Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is home to 12,000 to 15,000 Pakistani Americans. Thousands of them are working at Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Oracle and hundreds of other high-tech companies from small start-ups to large Fortune 500 corporations. Pakistani-Americans are contributing to what Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee describe as "The Second Machine Age" in a recent book with the same title.

Pakistani-American Ecosystem:

Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, advisers, mentors, venture capitalists, investment bankers, accountants and lawyers make up a growing ecosystem in Silicon Valley. Dozens of Pakistani-American founded start-ups have been funded by top venture capital firms. Many such companies have either been acquired in M&A deals or gone public by offering shares for sale at major stock exchanges. Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) has become a de facto platform for networking among Pakistani-American entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. It holds an annual event called OPEN Forum which attracts over 500 attendees. OPEN Forum 2014 is scheduled for Saturday, May 10, 2014, at the Santa Calra Marriott.


Pakistani-American Demographics Source: Migration Policy Institute 



Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th LargestPutting it in context of the global Pakistani diaspora, there are 5 million to 6 million people of Pakistani descent living outside Pakistan, making up the world's 7th largest diaspora. Of these, the US alone has 410,000 Pakistanis, according US Census 2010. California state has 47,000 Pakistanis, about a quarter of them in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley Pakistanis are enabling the 2nd Machine Revolution which is expected to be similar in scope and transformational impact as the First Machine Revolution, also known as the Industrial Revolution of 18th century.

Second Machine Revolution:

Silicon Valley is driving the second machine revolution which is similar in global scope and transformational impact as the First Machine Revolution, also known as the Industrial Revolution of 18th century. Much of Asia and Africa, including what constitutes Pakistan today, were left behind and colonized after the last industrial revolution that was driven by inventions like the steam engine and printing press. This time, however, Pakistanis are the forefront of the current machine revolution, contributing to the exponential growth in high-tech enabled by semiconductor technology as predicted by Moore's Law, named after Intel founder Gordon Moore. Rapid increase in chip densities has allowed building of more and more functions and progressively greater intelligence in small form factors.

Moore's Law Source: Wikipedia


Here are a few examples of how doubling of computer chip densities every 2 years is changing the world:

1. Smartphones are now as powerful as huge mainframe computers of a decades ago. Pakistani-American chip technologists at Intel (Microprocessors) and other companies (SoC chips) have contributed to it. Intel (Riaz Haq), AMD and Raza Microelectronics (Atiq Raza), OpenSilicon (Naveed Sherwani), Muhammad Irfan (Whizz Systems).

 2. Ability to communicate 24X7X365 is now taken for granted around the globe. Pakistani-Americans at Intel (Ethernet), Cisco (routers, switches) and other companies have driven it. Intel (Sikanadar Naqvi), Cavium (Raghib Husain), Wichorus (Rehan Jalil), VPNet (Idris Kothari, Saeed Kazmi), Cisco and PLUMgrid (Owais Nemat) 

3. 3D vision is enabling computer games (XBox Kinect) and self-driving cars. Pakistani-American Nazim Kareemi's Canesta's 3D chips have made these possible.

4. Cloud Computing is supplanting WinTel era PC computing, enabling much more mobile work using small portable devices like smartphones and tablets. Many Pakistani-Americans are making it happen.

Fireeye (Ashar Aziz), vIPTela (Amir Khan), Elastica (Rehan Jalil) 


Riaz Haq's Person of the Year Plaque from PC Magazine 1988


Moore's Law on Exponential Growth Personal Computer Revolution Intel (Riaz Haq), VIA Technologies (Idris Kothari, Saeed Kazmi), SandForce (Sikandar Naqvi), AST Computers (Safi Qureshi in Irvine)

Communications Revolution Intel (Sikanadar Naqvi), Cavium (Raghib Husain), Wichorus (Rehan Jalil), VPNet (Idris Kothari, Saeed Kazmi), Cisco(Khali Raza, Owais Nemat, Raghib Husain),  PLUMgrid (Owais Nemat)

 Cloud Computing Fireeye (Ashar Aziz), vIPTela (Khalid Raza, Amir Khan), Elastica (Rehan Jalil)

