Having grown up in India, Manu Prakash studied computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, before heading to the United States and MIT, where he studied for both his Master’s and Ph.D at MIT’s Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms. Prakash is currently a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, where he focuses on issues that arise from engineering, biology and physics.
How exactly do you plan to change the world?
Plants, insects, tiny bugs under the sink, bacteria, day after day, accomplish things that no scientist, anywhere in the world knows how to do. They hold the key to sustainable survival on this planet. Humbled and inspired by nature’s solutions to the biggest problems facing humanity—including energy, clean water, diseases—I build and design tools to uncover “how and why” biological systems so often outsmart us. I believe one day we will be able to understand the physical design principles of life on Earth, leading to a new way to look at the world we live in.