Ramesh Raskar, founder of the Camera Culture research group at the MIT Media Lab and associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, is the recipient of the 2016 $500,000Lemelson-MIT Prize. Raskar is the co-inventor of radical imaging solutions including femtophotography, an ultra-fast imaging system that can see around corners; 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. Raskar seeks to catalyze change on a massive scale by launching platforms that empower inventors to create solutions to improve lives globally.
Raskar has dedicated his career to linking the best of the academic and entrepreneurial worlds with young engineers, igniting a passion for impact inventing. He is a pioneer in the fields of imaging, computer vision and machine learning and his novel imaging platforms offer an understanding of the world that far exceeds human ability. Raskar has mentored more than 100 students, visiting students, interns, and postdocs, who, with his guidance and support, have been able to kick-start their own highly successful careers.
“Raskar is a multi-faceted leader as an inventor, educator, change maker and exemplar connector,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “In addition to creating his own remarkable inventions, he is working to connect communities and inventors all over the world to create positive change.”
The Lemelson-MIT Prize honors outstanding mid-career inventors improving the world through technological invention and demonstrating a commitment to mentorship in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The prize is made possible through the support of The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change. Over the next three years, Raskar will be investing a portion of the prize money to support the development of young inventors.
“We are thrilled to honor Ramesh Raskar, whose breakthrough research is impacting how we see the world,” said Dorothy Lemelson, chair of The Lemelson Foundation. “Ramesh’s femtophotography 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.”