate people find jobs, get medical information, and use cell-phone-based banking services. And there are 774 million adults worldwide who cannot read
Medhi used symbols, audio cues, and cartoons that are specific to particular poor communities. They still did not fully understand how information relevant to their lives could possibly be contained in or delivered by a computer.
To overcoming this problem, Medhi offered a five-minute video dramatization when an application is launched, illustrating exactly how it is supposed to work. For example, the one that accompanies her job-search interface features an upper-middle-class couple that needs a domestic helper. The husband posts the requirements to a job website that is subsequently accessed by unemployed and illiterate women at a community center. The video ends with a woman being hired.
–Guy Gugliotta

Rikin Gandhi, 29, Digital Green
Rikin Gandhi, founder of the nonprofit Digital Green, has developed a pilot project that offers a solution: simple videos starring local farmers themselves. Gandhi demonstrated that for every dollar spent, the system persuaded seven times as many farmers to adopt new ideas as an existing program of training and visits.
Villagers produce the videos using handheld camcorders; workers from partner nongovernmental organizations then check the quality of the videos and the accuracy of the advice before screening them in the villages with handheld projectors. So far 500 videos have been made, but three times that number–which should reach four times as many villages–are currently planned. –David Talbot

Ranveer Chandra, 34, Microsoft Research
PROBLEM: Wi-Fi uses frequencies that can’t carry a signal more than a few tens of meters. TV stations, on the other hand, use a portion of the radio spectrum that lets signals travel long distances, and the end of analog television has opened up unused slices of the spectrum between stations. They could be used for wireless Internet service, but it has been difficult to take advantage of these so-called white spaces without causing interference, because the exact frequencies used by TV stations vary geographically.
SOLUTION: Ranveer Chandra made the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA, his laboratory for the first large-scale network to demonstrate the potential of using white spaces to deliver broadband wireless. Links in the prototype network can span up to two kilometers. To avoid treading on the toes of TV broadcasters, his system uses GPS to determine its location; then it checks the Web to find out what stations are active in the area. Chandra’s devices can also listen for nearby transmissions from wireless microphones, which use the same bands. When a conflict is detected, they switch to a backup slice of unused spectrum on the fly.
Chandra’s prototype network has the potential for white-space signals to connect large rural areas with minimal infrastructure. –Tom Simonite

Interestingly, all the Indian scientists in TR 35 are connected with Microsoft Research in India.

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