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Young Academy Member "tipped to change the world"!

Young Academy Member Dr Per Ola Kristensson has been tipped as one of the young innovators most likely to “change the world.” The computer scientist is one of 35 top young innovators named by the prestigious MIT Technology Review.

For over a decade, the global media company has recognised a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to “transform the world.” Dr Kristensson joins a stellar list of technological talent; previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple; and David Karp, the creator of Tumblr.

Working in the School of Computer Science in St Andrews, Dr Kristensson uses machine learning, signal processing and language modelling to invent new text entry interfaces that enable people to rapidly input text into computer systems.

One example of his work is the gesture keyboard. The gesture keyboard enables users to quickly and accurately write text on mobile devices by sliding a single finger across the keys of a touchscreen keyboard. For example, to write the word “the” the user touches the T key, slides to the H key, slides to the E key, and then lifts up the finger. The result is a gesture that efficiently encodes the word “the” as a shorthand symbol. A gesture is then identified as a user’s intended word using a recognition algorithm.

Dr Kristensson’s ShapeWriter, Inc. iPhone app, ranked the 8th best app by Time Magazine in 2008, had a million downloads in the first few months.

This year’s honorees will be featured online at technologyreview.com starting today, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on September 3. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference from October 9–11 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Source: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2013/title,224477,en.php

 

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Alexander (Sasha) Kagansky is a Chancelor’s Fellow at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, and leads the research at the Synthetic Epigenetics Lab, Chromosomes and Gene Expression Section of the IGMM.
In 2005 – 2012 Sasha worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, as a postdoctoral research associate (Robin Allshire lab, until 2010) and then as senior research associate (Bill Earnshaw lab). Research in his lab is aimed at the understanding of the molecular basis of the epigenetic transitions of the mammalian genomes, and at finding ways to control these transitions, which will be crucial for the future of molecular medicine. In his studies he combines genetics, synthetic biology, biochemistry and proteomics. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2004 after spending 3 years in National Institutes of Health in USA. In 1998 he got his MS in Biophysics from from St.Petersburg State Polytechnical University in Russia.

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