 Big Data Oracle (Sohaib Abbasi), Obama Campaign (Rayid Ghani)

 Artificial Intelligence Canesta (Nazim Kareemi)

 Education: Khan Academy (Bilal Musharraf, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur), Chegg (Osman Rashid)

Consumer Apps Streetline (Zia Yusuf), Kiwi (Omar Siddiqui)

Business Apps Convo (Faizan Buzdar), Infonox (Safwan Shah), Vertical Systems Inc (Saeed Kazmi, Idris Kothari)

TV Entertainment HBO Comedy Silicon Valley (Kumail Nanjiani), Jadoo TV (Sajid Sohail), Triple-Oscar-Winning Computer-generated Imagery (CGI) for Hollywood hits Frozen, Life of Pi and The Golden Compass (Mir Zafar Ali).

 Venture Capital Sequoia Capita (Aaref Hilaly), CMEA Capital (Faysal Sohail, Saad Khan), Alloy Ventures (Ammar Hanafi), ePlanet Ventures (Asad Jamal).

Positive Media Coverage:

The mainstream media and the tech press have noticed the contribution of Pakistani-Americans in the Valley. I was recognized in 1980s by the PC magazine as a person of the year award given to the Intel 80386 microprocessor design team. More recently, there have been positive stories about Pakistani-American entrepreneurs in Forbes and other publications. A Forbes story recently acknowledged that Pakistan is among a dozen countries which are birthplaces of some of the most successful Silicon Valley companies funded by Sequoia Capital, a top venture capital firm credited with early investments in Cisco and Google. Another recent article called Silicon Valley Pakistanis a "model minority".

Brand Pakistan:

Unfortunately, Pakistan has a serious branding problem in the world. Its name conjures up images of Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban terrorists. This problem has to be addressed by Pakistanis in Pakistan. The Pakistani diaspora, however,  can try and balance the negative coverage by highlighting the good thigs happening in Pakistan. Stories such as a Karachi slum girl going to Harvard, a 12-year-old taking advanced MOOC courses in Lahore, the country's rising urban middle class, and Pakistani diaspora making important contributions in places like the Silicon Valley. I make an effort to do it through my blog Haq's Musings. I hope others will support this effort by sharing it with others.

Here's a video of a recent presentation I made at University of Chicago Booth School of Business on Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley:


Talk by Riaz Haq for Pakistan Club Chicago May... by urduonair

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1t1orh_talk-by-riaz-haq-for-pakistan-club-chicago-may-2014-event_tech


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VZSUo4jH3w

A PDF version of my full presentation at University of Chicago Booth Business School is available on PakAlumni WorldWide

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani-American Population Second Fastest Growing Among Asian-Americans

Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 

US Promoting Venture Capital & Private Equity in Pakistan

Pakistani-American Population Growth Second Fastest Among Asian-Americans

Edible Arrangements: Pakistani-American's Success Story

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
PanaCast, another tech company in Silicon Valley with a PakistaniAmerican founder (Aurangzeb Khan), gets VC funding:

Altia Systems, developer of the award-winning PanaCast system for video and web collaboration, today announced that it has raised $10.5 million in series B funding, with Intel Capital as the lead investor.
Altia Systems' PanaCast Experience -- which consists of the PanaCast camera, cloud and apps -- is an award-winning, industry-first video and web collaboration service that lets users connect via immersive Panoramic-HD video and HD audio, anytime and anywhere, right from their smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Intuitive touch-enabled controls allow all the participants to see what they want within the whole visual field, in real-time and independently of each other. The PanaCast camera works with leading collaboration platforms like Microsoft Lync, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts with no change or upgrade required.
"We are pleased that Intel Capital chose to lead this round," said Aurangzeb Khan, co-founder and CEO of Altia Systems. "Working with Intel Capital will help us further develop the PanaCast Experience and advance the underlying technology roadmap faster and more efficiently, particularly for enterprise customers."
"The way businesses work today has evolved from local to globally-distributed organizations that need to collaborate in real time to win," said Ramamurthy Sivakumar, managing director at Intel Capital. "The PanaCast Experience enables pervasive collaboration and the PanaCast multi-imager technology, when combined with a highly scalable cloud and apps, has the potential to transform how people engage with each other to work, live, learn and play."


http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/altia-systems-receives-105-million-series-b-funding-panacast-personal-panoramic-video-1897181.htm
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani-American Dr. Mehmood Khan, Head of Global R&D at Pepsico Frito Lay, to create healthier snacks for world market:

As a Pakistani-born doctor who grew up in England, studied nutrition and agriculture in the U.S. and consulted for the Mayo Clinic on diabetes and other diseases, Mehmood Khan's background gives him a broad perspective.

