Innovators Under 35 Roundtable: Energy and Connectivity

Brenden Lake, New York University, Alexandre Rebert, ForAllSecure, Natalya Bailey, Accion Systems, Alessandro Chiesa, UC Berkeley, and Archana Kamal, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

MIT Technology Review's Gideon Lichfield hosts a roundtable discussion with 2018 Innovator Under 35 honorees. The discussion explores their work to develop next-generation computing solutions to support machine learning, blockchain payments, and even satellite systems.

Brenden Lake, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Data Science, New York University

Brenden M. Lake is an assistant professor of psychology and data science at New York University. His research focuses on computational problems that are easier for people than they are for machines, such as learning new concepts, creating new concepts, learning to learn, and asking questions. He received his MS and BS in symbolic systems from Stanford University in 2009 and his PhD in cognitive science from MIT in 2014. He was a postdoctoral data science fellow at NYU from 2014 to 2017. Brenden is a recipient of the Robert J. Glushko Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Cognitive Science. His research was selected by Scientific American as one of the most important advances of 2016.

Alexandre Rebert, Founder, ForAllSecure

Alex Rebert is a computer security researcher and cofounder of ForAllSecure, whose mission is to test the world’s software and train future leaders in computer security. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from EPFL in 2011 and a master’s from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015. He is the coauthor of Mayhem, the first end-to-end system to automatically generate exploits on binaries. Mayhem found thousands of bugs and hundreds of exploits on real-world software. At ForAllSecure, he was leading the team working on the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC). In 2016, the automated system he helped create won CGC.

Natalya Bailey, CEO, Accion Systems

Natalya Bailey is the CEO and a cofounder of Accion Systems, a company providing in-space propulsion for satellites and spacecraft. An Oregon native, Natalya moved to Cambridge to complete her doctorate in space propulsion at MIT, where she helped invent the first working prototype of an ion engine technology for small satellites, which would become the first product at Accion. Before coming to MIT, she invented a new chemical rocket technology that she turned into a space startup. Natalya was a New England Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2017 and a Boston Business Journal Woman to Watch in 2017, and she was named to Inc. magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in 2017 and Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list in 2016. During graduate school, she was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a NASA Ambassador to the US at the International Aeronautical Congress. In her free time, she works with kids through the group YouthCITIES. She is also learning to program in Python with her husband.

Alessandro Chiesa, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Alessandro Chiesa joined UC Berkeley’s faculty in the summer of 2015, after spending one year as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich.

Alessandro earned his MEng and PhD at MIT CSAIL. He also earned SB degrees in mathematics and computer science from MIT. While enrolled, he rowed for the heavyweight varsity crew team.

Born in Varese, Italy, he previously attended the European School of Varese, which awards students the European Baccalaureate.

Alessandro enjoys many outdoor sports, including biking, climbing, mountaineering, and running.

Archana Kamal, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Archana Kamal’s research focuses on enabling quantum information technologies with systems that can exploit and control delicate quantum effects at macroscopic scales. During both her graduate studies at Yale and her postdoctoral work at MIT, Kamal actively worked at the interface of theoretical and experimental aspects of superconducting quantum circuits, which are currently the leading candidate among quantum computing platforms. While her experimental work enabled new high-coherence superconducting qubit designs, her theoretical work was instrumental in pioneering the field of “magnet-free nonreciprocity,” a crucial ingredient for on-chip signal processing and high-efficiency quantum measurements. She currently leads the QUEST group (for “Quantum Engineering Science and Technology”) at UMass Lowell, which strives to answer theoretical questions in areas such as use of large-scale entanglement for quantum computing, meeting and beating quantum limits of measurement, and simulating quantum effects in the early universe.


Innovators Under 35
individuals whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades through the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve problems.