MIT Technology Review Names USC Viterbi’s Hao Li a Top Young Innovator
August 21, 2013
Hao Li recognized for his work on algorithms that can model both tumors and facial motion
LOS ANGELES – August 21, 2013 – Today, MIT Technology Review reveals its list of Innovators Under 35. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For his work in the field of software, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Hao Li has been honored as an outstanding inventor on the list.
“Being part of this year’s Innovators Under 35 list is an amazing honor and recognition for all the years of hard work,” Li said. “I owe this success to all my collaborators, mentors, friends and USC.”
Always an artist, Li, 32, was inspired to get into programming by computer-generated visual effects in Hollywood films. While earning his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer science, he worked at George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, to develop an algorithm that allows filmmakers to capture facial motion without using tracking dots on the actor’s skin. Li’s work serves not only the entertainment industry, but medicine as well. The algorithms he’s developed to capture and model data in three dimensions and in real time also allow physicians to track heartbeats and cancerous tumors in patients.
Eager to continue his research and development of algorithms that capture body and facial movements, Li returns to academia this fall by joining the USC Viterbi School of Engineering as a tenure-track assistant professor. There, he will launch the Geometric Capture Lab, a team within the USC Computer Graphics research group that will advance technologies in 3-D acquisition and animation.
“Engineering and technology can empower the arts in significant ways,” said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. “Hao Li is a very promising innovator in that space. We are very pleased to have him educate our students and create pioneering work in this important area.”
Li joins a long list of impressive trendsetters recognized by MIT Technology Review. He is the seventh USC Viterbi faculty member to be selected for the list of young innovators in the past five years alone.
“Over the years, we’ve had success in choosing women and men whose innovations and companies have been profoundly influential on the direction of human affairs,” says editor in chief and publisher Jason Pontin. “Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook; Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple; and David Karp, the creator of Tumblr. We’re proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we’re proud to add Hao to this prestigious list.”
This year’s honorees will be featured online at technologyreview.com, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on September 3. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference from October 9–11 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 177 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu
About MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review leads the global conversation about technologies that matter. An independent media company owned by MIT, it produces publications read by millions of business leaders, innovators and thought leaders around the globe, in six languages and on a variety of platforms. The company publishes MIT Technology Review magazine, the most respected technology magazine; daily news features, analysis and opinion; and Business Reports, which explain how technologies are transforming industries. It produces live events such as the annual EmTech MIT, international EmTech conferences, Summits and Salons. The company’s entrepreneurial community organization, MIT Enterprise Forum, hosts 400-plus events a year around the world. http://www.technologyreview.com