University of Vermont

College of
Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Josh Bongard named to Technology Review's prestigious TR35 list of top young innovators

Release Date: 08-15-2007

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

Joshua BongardUVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) is pleased to announce that Josh Bongard, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for his work on a new generation of intelligent machines.

Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the Technology Review editorial staff , the TR35 is an elite group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business, technology and the arts.

Listen to an
mp3LISTEN to an interview with Josh Bongard describing self-modeling robotics on Vermont Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Bongard's work on resilient machines — robots that can recover from unanticipated situations by developing a sense of self — holds great promise not only for finally realizing intelligent machines that can work alongside humans in the everyday world, but also for deepening our understanding of the human mind.

"What's perhaps more interesting than what this robot does, is how it does it," says Bongard. "Our robot gradually becomes aware of its own body and uses that knowledge to do things it's never done before. It may be that human children do something similar."

Technology Review, Inc., an independent media company owned by MIT, is the authority on the future of technology, identifying emerging technologies and analyzing their impact for leaders. Technology Review's media properties include Technology Review magazine, the oldest technology magazine in the world (founded in 1899); the daily news website; and events such as the annual Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT.

"The TR35 honors young innovators for accomplishments that are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world as we know it," said Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of Technology Review magazine. "We celebrate their success and look forward to their continued advancement of technology in their respective fields."

Josh Bongard and the other TR35 winners for 2007 will be featured in the September issue of Technology Review magazine and honored at the Emerging Technologies Conference to be held at MIT September 25-27, 2007.

"Josh is among the rare breed of individuals," said CEMS Dean Domenico Grasso, "that has both a broad and deep intellect and has been able to easily contextualize his work within societal needs. It is not surprising that he and his important work are drawing so much attention. Josh is bound to leave a tremendous legacy."