Alumni

2016 graduates William Duckworth of Penn Engineering and Aaron Goldstein of the Wharton School are 2 of the 4 students selected as the inaugural President's Innovation Prize recipients. They will continue and extend their work with Fever Smart, a simple yet powerful medical device and cloud information system that addresses a problem faced in many areas of medicine: monitoring core body temperature over time. Fever Smart enables patients and healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s temperature in real time and receive alerts when their temperature begins to rise to unsafe levels. The President’s Innovation Prize will be a catalyst over the next year as they introduce their product into a clinical setting. Duckworth, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., and Goldstein, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla., are being mentored by Matthew Grennan, assistant professor of healthcare management in Wharton.
Warby Parker co-CEOs Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal came up with the idea for their $500 million glasses company at a Penn bar. The 2010 Wharton graduates met their two other cofounders, Jeffrey Raider and Andrew Hunt, in business school as well. Warby Parker uses a "buy one, give one" model, where for each pair of glasses purchased, the company pays for the production of another pair of eyeglasses for the non-profit organization VisionSpring. VisionSpring in turn sells the glasses to consumers or companies in developing countries as a way to encourage entrepreneurship. As of 2016, Warby Parker operates around 30 locations in 16 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., along with one store in Toronto.
Elon Musk is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com which merged with PayPal of Confinity. In 1992, after spending two years at Queen's University, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where, at the age of 24, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from its College of Arts and Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from its Wharton School of Business. Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the "risk of human extinction" by "making life multiplanetary" by setting up a human colony on Mars.
James Thomson graduated with a B.S. in biophysics from the University of Illinois in 1981. He entered the Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1985, and his doctorate in molecular biology in 1988. He is best known for deriving the first human embryonic stem cell (SC) line in 1998 and for deriving human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in 2007. Thomson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. He was on the cover of TIME magazine's "America's Best in Science & Medicine" feature in 2001 for his work with human embryonic stem cells, and again in 2008 when the magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people for his derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.
The namesake behind Huntsman Hall and the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Jon Huntsman Sr. is well known for his business endeavors, political involvement and philanthropic efforts. He decided to attend the Wharton Schoolafter receiving encouragement from Wharton graduate Harold Zellerbach. Graduating in 1959, Huntsman went on to work for and oversee various companies, eventually founding his own, including the Huntsman Container Corporation, which is famous for creating the clamshell container that is used for the Big Mac. Huntsman also served in the White House administration of President Richard Nixon in 1971 as the associate administrator of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Giving more than he receives was always important to Huntsman, and according to Forbes, Huntsman is only one of 19 billionaires out of 1200 whose donations total over $1 billion.
Born in Philadelphia on December 7, 1928, Noam Chomsky was an intellectual prodigy who went on to earn a PhD in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1955, he has been a professor at MIT and has produced groundbreaking, controversial theories on human linguistic capacity. Chomsky is widely published, both on topics in his field and on issues of dissent and U.S. foreign policy. Sometimes described as "the father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy, and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science.
2016 graduates Sade Oba and Alfredo Muniz of the School of Engineering and Applied Science are 2 of the 4 students selected as the inaugural President's Innovation Prize recipients. They will help Parkinson’s disease patients and therapists through XEED, a network of wearable devices that tracks the movements of limbs, syncs the data to a smart phone, and compares the results to benchmarks set by therapists. XEED will enable patients and their families to access accurate, up-to-date data as they actively fight against Parkinson’s. XEED provides a unique quantitative window into Parkinson’s and has the potential to improve the lives of millions affected by the disease. Oba and Muniz, who are both from Houston, Texas, are being mentored by Jonathan Smith, the Olga and Alberico Pompa Professor of Engineering and Applied Science.
Sundar Pichai received an MBA from the Wharton School, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar, respectively. Pichai joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive. He went on to oversee the development of different applications such as Gmail and Google Maps. On August 10, 2015 it was announced that Pichai would become the CEO of Google Inc. He is known as one of the most powerful CEOs in the world.