Logo: University of Southern California

Bhaskar Krishnamachari and Jernej Barbič selected members of the TR35 Class of 2011

USC one of only three institutions (with Stanford and IBM) to place two researchers on the elite list
Gloria Hayes
August 26, 2011 —

Jernej Barbič, left, and Bhaskar Krishnamachari
USC Viterbi School of Engineering faculty members Jernej Barbič and Bhaskar Krishnamachari have been named among the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 by Technology Review magazine.

The publication listed 35 scholars working in energy, medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology and other emerging fields. In a global list that includes Yahoo!, Microsoft and Groupon, only USC, Stanford University and IBM have two honorees.

The honor previously went to USC faculty members Michelle Povinelli (2010), Andrea Armani and Ellis Meng (2009).

Barbič, an assistant professor of computer science, was selected for developing a way for computer simulations to run in real time. Krishnamachari, an associate professor of electrical engineering systems, was selected for his work on algorithms for next-generation wireless networks.

Both professors were chosen by a panel of judges and the editorial staff of the magazine, which evaluated more than 300 nominations.

“Technology innovation is key to driving growth and progress in the areas of research, medicine, business and economics,” said Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of Technology Review. “This year’s group of recipients is driving the next wave of transformative technology and making an impact on the way we live, work and interact. We look forward to profiling and working with these technology leaders each year and watching their continued advancement in their respective fields.”

In his computer graphics research at USC, Barbič is tackling interdisciplinary problems in animation, simulation and haptics (the study of the sense of touch). His overarching scientific goal, according to a recent statement, is “to approximate complex physical systems with simpler, yet principled models, for interactive simulation and control in computer graphics and engineering.”

Speedier modeling and control are aimed at enabling more immersive medical training, more entertaining computer games, and faster and more reliable computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. In general, Barbič said, “this applies to any system governed by differential equations, with broader applications in robotics, aeronautics and defense systems.”

Krishnamachari’s research focuses on designing algorithms for next-generation wireless networks to improve their efficiency and to enable their use in new applications such as in smart buildings and vehicular networks.

“Increasingly, wireless networks form the main fabric of communication that weaves together human interactions with each other and with the environment,” Krishnamachari said. “As a society, we are starting to rely on omnipresent wireless connectivity not only for voice communications and entertainment, but also in other settings such as industrial sensing, smart buildings and intelligent vehicles.”

Reflecting on their achievements, Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said: “The research of these two promising members of the USC Viterbi faculty is at the leading edge of rapidly developing wireless sensor network and computer graphics technologies, with myriad applications in education, industry, security, health, the environment and more. We are very proud of their selection for the 2011 TR35.”

The USC faculty members will discuss their achievements with other honorees in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 18-19. This year’s TR35 winners also will be featured in the September/October issue of Technology Review.