Intel pays $400 million to acquire start-up run by Indian-American entrepreneur

Aug 10, 2016 0

San Francisco– Announcing a big foray into the world of artificial intelligence (AI), the chip giant Intel has acquired San Diego, California-based deep learning start-up Nervana Systems run by an Indian-origin entrepreneur.

Coming ahead of the Intel Developer Forum next week, the acquisition gives Intel a definitive head start towards advanced data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning.

Although the financial details were not disclosed, according to a Re/Code report, the software giant is paying more than $400 million to buy Nervana led by former Qualcomm researcher Naveen Rao.

“We will apply Nervana’s software expertise to further optimise the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry standard frameworks,” Diane Bryant, Executive Vice President of Data Center Group at Intel, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Nervana’s Engine and silicon expertise will advance Intel’s AI portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance and TCO of our Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors,” she explained.

Intel processors power nearly 97 per cent of servers deployed to support machine learning workloads today.

“Nervana’s IP and expertise in accelerating deep learning algorithms will expand Intel’s capabilities in the field of AI,” Bryant added.

The Intel Xeon processor E5 family is the most widely deployed processor for deep learning inference and the recently launched Intel Xeon Phi processor delivers the scalable performance needed for deep learning training.

“While less than 10 per cent of servers worldwide were deployed in support of machine learning last year, the capabilities and insights it enables makes machine learning the fastest growing form of AI,” the Intel executive said.

Intel’s Diane Bryant with Nervana’s co-founders Naveen Rao, Arjun Bansal, Amir Khosrowshaki and Intel vice president Jason Waxman. (Photo: Intel)

Intel’s Diane Bryant with Nervana’s co-founders Naveen Rao, Arjun Bansal, Amir Khosrowshaki and Intel vice president Jason Waxman. (Photo: Intel)

“We will continue to invest in leading edge technologies that complement and enhance Intel’s AI portfolio,” she added.

Nervana recently raised $25 million in venture funding and also has a contract to work with In-Q-tel, the US intelligence community’s venture arm.

According to Rao, the deal did not reflect any hurdles in getting more capital to stay independent.

“Raising money was not the problem. That was going to be relatively easy but by selling to Intel we have access to technology we’d never dream about,” Rao was quoted as saying.

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Prescient Bags a New Contract With Trammell Crow for a Multi-Family Housing Project

Aug 10, 2016 0

ARVADA, Colo –Prescient, a Colorado-based software design, structural system manufacturing and installation company, announced its second Denver partnership with Trammell Crow Residential  for the Alexan 20th Street Station, a 12-story multi-family residential structure which will house 354 apartments in Denver.

The structure is located at 20th Street Station on 1.14 acres at 2014 California St. in Denver.

Satyen Patel

Satyen Patel

“The Prescient system is ideal for multi-family projects up to 16 stories,”  said Satyen Patel, chairman and CEO of Prescient.  “Apartment buildings, especially in urban infill settings, are ideal for the Prescient system. We are more cost-efficient than either concrete or wood, and our ability to trim months out of typical construction schedules means minimized neighborhood disruption and a faster path to revenue for developers.”

Prescient has completed a number of multi-family apartment projects throughout the country, including Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina and Nebraska, with another 15 planned through 2018. Prescient structures consist of steel posts, trusses and panels that are custom-manufactured using Prescient’s design software then shipped for on-site assembly. The system is a viable option for multi-family housing projects because it minimizes disruption in the areas surrounding the construction zone and reduces the need for rework, helping owners meet timelines and budgets.

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With $11 Million Gift From Indian-American Physicist Mani Bhaumik, UCLA Sets Fundraising Record With $664 Million

Aug 10, 2016 0

LOS ANGELES—With a gift of $11 million from Indian-American physicist Mani Bhaumik, University of California at Los Angeles, known as UCLA, shattered its fundraising record, receiving a total of $664 million in gifts and pledges in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

In India, Bhaumik’s rags-to-riches story has inspired generations of young people. He established the Mani Bhaumik Educational Foundation to support high-achieving Indian students and donated land for the proposed Bhaumik International Center for Advanced Research at the Indian Institute of Technology.