His job gives him a daunting challenge.

Khan, 53, is PepsiCo's chief scientist and CEO of its Chicago-based Global Nutrition Group. It's his group's task to more than double Pepsi's healthier food portfolio to $30 billion in revenue by 2020.

Food companies are under pressure from government, consumers and special interest groups to address the epidemic of obesity, particularly in the United States. As more consumers seek out healthier snacks, drinks and meals, these products can be the fastest-growing piece of an otherwise mature portfolio. And some consumers are willing to pay more for them.

But PepsiCo is still primarily in the business of sodas and chips (from its Frito-Lay stable of brands). In fact, Pepsi is also planning to increase its core business, including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Doritos and Cheetos, to $70 billion by 2020, from $48 billion at the end of 2010.

As chief scientist, Khan oversees efforts to reduce salt and introduce alternative sweeteners. And that puts the doctor in the unlikely position of selling what most people call junk food, but also helping to make it marginally healthier.

Sitting in his downtown Chicago office, which is adorned with artwork and memorabilia depicting everything from his role at PepsiCo to the importance of looking at the big picture (a broken squash racket mounted on the wall is labeled "tough point"), Khan addressed what some might view as the contradiction inherent to his job.

A healthy lifestyle, he maintains, is all about balance. That means there are no "bad" foods, he said. Some of them you just shouldn't eat all of the time.

"There's no one prescription fits all," said Khan. "What is good and appropriate for my grandson is not appropriate for my 22-year-old college student son, which is not appropriate for me. … It's what is appropriate for you at the quantity and at the time in your life. If we can make it easier for people to make better choices, then we've done a lot of good."

Khan also said that nutritional needs and taste preferences vary by region, and he noted the testing of a snack aimed at teenage girls in India. Iron deficiencies are very common in India, where vegetarianism is widespread, Khan said. Lehar Iron Chusti — tea cookies or savory snacks resembling tiny, spicy, cheeseless Cheetos that are fortified with iron and B vitamins including folate — is being sold for 5 rupees, or about 10 cents.

"This to an Indian girl in Bangalore is very delightful," he said, passing a sample across the table. But for young girls in the U.S., he added, it probably wouldn't be.

Khan is quick to acknowledge that the healthy-lifestyle battle is uphill. He points to a photo taken at a seminar for cardiac specialists. The snapshot looks down at a jammed escalator, with only two people climbing the adjoining stairs. One of them appears to be elderly.

"This is literally the world's experts on cardiology and it tells you everything, doesn't it?" Khan said. "It reminds me that having the knowledge and knowing what to do doesn't change anything, no matter if you are the people who are writing the books on that knowledge."

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-20/business/ct-biz-0620-profile-khan-20110620-56_1_pepsico-cheetos-snacks
Riaz Haq said…
Like all things apple, the tech giant’s Apple Pay promises to be a game changer. In this case, iPhone users are now able to securely and privately make swipe-free payments at, to begin with, some 220,000 stores in the U.S. using credit and debit card information stored on their devices. One of the seven men behind this bigger-and-better product is Pakistan’s Ahmer Ali Khan.

Khan, 38, hails from Rawalpindi, graduated from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology—where friends knew him as The Programmer—and moved to Silicon Valley in 2000. He worked a number of short tech gigs until landing his first full-time job at a startup. On his first day there, Khan was asked if he knew the Java computer language. He didn’t. But he was ambitious and determined. “‘I promise I will know it by tomorrow,’” Raza Shaukat Latif, a friend of Khan’s, recalls him as saying at the time. “Sure enough, he bought a book and crammed the entire night.” By morning, Khan knew the language. “That is just how brilliant he is,” Latif told Newsweek. “He has had the tech bug in him for a very long time.”

