India-Born Scientist Ramesh Raskar Wins Prestigious $500,000 MIT Award for Path-Breaking Inventions


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India-born scientist Ramesh Raskar was awarded $ 500,000, one of the world’s largest single cash awards for invention, for his path breaking work on an ultra-fast imaging camera that can see around corners, eyecare solutions and a camera that can read closed books.

The Lemelson-MIT prize, given by the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), honours U.S. inventors working on science and technology projects for the betterment of the world.

Ramesh, 46, who is originally from Nasik, is an imaging scientist and Associate Professor at MIT.

Ramesh Raskar

Ramesh Raskar

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In addition to working on low-cost eye-care solutions for the developing world and a camera that allows users to read pages of a book without opening the cover, Ramesh is the co-inventor of radical imaging solutions including femto-photography — an ultra-fast imaging system that can see around corners.

“Ramesh’s femto-photography work not only has the potential to transform industries ranging from internal medicine to transportation safety, it is also helping to inspire a new generation of inventors to tackle the biggest problems of our time,” said Dorothy Lemelson, chair of the Lemelson Foundation, in a statement.

Ramesh plans to use a portion of the Lemelson-MIT Prize money to launch a new effort using peer-to-peer invention platforms that offer new approaches for helping young people in multiple countries to co-invent in a collaborative way, the statement read.

Despite living in the US, Ramesh has stayed connected with his roots in India through his work. During the Kumbh Mela in Nasik in 2015, he collaborated with other scientists to launch ‘Kumbhathons’ (special innovation camps) to develop ideas for the evolution of smart cities in India. This included exploring innovative solutions in the areas of housing, sanitation and transportation of pilgrims at the festival.

Know more about the Lemelson-MIT prize, here.

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