Mani Bhaumik (Photo: Alyssa Bierce)

Mani Bhaumik (Photo: Alyssa Bierce)

“Renowned physicist Mani Bhaumik, who was born into extreme poverty in a remote village in India, came to UCLA in 1959 “with $3 in my pocket” to continue his education on a Sloan Foundation postdoctoral fellowship,” UCLA said in a statement. “ His $11 million gift to the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences — the largest gift ever made to the division — will establish the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics.”

The $664 million total broke the previous record high of $644 million set in 2014-15. UCLA raised $557 million in 2013–14 and $507 million in 2012–13. Including a private phase that began in July 2012, the Centennial Campaign has now raised more than $2.7 billion — 65 percent of its goal of $4.2 billion. The $4.2 billion campaign is scheduled to conclude in 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

The $11 million gift from Bhaumik, which was first announced by the university in June this year, will establish a center devoted to advancing knowledge of the basic laws of nature. The Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics is intended to become a world-leading center for theoretical physics research and intellectual inquiry.

Faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students at the Bhaumik Institute will address unanswered questions in all areas of theoretical physics.

Theoretical physicists attempt to determine the action of the laws of nature by constructing mathematical models of physical systems and solving the equations that underlie those models, sometimes aided by computers. This is in contrast to another primary branch of physics, experimental physics, in which scientists use tools and instruments to perform measurements and uncover the behavior of natural systems. At the deepest level, theoretical physicists formulate the laws that govern the world in which we live.

“I thank Mani Bhaumik for his philanthropic leadership and for believing in UCLA,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement in June.  “He shares our goal of ensuring that UCLA remains vibrant, relevant, strong and among the best in the world.”

The Bhaumik Institute will host visiting scholars, organize seminars and conferences for the academic community, and begin a public outreach program to teach the community about scientific advances made by UCLA physicists.

Bhaumik rose from poverty to become an eminent scientist who played a key role in developing the laser technology that paved the way for Lasik eye surgery. He was born in a remote village in West Bengal, India, and as a child slept on rags in the thatched-roof mud hut he shared with his parents and six siblings.

“My family didn’t always know where our next meal would come from,” he said. “I didn’t own a pair of shoes until I was 16 and walked four miles to school and back in my bare feet.”

Life was made even more precarious by the struggle for Indian independence going on around him: Bhaumik’s father, a freedom fighter, was often away and spent time in prison for his revolutionary activities. But Mani Bhaumik’s dreams of a brighter future gave him the determination to obtain a good education, and his prodigious curiosity led him to become a scientist.

Studying under renowned physicist Satyendra Bose, he earned a master’s degree at the University of Calcutta. In 1958, Bhaumik became the first student to earn a doctorate, also in physics, from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

Bhaumik came to UCLA in 1959 — “with $3 in my pocket,” he said — on a Sloan Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. The people of his village raised the money for his airfare.

“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he said of his arrival on campus. “Everyone was treated equally, not like back at home where the poor were treated like dirt.”

In 1961, Bhaumik joined Xerox Electro-Optical Systems as a laser scientist. He later served as director of the laser technology laboratory at Northrop’s corporate research laboratory. In 1973, he announced the conclusive demonstration of the world’s first efficient excimer laser, a form of ultraviolet laser now commonly used for high-precision machining and for cutting biological tissue cleanly without damaging surrounding tissue.

Bhaumik is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and, in 2011, the Indian government awarded him the prestigious Padma Shri for distinguished service in science and engineering.

As a member of the UCLA Physical Sciences board of visitors, Bhaumik has witnessed declining funding for scientific research from state and federal government, particularly in the field of theoretical physics.

“It’s very difficult to raise funds for this area, because people don’t understand what theoretical physicists do,” Bhaumik said. “But physics holds the answers to the most fundamental questions of our very existence. Imagine what could be solved right here at UCLA.”

With previous donations to UCLA, he established the Mani L. Bhaumik Presidential Chair in Theoretical Physics and supported the work of a research group led by physics professor Zvi Bern.

He also has found creative ways to spark the public’s intellectual curiosity. He is the author of two books, “Code Name God” and “The Cosmic Detective,” and the creator of an award-winning animated TV series, “Cosmic Quantum Ray.”

“We are tremendously grateful to Mani for his vision and generosity,”  said Joseph Rudnick, dean of the physical sciences division. “It is through extraordinary gifts like this that the next big leaps will be made in science.”

