In collaboration with our network of more than 3,000 inventors, Intellectual Ventures has been working with leading university-based inventors (both students and faculty) around the world for several years. We collaborate with these inventors on work in a variety of areas including materials science, medical devices, chemistry, software and hardware. As part of these efforts we have worked with the Caltech Office of Technology Transfer to sponsor an annual invention contest on campus. The Intellectual Ventures-Caltech invention contest provides cash prizes totaling $50,000 to the student inventions that best described a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, or demonstrated remarkable inventiveness. 

We congratulate this year’s first prize winner, freshman Vighnesh Leonardo Shiv of Portland, Oregon. Vighnesh won the $25,000 top prize for his invention titled “Continuous-Weight Neural Networks.” His invention is a tool that could more effectively analyze and mine data for useful information. As a story in yesterday’s Pasadena Now reported:

“In computing, neural networks are tools that analyze data with given classifications and generalize features within that data so that they can make predictions about how to classify unlabeled data. Shiv’s award-winning idea is an algorithm that integrates two neural networks, nesting them in such a way that the algorithm can analyze smaller sets of features while retaining needed information, leading to better learning.”

We also extend our congratulations to second prize winners Samson Chen and Chris Varnerin for their invention titled “Novel Highly Scalable Optical Multitouch Solution” and third prize winners Kaushik Dasgupta, Steven Bowers, Kaushik Sengupta, and Alexander Hu for their invention titled “IC Design to Enhance Reliability and Self Repair.” 

All of this year’s contest entries were excellent and prove that today’s young inventors are tomorrow’s technological and entrepreneurial leaders. We look forward to continuing our work with the Office of Technology Transfer to support both student and faculty invention at Caltech. For more information about the contest, please see the contest website here:

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