IBM Researchers Named to Scientific American 50

Leaders in Privacy and Imaging Technology Honored for Outstanding Contributions

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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY - 10 Nov 2003: IBM researchers Dr. Rakesh Agrawal and Dr. Philip Batson have been recognized by Scientific American magazine as IT industry leaders.

The "Scientific American 50" -- the magazine's annual list recognizing outstanding acts of leadership in technology -- will appear in the magazine's December issue, arriving on newsstands November 25 and available now at

Selected by the magazine's editorial board and distinguished advisors, the Scientific American 50 spotlights research, business and policy leaders in many technological categories including agriculture, chemicals and materials, communications, computing, energy, environment, medical treatment and more.

"Scientific American encourages the progressive use of technology," said editor in chief John Rennie. "The Scientific American 50 is our chance to honor leaders in research, industry and policy."

Privacy: A Growing Concern
Agrawal's work focuses on preserving the privacy and security of information in large databases -- a growing public concern spurred by the ever-increasing volume and availability of digital data. At IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, he pioneered key data mining concepts and technologies and authored more than 100 research papers. An IBM Fellow -- the company's highest technical honor -- Agrawal holds 47 patents and has received numerous awards including the ACM-SIGKDD First Innovation Award, the ACM-SIGMOD 2000 Innovations Award, and the ACM-SIGMOD 2003 Test of Time Award.

"Solving the privacy dilemma demands innovative technology," said Agrawal. "We're creating a system that aligns business needs with the privacy rights of consumers -- a system that enables companies to mine pertinent business information without learning specific things about individuals. In essence, we're making it possible for people to share -- or not to share -- personal information, on their own terms."

The Incredible Shrinking Chip
At IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, Batson demonstrated technology to view atoms interacting in different environments at a resolution never before possible. With computer-chip features shrinking to atomic scales, this addresses scientists' urgent need to see more clearly the details of materials used in manufacturing semiconductors and significantly extends the capabilities of the electron microscope.

"As the dimensions of computer chips shrink, scientists need new ways to view and study the atomic structure and properties of incredibly minuscule materials," said Batson. "This technology is like laser corrective surgery for microscopes -- it's a dramatic improvement in terms of how well we can see."

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