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Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen to be Honored with The Advertising Council’s 63rd Annual Public Service Award in November

Aug 9, 2016 0

NEW YORK — The Ad Council, the largest producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) in the U.S., has announced that its 63rd Annual Pubic Service Award Dinner held November 16, 2016 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City will honor the public service contributions of Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems.

Attended by more than 1,400 prominent executives from the media, advertising, and corporate communities, the Annual Dinner also recognizes the industries and individuals who support the Ad Council and its public service campaigns. This year’s event will be chaired by Margo Georgiadis, President of Google, Inc. and Chair of the Ad Council’s Board of Directors.

The Ad Council has been hosting the Annual Dinner, honoring corporate leaders for their contributions to public service, since 1953. The Public Service Award Dinner is the organization’s largest fundraising event. Last year’s benefit raised a record-breaking $4.1 million to support the Ad Council’s programs.

Shantanu Narayen

Shantanu Narayen

Under Narayen’s leadership, Adobe is a leader in sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and has been named to the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index, the Civic 50 List of the most community-minded companies in the nation, Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, Newsweek’s Green Rankings, and it received the highest score of 100 in the CDP 2015 Global Climate Change Report.

“We are so proud to honor Shantanu Narayen with this year’s Public Service Award. As CEO of Adobe Systems and President of the Adobe Foundation, he is building a legacy of sustainable business practices and philanthropy,” said Lisa Sherman, President & CEO, Ad Council. “Narayen is a leader in corporate social responsibility, and an exceptional business person, and could not be more deserving of this year’s award.”

As chief executive officer of Adobe, Narayen led the company’s successful transformation of its creative software business from the desktop to the cloud, while creating and leading the explosive digital marketing category. In March of 2016, Narayen was named one of Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” alongside top leaders such as Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Larry Page. He is a member of the Pfizer and U.S. President’s Management Advisory Boards, where he provides advice on best business practices related to federal government management and operation. He is president of the Adobe Foundation, which funds philanthropic initiatives around the world including Project 1324, a program that provides young people with the opportunity to communicate their ideas and take action in their communities using multimedia and digital tools.

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives.

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25 Highest Paid Indian-American Executives List Released, Includes Two Women: Sona Chawla and Indra Nooyi

Aug 8, 2016 0

BOSTON— Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google, and General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani are the two highest-paid Indian-American executives in the United States, earning a whopping $100.50 million and $39.25 million respectively, according to a report released by the IndUS Business Journal.

Indra Nooyi-Twitter

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi

“Two top-ranking women also grace the list of the highest-paid Indian-American executives,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of the IndUS Business Journal. “We hope that the number of women-led businesses increases in the near future. However, it is still exciting to see that there are at least two women in this top list.”

The two women in the list are: PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who made $22.19 million, and Sona Chawla, Chief Operating Officer of Kohl’s Corp., who made $10.69 million.

The list is based on the total compensation in 2015, including base salary, bonus, incentives and stock award value. The report is compiled based on public documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, public records and news reports.

Here is the list ranked by total compensation in 2015:

Rank: 1

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai

Name: Sundar Pichai

Title: CEO

Company: Google

Headquarters: Mountainview, CA

Total compensation: $100.50


Rank: 2

Name: Sandeep Mathrani

Title: CEO

Company: General Growth Properties, Inc.

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Total compensation: $39.25 million


Rank: 3

Name: Hari Ravichandran

Title: CEO

Company: Endurance International Group

Headquarters: Burlington, MA

Total compensation: $35.99 million


Rank: 4

Name: Bhavesh (Bob) Patel

Title: CEO

Company: LyondellBasell Industries

Headquarters: Houston, TX

Total compensation: $24.46 million


Rank: 5

Name: Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi

Title:    Chairman and CEO

Company: PepsiCo

Headquarters: Purchase, NY

Total compensation: $22.19 million


Rank: 6

Name: Shantanu Narayen

Title:    CEO

Company: Adobe Systems

Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Total compensation: $18.36 million


Rank: 7

Name: Satya Nadela

Title:    CEO

Company: Microsoft Corp.

