Umar Saif, associate professor at LUMS, has been selected as a Young Innovator under 35 by Technology Review magazine, published by MIT. His work has been cited for improving connectivity in poor nations.

“The TR35 recognizes the world’s top 35 young innovators that are radically transforming technology as we know it. Their work – spanning medicine, computing, communications, energy, electronics and nanotechnology — is changing our world”, according to MIT Technology Review.

According to a LUMS press release today, this is the first time that a Pakistani has been selected in the TR35 list.

Dr. Umar Saif joins an elite group of researchers and entrepreneurs selected over the last decade. Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; Jonathan Ive, the chief designer at Apple; David Karp, founder of Tumbler; Harvard Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik for his work on Quantum computers; and MIT Neuroscientist Ed Boyden, one of the inventors of the emerging field of optogenetics, which makes it possible to control neurons with light.

Dr. Saif joined LUMS after completing a post doctorate at MIT where he was part of the group that developed technologies for project Oxygen. At LUMS, his research is focused on technology for developing regions. He has recently developed BitMate, a BitTorrent client for improving download speeds in regions with poor Internet connectivity. The client was been downloaded more than 30,000 times by people in 173 countries.

Dr. Saif is also a co-founder of several startups at his Saif Center for Innovation. The startups include SeenReport, BumpIn, and SMSall. Talking to STEP earlier, he offered his vision of Saif Center in a previous interview here. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Mark Weiser award, Microsoft Research award, and IDG CIO Technology pioneer award. He was also named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010.

Congratulations Umar!

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