Caren Alpert has spent the last decade capturing mostly recognizable images of food. Now, by taking photographs with an electron microscope, she has shifted her attention to what we never actually see: the hidden landscapes, patterns, and textures of what we eat. These images are simultaneously mysterious and familiar, deconstructing, abstracting, and revealing the ordinary from an extraordinary perspective. "The closer the lens got, the more I saw food--and consumers of food--as part of a larger, complex ecosystem."
Bryant Austin is an artist working to affect change through the creation of life-size photographs of whales. His work has been met with critical acclaim, and has been received enthusiastically during exhibits worldwide, including shows in Norway and Japan — countries that continue to hunt whales. These full body composite photographs only become possible when a whale chooses to initiate close inspections of him; at times only an arm's reach away.
A climate scientist and Google Science Communication Fellow who works at San Jose State University (SJSU), Eugene Cordero is passionate about what he calls "science that matters to society." Cordero's aim is to reduce annual carbon emissions by 1 million tons using the power of a climate-action superhero called the Green Ninja. The Green Ninja comes to life in a series of videos and social media tools designed to educate and inspire action to reduce our carbon footprint. Cordero is also co-author of the book Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite out of Global Warming.
Walter De Brouwer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scanadu, at NASA Ames. Scanadu is developing a real life tricorder similar to those from Star Trek. De Brouwer wants to change the way healthcare works in the world. He is also the founder of Starlab, specializing in Blue Sky research. The Sunday Times magazine has called De Brouwer a "collateral thinker."
As principal designer for GE Healthcare, Doug had been designing diagnostic imaging equipment for more than 20 years when he realized that young patients' actual experience of this cutting-edge technology was, well, awful. Children were often so terrified by the prospect of lying alone inside the huge, noisy machine that they often had to be sedated just to get through the experience. Doug put together a team of experts to solve this problem, including staff from a local children’s museum, kids, and hospital staff. The result was an innovative, design-driven solution that utterly transformed the experience for children. In addition to holding 6 utility patents and over 16 design patents, Doug teaches creative innovation as part of the GE "innovation at work" initiative, and is Lead Design Architect for two key design incubators.
Jim Fruchterman is a former rocket scientist who founded two leading optical character recognition companies, and has since developed successful social enterprises. His life focus has been in using the power of technology to serve humanity and in particular, people with disabilities. Today, Fruchterman runs Benetech, a nonprofit organization that develops technology for education, human rights, and environmental conservation communities. He is a MacArthur Fellow and has received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.
Saba Ghole is an architect/urban designer turned education entrepreneur. As Founder and Chief Creative Officer of NuVu Studio, Saba leads the innovation center for middle and high school students, whose pedagogy is based on the studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. Her experience in the urban design world exposed her to a myriad of innovative educational projects, including planning the Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh (the world's largest center of higher learning for women). Saba's design quirks and lure for adventure constantly fuel her efforts to re-design NuVu's curriculum and bring inspiring experts to coach students on how to innovate.
Roberto Granados is a home-schooled thirteen-year-old classical, flamenco, rock, blues guitarist, arranger, composer and ukulele virtuoso from Hayward, California. He began studying classical guitar at the age of six with Gyorgy Vass, and flamenco guitar at eight with renowned flamenco guitarist Jason McGuire. He has since also studied with distinguished guitarists Sergio Assad and Marc Teicholz at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Roberto has performed everywhere from on the streets to the Emmy's and also in the presence of President Obama.
Steve Mazan is a stand-up comic, Emmy winning writer for his work on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and a former submariner in the U.S. Navy. If that wasn't enough Steve is also the subject of the award-winning documentary "Dying to do Letterman" about chasing his dream to perform on The Late Show after being diagnosed with cancer and given a worst-case scenario of five years to live. That was over six years ago. He now tours the world inspiring people to chase their dreams and making them laugh.
David Milarch is co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and pioneer in the cloning of ancient trees. He has dedicated his career to replanting the earth with the genetics of the world's ancient forests and has led efforts to propagate more than 90 species, including the tallest redwoods.
