Sneak Peek: One of Seattle mag's Most Influential Wins a Genius Award

Shwetak Patel as shot for a feature in Seattle Biz

Hard at work on our November issue, we were putting the polishing touches on our annual "Most Influential People" list yesterday when we got the news that one of our picks, UW computer science professor Shwetak Patel, had just been named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow and awarded a $500,000 "Genius Award."

Influential, indeed.

You may have read about Patel last year when our pals and office-mates at Seattle Business magazine picked him as a Top Innovator. The 29-year-old (!) has invented computer devices and programs to use existing home utility infrastructure, such as electric wiring and water pipes, to monitor and reduce utility usage.

Our October issue (BEER ME!) hits the stands for our full "Most Influential" list in November.