It was at the now-defunct ViVOtech, a company specializing in Near Field Communication software, that Khan first tried his hand at building a cellphone-based, contactless payment system. In 2011, Apple picked Khan to work on its “top secret” digital payment system aimed at revolutionizing shopping and, potentially, retail banking.

In February, Khan and six other co-inventors filed their patent for what Apple CEO Tim Cook would unveil to the world on Sept. 9 as Apple Pay. It “will forever change the way all of us buy things,” Cook said at the launch in Cupertino of the new technology, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

Khan lives in Milpitas, California, with his wife and two children. Citing Apple rules, he declined to comment for this piece.

Apple Pay allows a shopper to simply hold his Apple device, an iPhone or the Apple Watch, which comes out next year, to a contactless reader to make payments, which are confirmed as transmitted through a short vibration or beep. Credit and debit cards can be added to the device’s Passbook app using the phone camera. All transactions are entirely secure and private, says Apple.

“With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone and Apple Watch,” it says. “These numbers are never stored on Apple servers. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number alongside a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payment.”

In case the device is lost or stolen, banking and other information can be deleted remotely.

Google Wallet preceded Apple Pay but failed to take off and replace plastic. Apple’s recent past is a good indication that with Khan and team’s Apple Pay, it will hit pay dirt.


http://newsweekpakistan.com/dont-leave-home-without-it/
Riaz Haq said…
#Chinese, #Pakistani and #Indian groups sue Harvard U. for racial bias in admissions. #Pakistan #India #China http://n.pr/1EjX8hU

A group of more than 60 organizations has filed a complaint with the federal government claiming Harvard holds higher expectations for its Asian applicants than other minorities.

The coalition is made up of nonprofit organizations, including Chinese, Pakistani and Indian groups, and it claims Harvard uses racial quotas to control the number of Asian-Americans on campus.

"Asian-American applicants shouldn't be racially profiled in college admissions," says Swann Lee, a Chinese-American writer from Brookline, Mass. "Asian-Americans should have the playing field leveled."

Lee is the mother of twin 11-year-old boys. She helped organize the coalition because she worries her sons will be discriminated against. She wants Harvard, and other schools, to end race-based admissions.

"A lot of colleges really look up to Harvard and they will see what Harvard is doing and they will do something in the same vain," she says.

So the group filed a complaint with the federal government.

"We are asking the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to look into the black box that is the Harvard admissions process," Lee says, "so we can see what is really going on."

The complaint follows a lawsuit making similar claims that was filed in federal district court last year.

Lee and other members of the coalition cite research that shows to get into Harvard, Asian-Americans have to score much higher on the SAT than white, African-American and Hispanic students. And they say Harvard's admissions process lumps together different groups of Asian applicants into a single, high-performing stereotype.

"We are really diversified, with totally different cultural backgrounds and traditions and philosophies," Lee says.

Harvard officials wouldn't talk on tape, but in a statement, the university said its admissions philosophy complies with the law. The school points out that the percentage of admitted Asian-American students has spiked — from 17 percent a decade ago, to 21 percent. The population of Asian-Americans in the U.S.? Just 6 percent.

So what do students think? The coalition doesn't include groups on campus. Many Asian students I spoke with didn't want to talk about the issue. Some who did, said racism is still a problem here.

"I definitely see instances of it on campus," says Danielle Suh, a senior from Austin, Texas. The 22-year-old Korean-American says she feels discrimination through small, subtle ways. Still, Suh doesn't agree with the premise of the complaint.

"If there is a problem that we're lumping all of these groups that face different structural issues together," Suh says. "Then the response for that is even more nuanced affirmative action policies that give students who have faced different inequities growing up, the opportunity to account for those inequities."

Claims of discrimination against Asian students at elite colleges aren't new at Harvard and elsewhere. The University of North Carolina is battling a lawsuit claiming black and Hispanic students were given preference over Asian-Americans.

One response to the Harvard complaint has come from Asian-American members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who fear it could be a "back door attack on affirmative action."
Riaz Haq said…
South Asian-#American Men Balance Tradition and Modernity to Find a Bride #India #Pakistan
#Bangladesh

http://nyti.ms/1elnCuv

The Urdu phrase “bus bohot hogiya hay” sends chills down Umair Khan’s spine.