Before starting Lytro in 2006, Ren had been extensively studying light field science and computational science. His seminal Ph.D. research on light field technology earned the field's top honor, the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for best thesis in computer science and engineering, as well as Stanford University's Arthur Samuel Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation. The entrepreneurial spark came when Ren purchased his first DSLR camera and saw the potential to apply light field technology to capture pictures in addition to image generation. He decided to apply and extend his theoretical work by making light field cameras available to consumers.
Dr. Preetha Ram has a passion for creating opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. Dr. Ram is the co- founder of OpenStudy.com, a social learning network for students, recently named one of the 10 "most innovative education companies" by TechCrunch. Her mission is to unite millions of learners from every corner of the world, to give help and get help. Dr. Ram is also the Associate Dean for Pre-Health and Science Education at Emory University. Among her many achievements is Dr. Ram's development of a science curriculum for Tibetan monastics at the request of the Dalai Lama, and initiatives that led to a growth of internationalization throughout the educational community.
Dr. Diana Reiss is one of the world's leading experts on dolphin intelligence. She is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Hunter College and directs a dolphin research program at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Dr. Reiss is a leading rescuer who served as an adviser for the Oscar-winning film, The Cove. In her book, The Dolphin in the Mirror, Dr. Reiss gives us a glimpse of dolphin intelligence that often seems uncannily familiar. Her research is both a scientific revelation and an emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on the planet.
Anshul Samar is Founder and CEO, Alchemist Empire, Inc. Four years ago at age 13, Samar introduced Elementeo Chemistry Card Game in an effort to make learning chemistry more fun for students. He is one of the very few teenagers with business cards. Samar has since earned national recognition for his company's mission and game. He is currently in his senior year as student of Bellarmine College Preparatory and gearing up to introduce the next version of Elementeo.
Manoj Saxena is the General Manager of Watson Solutions at IBM, a team focused on building a computing system that rivals a human's ability to answer questions with speed and accuracy. Saxena was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" and "IT Technologist of the Year." Saxena created The Saxena Family Foundation to advance inventive and effective ways of promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The Foundation's credo is "doing well by doing good." Saxena also serves on the boards of Global Giving, Austin Technology Council and Any Baby Can.
Founder of 'The Empowerment Plan', Veronika Scott, has built an organization started around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family.
Dr. Seth Shostak participates in the search for extraterrestrial life at the SETI Institute. He heads up the International Academy of Astronautics' SETI Committee, and hosts a weekly radio show, "Big Picture Science". Shostak has published more than 400 popular articles on science, and his most recent book is Confessions of an Alien Hunter, A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Life (National Geographic). Shostak is also an accomplished photographer. His photos have been featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Dubbed "the Ralph Nader for the Internet Age" by Wired Magazine, Christopher Soghoian is a researcher and advocate focused on improving privacy protections for individuals. He is particularly interested in how companies choose to either resist or facilitate surveillance of their customers. He has used the Freedom of Information Act as well as several other, unconventional investigative methods to shed light on the scale and methods of the U.S. government to spy on Internet communications and mobile telephones.
As co-founder of Pacific Links Foundation (PALS), a US-based international NGO, Diep designed and spearheads an innovative program to combat human trafficking in Vietnam. PALS focuses on HT prevention through scholarships, vocational training and public advocacy in vulnerable communities. It is the only organization that operates two shelters for trafficking survivors at the Southern and Northern borders of Vietnam.
Esther Wojcicki ("Woj") is the Vice Chair of Creative Commons, a groundbreaking initiative to make creative, education, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet. She is also the driving force behind Palo Alto High School's journalism program, in which 500 students take part. Esther encourages students to believe in themselves and gives them the 21st century tools to be successful. Wojcicki is also the Board Chairman of Learning Matters.
A senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, Angela was just awarded a $100,000 scholarship in the 2011 Siemens Math, Science and Technology competition for her achievements in cancer research. She is also the winner of more than 20 awards in regional, state, national and international science fairs. As a ninth-grader, her passion for research led her to persuade a Stanford University School of Medicine professor to let her attend his seminars and from there she mapped out her own research plan which led to this year's Siemens award. In her spare time she likes to golf and play the piano.