Masason Foundation Selects 33 Members to Support

CERTIFYING YOUTH WITH HIGH ASPIRATIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL TALENTS AS MEMBERS
TO BE SUPPORTED FOR A MAXIMUM OF 5YEARS PROVIDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO SELECTED APPLICANTS

The Masason Foundation (“the Foundation,” President: Masayoshi Son) has chosen 33 people aged between 9 and 24 as members of the Foundation (Generation 4). They will be given support as associate members*.

The Foundation’s goal is to provide an environment that enables youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents to develop their skills, and to contribute to the future of humankind. It offers facilities in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Boston, Massachusetts; Palo Alto, California (both in the U.S.); and London, United Kingdom for interaction among members, research, development, etc. The Foundation also hosts lectures and networking events by specialists and experts in various fields, including directors of the Foundation. In addition, among the members, those who apply for and pass the screening process will be given financial assistance. The details and amount of assistance will be considered on an individual basis, as support for those who wish to gain experience in the future in research, study abroad, or have something they wish to accomplish.

Members chosen include an elementary school student who has received numerous awards in mathematics, a high school student who has experience developing an AI tool in a joint project with a company, and a university student who has developed an accurate and inexpensive early detection system for Parkinson’s disease. Associate members certified last year (Generation 3) who passed the screening process were also certified as authorized members.

The Foundation provides support to youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents for expanding their potential and their growth to be people who will create the future through exposure to new values and the latest technologies, and interaction with members.

■About Members (As of July 1, 2020)
1. The number of members (from Generation 1 to Generation 4): 219
2. Age Distribution
Youngest: 9 years old / Oldest: 29 years old
Under 10 years old: 3 (1%) / 10 – 19 years old: 80 (37%)
20 – 29 years old: 136 (62%)

*The Foundation will certify talented persons as associate members for the initial year only, and it will make a decision as to whether they will be confirmed as authorized members based on their achievements during that year. Associate members will also receive support from the Foundation, such as financial assistance and the privileges of using the facilities free of charge and participating in events organized by the Foundation. It is possible to be enrolled as an authorized member for a maximum of five years, including the period of being confirmed as an associate member. Any desire to extend this may be confirmed once each year.

The Foundation asked five of the members for their thoughts. Their self-introductions will also be posted on the Foundation’s website (https://masason-foundation.org/en/scholars/).

・Sou Yamauchi, 9 years old
Yamauchi, who was accepted to the Academic Talent Development Program at UC Berkeley in 2019, and understands physics at a high school level comments, “I like to think nothing is impossible. My goal is to find new innovative ways to help sustain human civilization on Earth. I want to become an environmental engineer or an aerospace engineer to help build a moon base so we can learn more about how science can help humanity. In order to achieve my goals, I want to study abroad for new learning opportunities and challenges. I would like to take advantage of opportunities provided by the Masason Foundation. I am both humbled and excited to find out where the new journey will take me. “

・Koki Ariga, 11 years old
Ariga who passed Grade 1 of the EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency, the highest level, as only a fourth grader in elementary school comments, “I am very honored to be part of this foundation, as I have continuously watched Mr. Son’s videos about the importance of choosing what mountain to climb in life. My future dream is to study at a university outside of Japan, and to contribute to ambitious projects such as the Mars colonization plan or mine asteroids as a space engineer. In this foundation, I would like to speak to famous scientists and to other members, as well as read various scientific papers and practice programming. I hope to find and secure my future dream in this foundation.”

・Apoorva Panidapu, 15 years old
Reported to be a “human calculator,” Panidapu has received numerous awards in mathematics including The Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize for Girls, a competition held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology every fall. She comments that “As a member of the Masason Foundation, I want to continue to transform my entrepreneurial, mathematical, and artistic ideas into a reality and utilize my passions to make a positive difference in the world. I would also love to continue to conduct research, particularly in number theory, with mathematicians around the world. I also plan on creating an application for artists to sell their art for charity and hope I will receive help from other members. In addition to my academic pursuits, I also strive to create a world where girls in STEM are treated equitably. With help from the Foundation, I want to launch a mentorship program to encourage girls and gender minorities in STEM and host workshops for children in local, underserved areas to inspire them to explore their passions.”

・Maru Ando, 17 years old
Ando won a prize at the 2018 United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Mathematical Olympiad for Girls and is currently engaged in research with associate professors at Keio University on the application of chemical microbeads on glucose sensors in living organisms. She comments “I am so grateful to Masason Foundation for this opportunity and at the same time am very thrilled for the new possibilities. With inspirations and various knowledge from the other members, I would like to develop my research on chemical microbeads further and provide medicinal care beyond our current imagination by combining engineering, chemistry and medicine. I hope to make new discoveries which can contribute to our society with members of the Foundation.”

・Ren Hongyu, 21 years old
Hongyu is the youngest PhD student in the class of 2023, Computer Science department at Stanford University.He comments, “It’s my great honor to be selected as a member of Masason Foundation. My research focuses on designing machine learning models for data of complex structures, such as graphs. As a member of the Foundation, I will continue my research to push the boundaries of graph machine learning and design algorithms with more expressiveness, guaranteed robustness and higher interpretability. I also aim to apply machine learning models to real-world applications including creating a general-purpose robotic system with multi-task solving ability and advancing biomedical knowledge discovery. I very much look forward to collaborating with other members to achieve my goal, which is to design accessible, open, unbiased AI that will ultimately benefit humankind.”

The Foundation was established in December 2016 by SoftBank Group Representative Masayoshi Son to provide an environment that enables youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents to develop their skills, and to contribute to the future of humankind. The Foundation provides support to youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents for expanding their potential and for their growth to be people who will create the future through exposure to new values and the latest technologies, and interaction with members.
For more details, please visit the Foundation’s website (https://masason-foundation.org/en).