Roughly translated as “enough already,” it’s something Mr. Khan, 34, a Manhattan lawyer, has heard uttered by his mother, his aunt and their Pakistani-American friends on several occasions, lately with increasing exasperation. The frustration stems from Mr. Khan’s inability to find a suitable mate.

Like many second-generation South Asian-Americans, Mr. Khan finds himself walking a fine line between paying respect to traditional matchmaking practices extolled by an older generation and embracing more contemporary methods of finding an appropriate life partner.

His search has involved, among other things, being fixed up by professional “Rishta aunties” hired by his mother, meeting women at networking events and suggestions he try online dating.

“It’s exhausting,” said Mr. Khan, deputy counsel for litigation in the New York Public Advocate’s office. “When you’re set up, there’s another dimension to that meeting. You’ve got to give a report when it’s over. That’s the tricky part. How do you tell the referring authority you’re not interested without offending them?”

Within many immigrant communities, more attention seems to focus on marrying off daughters, but it is often the sons who bear the weight of family expectations when it comes to picking a mate.

Overt pressure may be lessening, and outright arranged marriages are the exception rather than the rule, but the love lives of those whose families are from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh may nevertheless be subject to a good deal of scrutiny and occasional intervention. And the men themselves are becoming more demanding.

“When it comes to men, whether they have good looks or a good degree, they all want a beautiful girl with an M.D. degree in hand,” said Afshan Qadir, who was born in Pakistan and is now a professional matchmaker in Newark, Del., who specializes in matches for South Asian Muslims living in the United States. “Then the parents weigh in, and they say, ‘We want a daughter-in-law who can make very good food for us.’ But she doesn’t have time to learn to cook if she’s getting her professional degree.”

Ms. Qadir blames the South Asian culture for these unrealistic expectations. “Men have more power,” she said. Problems also arise when the expectations of the parents don’t match the preferences of their sons, according to Ms. Qadir, who said that more than half her client base is made up of the parents rather than the offspring.

The degree of parental involvement depends on how closely a family holds to tradition.

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As with many demographic subsets, there are numerous online mating sites geared to the South Asian and Muslim communities, including salaamlove.com, singlemuslim.com and the India-based shaadi.com, which calls itself “the world’s largest matrimonial service” and claims 3.2 million successful pairings.

While embracing contemporary technology, these sites also pay homage to traditional customs. On singlemuslim.com, in addition to a vast database of participants’ profiles and photos, there is advice, with recommendations like: “Praise your wife when she pleases you and show gratitude for all she does for you.”

Though it’s been suggested by many friends, Mr. Khan has yet to turn to online dating. If he were to create a profile, he said, his headline would read something close to this: “Part Tandoori Chicken, Part Apple Pie.”

“It’s not an easy space to be in,” Mr. Khan said, “when you’re trying to bring in culture, and faith. To find someone with strong beliefs and good values, but also someone who gets it, and is smart. Maybe the checklist is too long.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani-American and fellow NEDian Rehan Jalil sells Silicon Valley company he cofounded for $280 million

Enterprise security vendorBlue Coat Systems acquiredElastica on Monday for $280 million, allowing the company to offer a more nuanced portfolio to its global customers.
With Elastica’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) and cloud application security solutions integrated into its feature set, Blue Coat said it can create the industry’s first “global security platform” to protect users no matter where their data resides, whether on-premise, in the cloud or as a hybrid solution. By expanding its portfolio to include more cloud-centric security solutions, Blue Coat said it can also help customers navigate the increasingly complex IT landscape, especially for born-in-the-cloud companies.
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“Given the rapid acceleration of cloud adoption, our holistic data science-powered approach to cloud access security will enhance Blue Coat’s globally deployed security platform, empowering its customers to confidently and securely take advantage of the speed and agility that cloud applications offer,” said Rehan Jalil, CEO and founder of Elastica. “Together we are delivering the industry’s strongest set of enterprise cloud security capabilities.”
Blue Coat’s purchase of Elastica is the company’s second major purchase this year as the security vendor looks to establish dominance in the CASB market. In August, Blue Coat purchased Perspecys, a California-based enterprise cloud data protection solution provider under the auspices of bolstering its security and hybrid cloud portfolio.
The company also unveiled the Alliance Ecosystem of Endpoint Detection and Responseto create a network for sharing security threat information.