Headquarters: Redmond, WA

Total compensation: $18.29 million


Rank: 8

Name: Ajay Banga

Title: President and CEO

Company: MasterCard

Headquarters: Purchase, NY

Total compensation: $15.54 million


Rank: 9

Name: Pankaj Patel

Title: Executive Vice President

Company: Cisco Systems

Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Total compensation: $13.01 million


Rank: 10

Name: Varun Mehta

Title: Vice President of Engineering

Company: Nimble Storage, Inc.

Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Total compensation: $12.46 million


Rank: 11

Name: Akhil Johri

Title: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Company: United Technologies Corp.

Headquarters: Hartford, CT

Total compensation: $12.37 million


Rank: 12

Name: Francisco D’Souza

Title: CEO

Company: Cognizant Technology Solutions

Headquarters: Teaneck, NJ

Total compensation: $11.95 million


Rank: 13

Name: Rajiv De Silva

Title: President and CEO

Company: Endo International Plc

Headquarters: Malvern, PA

Total compensation: $10.91 million


Rank: 14

Name: Sanjay Mehrotra

Title: President and CEO

Company: SanDisk Corp.

Headquarters: Milpitas, CA

Total compensation: $10.73 million


Sona Chawla

Sona Chawla

Rank: 15

Name: Sona Chawla

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Company: Kohl’s Corp.

Headquarters: Menomonee Falls, WI

Total compensation: $10.69


Rank: 16

Name: Ashish Bhutani

Title: CEO

Company: Lazard Asset Management

Headquarters: New York City, NY

Total compensation: $10.44 million


Rank: 17

Name: Dinesh C. Paliwal

Title: Chairman and CEO

Company: Harman International

Headquarters: Stamford, CT

Total compensation: $10.40 million


Rank: 18

Name: Dinesh C. Jain

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Company: Spectrum Management Holding Company

Headquarters: Daytona Beach, FL

Total compensation: $9.44 million


Rank: 19

Name: Abhijit Y. Talwalkar

Title: President and CEO

Company: LSI Corp.

Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Total compensation: $9.21 million


Rank: 20

Name: Sudhir Steven Singh

Title: CEO

Company: Concur Technologies, Inc.

Headquarters: Bellevue, WA

Total compensation: $7.28 million


Rank: 21

Name: Sunit S. Patel

Title: Executive Vice President

Company: Level 3 Communications, Inc.

Headquarters: Broomfield, CO

Total compensation: $7.78 million


Rank: 22

Name: Dharmesh Mehta

Title: Executive Vice President

Company: Weatherford International

Headquarters: Houston, TX

Total compensation: $7.69 million


Rank:  23

Name: Mohan R. Maheswaran

Title: CEO

Company: Semtech Corp.

Headquarters: Camarillo, CA

Total compensation: $7.67 million


Rank: 24

Name: Deepak Chopra

Title: President and CEO

Company: Osi Systems, Inc.

Headquarters: Hawthorne, CA

Total compensation: $7.50 million


Rank:  25

Name: Vijay C. Advani

Title: CEO

Company: Franklin Resources, Inc.

Headquarters: San Mateo, CA

Total compensation: $6.85 million


Rank:  25

Name: Suresh Vasudevan

Title: CEO

Company: Nimble Storage, Inc.

Headquarters: San Jose, CA

Total compensation: $6.85 million


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Four Indian-Americans named in Forbes list of top US wealth advisors

Aug 4, 2016 0

WALTHAM, MA–Four Indian-Americans have been named among the nation’s top wealth advisors by Forbes magazine.  The list of 200 advisors includes Raj Sharma, Ash Chopra, Sonny Kothari and Raju Pathak.

Raj Sharma-action“The 200 members of Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors collectively manage $675 billion, serving clients that range from Silicon Valley billionaires and Wall Street titans to small business owners and family fortunes,” Forbes magazine said.

Sharma and Chopra, both working in Merrill Lynch-Private Banking & Investment Group, have been ranked 17th and 129, respectively, on the Forbes 2016 list of top wealth advisors. Kothari of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is ranked 176 and Pathak of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has been ranked at 184 in the coveted list of wealth advisors.

“Though list members might seem to have a lot in common, there are plenty of differences too,” Forbes said. “Some advisors cater to smaller investors — or what one, Gerstein Fisher’s Gregg Fisher (#28), calls “regular people” — while others have hefty minimums of $10 million and up as their threshold for taking on new business.”

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