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Posted by Rob Knies
Moshe Tennenholtz is an accomplished man. An Israel-based principal researcher with Microsoft Research New England, he has performed pioneering work bridging computer science, artificial intelligence, and game theory. He also has co-founded several e-commerce companies. Given such a varied, successful background, there’s little these days that can faze him.Yet when he learned he had been named winner of the 2012 Allen Newell Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, he couldn’t have been more surprised.“It was announced to me by phone by the chair of the committee [Eric Grimson, chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology],” Tennenholtz says. “I didn’t even know what he wanted to talk to me about.”
Like many people his age, Andrés Monroy-Hernández of Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs is enamored with the possibilities offered by social computing. He just applies them at a more engaged level than most. Consider some of the areas his research addresses: the lack of effective information during crises, the need to develop digital-media literacy among children, and the need to provide more access to health care in the developing world.
He doesn’t just dabble in such interests, either. He created the Scratch Online Community, an environment in which children can program interactive stories, games, and animations—and share them with others online. He is a co-founder of Sana, a mobile health-care system for the developing world. And he is among the leading scholars watching how social media functions during the ongoing drug war in his native Mexico.It comes as little surprise, then, that Monroy-Hernández has been named one of 10 recipients of the second annual TR35 México awards, presented by MIT Technology Review. The awards recognize the work of your people under the age of 35 in research, technology, and innovation.