THE YOUNGEST A 7 YEAR OLD
CERTIFYING YOUTH WITH HIGH ASPIRATIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL TALENTS AS MEMBERS TO BE SUPPORTED PROVIDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO SELECTED APPLICANTS
The Masason Foundation (“the Foundation,” President: Masayoshi Son) has chosen 34 people as members of the Foundation (Generation 6). They will be given support as associate members* starting July 1, 2022.
Members chosen include an 8 year old who earned the Guinness world record title for the “Youngest Computer Programmer” at the age of 6, a 12 year old aiming to achieve the practical application of a fully artificial heart, and an 18 year old who developed a novel biodegradable plastic based on bacillus natto and established a way to stably produce it at the age of 15. Associate members certified last year (Generation 5) who passed the screening process were also certified as authorized members.
■About Members (Planned to be as of July 1, 2022)
1. The number of members (from Generation 1 to Generation 6): 194
2. Age Distribution
Youngest: 7 years old / Oldest: 28 years old
Under 10 years old: 2 (1%) / 10 – 19 years old: 102 (53%)/ 20 – 29 years old: 90 (46%)
*The Foundation will certify talented persons as associate members for the initial year, and a decision will be made as to whether they will be confirmed as authorized members based on their activities and achievements during that year. Associate members will also receive support from the Foundation such as financial support, the free use of facilities for members, and be able to participate in events organized by the Foundation. The period of validity will be determined on a case-by-case basis after taking into account the completion date of the individual’s educational process. However, if an authorized member reaches 29 years of age, the period of validity will end on the last day of the first fiscal year after that point. In addition, if an authorized Foundation member is 23 years old or younger at the end of the validity period and wishes to extend, the validity period may be extended after re-screening.
The Foundation asked six of the members for their thoughts. Their self-introductions will also be posted on the Foundation’s website(https://masason-foundation.org/en/scholars/).
・Kautilya Katariya, 8 years old
Kautilya who earned the Guinness world record title for the “Youngest Computer Programmer” at the age of 6, and now competes with university students and software professionals on programming and algorithms on different competitive platforms comments, “As a member of the Masason Foundation, I would like to expand my knowledge and in the future contribute to mathematics, programming, algorithms and artificial intelligence.”
・Seorus Jang, 12 years old
Seorus, who has received several awards at national level talent development contests for children in Japan and is working toward the practical application of a fully artificial heart comments, “I have a dream to one day provide artificial hearts free of charge to heart disease patients in developing countries who cannot afford surgery. This task requires a change in conventional wisdom. To do so, we have to endure various difficulties and loneliness. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and growing as a person with Foundation members, who have overcome difficulties and are active on the front lines. I would also like to continue my efforts to achieve the practical application of a fully artificial heart in the given time.”
・Aneka Mulgund, 15 years old
Aneka aims to provide 24/7, reliable access to low-carbon electricity from the North American grid. A key pillar to her vision is long duration energy storage, and with materials being central to the challenge, she is applying a machine learning lens to accelerate material design for the membrane, a critical battery component. On being certified as a 6th Generation member she comments, “Through the Masason Foundation, I hope to make this project tangible by testing my model’s learnings in a lab. Additionally, I’d like to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects with peers.”
・Demetrios Yuji Economou, 16 years old
Demetrios, who was chosen to be in a gifted program at the age of 11 and completed high school level mathematics at the age of 13 comments, “The future of mankind lies in the hands of my generation, the Mars Generation. I wish to use my skills not only as a STEM major, but also as someone with a heightened awareness of global history and politics, as well as my multinational, multicultural, multilingual background to become the bridge between the 3 space agencies JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), and NASA. I am honored to have been chosen as a member of the Masason Foundation as I have been provided with a great opportunity to share my ideas and goals with some of the most influential people in the world, willing to support me and help me achieve my goals.”
・Ayana Oshiro, 18 years old
Ayana, who developed a novel biodegradable plastic based on bacillus natto and established a way to stably produce it at the age of 15, and co-researched a mathematical model of infection spread with students living in India and Uzbekistan at the age of 16 comments, “I am interested in developing new things that can improve people’s quality of life and have tried to work on various research based on that interest. I am very happy to be selected as a member of the Masason Foundation and happy that this will expand the opportunity for my study. From now on, I will work on improving the accuracy of the bioluminescent protein salivary glucose sensor that I am developing. In addition, I would like to apply this technology to explore methods of quantifying itchiness.”
・Pavan Jayasinha, 18 years old
Pavan, who is focused on building projects at the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning and is currently working on a project with a mentor at Google to integrate Nvidia GPU compatibility into Google’s quantum machine learning library called TensorFlow Quantum comments, “By being a member of the Masason Foundation, I hope to mitigate friction faced in the coming years as I focus on incubating a real, deep, technical skill set across the fields of machine learning, quantum mechanics, computation, and mathematics. I value week-to-week progress and am unsure of where exactly I’ll be in 5 years, but am hungry to solve real technical problems.”
<About the Masason Foundation>
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).