http://thevarguy.com/information-technology-merger-and-acquistion-news/blue-coat-systems-purchases-elastica-280-million
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan (83,000), #Iraq, #Bangladesh Top #Muslim Nations Receiving Green Cards from #US in 5 years https://shar.es/1Gniaf via @sharethis

Immigrants from Pakistan, Iraq, and Bangladesh received the most green cards from the United States in the past five years when compared to other Muslim-majority nations.

The U.S. granted 83,000 green cards to migrants from Pakistan and another 83,000 to migrants from Iraq between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, according to a chart produced by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest using Department of Homeland Security data.

Migrants from Bangladesh received 75,000 green cards, those from Iran received 73,000, and those from Egypt received 45,000 to round out the top five.

In sum, the U.S. granted 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations between 2009 and 2013.

Thousands of green cards went to immigrants from more than three dozen Muslim countries, including: Somalia (31,000), Uzbekistan (24,000), Turkey (22,000), Morocco (22,000), Jordan (20,000), Albania (20,000), Lebanon (16,000), Yemen (16,000), Indonesia (15,000), Syria (14,000), Sudan (13,000), Afghanistan (11,000), Sierra Leone (10,000), Guinea (8,000), Senegal (7,000), Saudi Arabia (7,000), Algeria (7,000), Kazakhstan (7,000), Kuwait (5,000), Gambia (5,000), United Arab Emirates (4,000), Azerbaijan (4,000), Mali (3,000), Burkina Faso (3,000), Kyrgyzstan (3,000), Kosovo (3,000), Mauritania (2,000), Tunisia (2,000), Tajikistan (2,000), Libya (2,000), Turkmenistan (1,000), Qatar (1,000), and Chad (1,000).

The U.S. is expected to issue another 660,000 green cards over the next five years to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.
Riaz Haq said…
A new non-partisan study on entrepreneurship gives some credence to the tech industry’s stance that American innovation benefits from robust immigration.

The study from the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, Va., shows that immigrants started more than half of the current crop of U.S.-based startups valued at $1 billion or more.

These 44 companies, the study says, are collectively valued at $168 billion and create an average of roughly 760 jobs per company in the U.S. The study also estimates that immigrants make up over 70% of key management or product development positions at these companies.

The foundation examined 87 U.S. companies valued at $1 billion or more as of Jan. 1, as tracked by the Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club. The authors of the study used public data and information from the companies to create biographies of the founders.

The three highest valued U.S. companies with immigrant founders include car-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc., data-software company Palantir Technologies Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Inc.

Stuart Anderson, the study’s author and the foundation’s executive director, says the findings show that the U.S. economy could benefit from the talents of foreign-born entrepreneurs even more so if it were easier for them to obtain visas.

Tech leaders including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have called for increasing the number of H-1B visas that let skilled foreign workers stay in the country. They argue that immigration greatly benefits the tech community, and that it is difficult for companies to hire foreign-born workers and for immigrant entrepreneurs to start businesses due to the visas’ constraints.

Critics argue that tech executives are simply looking for cheaper labor, and some politicians, as well as Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, aim to curb the work visa program. A bill introduced by Republican presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) in December that the lawmakers say aims to reform the H-1B visa program would require petitioners to hold an advanced university degree, have worked at least 10 years overseas and not get paid materially less than U.S. workers.

Either way, the process to secure a visa is lengthy and cumbersome. The visas are capped at 85,000 per year — 65,000 are set aside for foreign workers applying for the first time and 20,000 are for foreign students graduating from American universities. In 2015, the lottery to obtain a visa hit capacity within one week, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS said it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period.

---

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which funded the study, estimated the EB-JOBS Act provision would create 1 million to 3.2 million jobs over 10 years.

