2 professors among the “7 over 70”

November 1, 2016
This article appeared in Berkeley Engineer magazine, Fall 2016

It turns out that good ideas don’t stop at age 35. That never really was the case that the MIT Technology Review’s annual 35 innovators under 35 was trying to make. Nonetheless, the magazine took the step this year to acknowledge innovators who are continuing to have sustained impacts in their field well after most of their colleagues have decided to retire.

Ruzena Bajcsy and Michael StonebrakerA companion to Tech Review’s annual 35 Innovators Under 35 list features 7 innovators older than 70, including electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) professor Ruzena Bajcsy and professor emeritus Michael Stonebraker, now at MIT.

Being 70 is so last decade for roboticist Ruzena Bajcsy (read more about Bajcsy’s work on page 10.) Before coming to Berkeley, where she is a director emerita of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), Bajcsy was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She also led the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. Currently, her work focuses on artificial intelligence, computational biology and biosystems. Last year, she worked on research about how technology — specifically the Microsoft Kinect — can be used to improve the quality of life for elderly adults with muscular dystrophy. 

Stonebraker is a computer scientist known for database research. Through a combination of academic work and a number of commercial ventures, he has heavily influenced popular understanding of relationship databases. He was a professor at Berkeley for 29 years and is currently an adjunct faculty member at MIT. Stonebraker has won numerous awards for his work, including a 1997 induction into the National Academy of Engineering and a 2014 ACM Turing Award.