Georgia Tech Graduate Named 2011 MacArthur Fellow

"Genius" Grant Awarded to 22 Recepients

Georgia Tech graduate Shwetak Patel has been awarded a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation. As one of 22 MacArthur Fellows, Patel receives a $500,000 fellowship. The unique award is “no-strings-attached,” allowing Patel to use the money any way he chooses with no reporting requirements. 

Shwetak Patel
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Shewtak Patel, Georgia Tech graduate, wins the 2011 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Patel, now an assistant professor in the departments of Computer Science, Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, has focused much of his work on low-cost sensors that can be placed in homes to measure energy consumption. These devices help track usage of everyday appliances and assist homeowners in identifying ways to save electricity and water. Patel is also exploring how similar sensors can be used to monitor human movement to assist with home security and elder care.

Patel received a B.S. (2003) and a Ph.D. (2008) from the College of Computing where he studied under Gregory Abowd.

MacArthur Fellows are anonymously nominated by their peers on the basis of creativity and achievement. Candidates are not informed until winners are selected, allowing the foundation to call them “out of the blue” to award them the $500,000 grants.