According to the study, founders of billion-dollar startups most often hail from India (14), followed by Canada and the U.K., with eight each, then Israel (7) and Germany (4). Two originated from France and the Collison brothers, the co-founders of payments startup Stripe, make up the pair from Ireland.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2016/03/17/study-immigrants-founded-51-of-u-s-billion-dollar-startups/
Riaz Haq said…
Fair allocation algorithm developed by #Pakistan mathematician in #Australia hailed as "major breakthrough" http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/fair-allocation-algorithm-that-cuts-cakes-and-may-settle-trump-divorces-20160502-gokmwt.html … via @smh


The field of game theory in which they work – fair allocation – has potential to develop computerised conflict-resolution algorithms, the researchers claim.

Haris Azizand Simon Mackenzie published their paper on the Cornell University Library archive site, arXiv.org in April.
Their solution has been described as a "major breakthrough" by Professor Steven Brams at New York University, who has worked on such problems for more than 20 years.

And it all comes down to cake.

Imagine a rowdy kid's birthday party and a cake to cut. Simple right? Nine children, cut nine equal slices.

"My piece didn't get any chocolate curls!" wails some over-entitled brat. It's not just size but the value you place on a slice that counts.

Cake is a metaphor for any kind of divisible good, be it time, property settlement, or computing resources.

And "envy-free"? By this, mathematicians mean no one prefers another person's share ahead of their own.

Solving this problem for two people is simple and is at least as old as the Bible, where Lot and Abraham divided the lands of Canaan (Genesis 13).

One person cuts the cake into what they perceive as two equal slices. The other person chooses their preferred piece and the cutter takes the other. Simple.

But add more people and it gets much trickier.

In the 1960s, John Selfridge and John Conway independently developed a solution for envy-free cake cutting for three people.

By this Selfridge-Conway protocol, if the envy-free allocation is not solved by an initial three-way division, then it takes just three more cuts to solve the problem. You can read about it here.

And there it sat for years. However, in 2015 Dr Aziz and Mr Mackenzie at CSIRO's Data61 and UNSW published a solution for envy-free allocation among four agents. That can take between three and 203 cuts of the cake.

Not to rest on their laurels, Dr Aziz and PhD student Mr Mackenzie have published an algorithm for any number of agents.

The paper is yet to be peer reviewed, however, Professor Brams told the Herald the "results look solid".

In an associated field Professor Brams has developed an "adjusted winner" system of division that he has applied to problems as diverse as Donald Trump's divorce to his former wife Ivana and the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.

"There could even be applications in your part of the world," the NYU professor said. "It could be applied to the Spratlys Island dispute in the South China Sea."

Professor Brams said that while the Aziz-Mackenzie protocol is too complex for practical application, it is an important theoretical step forward.

Another researcher in this field is Ariel Procaccia at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He told the Herald: "I was convinced that a bounded, envy-free cake-cutting algorithm [did] not exist. So the breakthrough result of Aziz and Mackenzie is nothing short of amazing. It is a beautiful piece of mathematics."

Professor Procaccia hopes the research will inspire new solutions to solving fair-division problems in the real world.

Dr Aziz said: "We hope that our new algorithm opens the door for simpler and faster methods of allocation. One day, problems such as allocating access to a telescope among astronomers or the fair distribution of scarce water resources could be made very easy."
Riaz Haq said…
A new Midas Lister, Mamoon Hamid founded The Social+Capital Partnership ... Born in Pakistan and raised in Frankfurt, Hamid is a dual U.S.-German ...

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehgj45eild/mamoon-hamid/

The Social+Capital offices are in an old Palo Alto bus depot made over with the lustrous industrial aesthetic of a Chelsea art gallery. Palihapitiya hosts a monthly happy hour, along with his partners Mamoon Hamid and Ted Maidenberg, both of whom he lured away last fall from U.S. Venture Partners. Guests drink and mingle among the brushed-metal furnishings and ergonomic chairs. If Palihapitiya is interested in talking to someone, he’ll take them into the main conference room, a glass cube in the middle of the polished concrete floor.

In contrast to traditional VC funds, where the partners have comparatively little of their own money at stake, Palihapitiya, Hamid, and Maidenberg are providing nearly a quarter of the fund’s total.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-07-26/social-plus-capital-the-league-of-extraordinarily-rich-gentlemen

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