The annual MacArthur Foundation fellows have been announced, and among them is Bill Thies, a researcher for Microsoft who works on communications programs in the developing world.
In a statement, the foundation, which awards the grants sometimes referred to as the "genius" awards, praised Thies' work on the 99DOTS program. The initiative provides a low-cost way for people in India to receive monitored treatment for tuberculosis. By making a free call after taking a dose of medication in special packaging, doctors are able to track patients' health progress.
"This is not about making things 100 times faster, 100 times bigger, 100 times more futuristic," Thies said in a video accompanying the announcement. "This is about things 100 times simpler, 100 times cheaper, 100 times more inclusive."
The $625,000 grant was also awarded to 22 other fellows, including poet Claudia Rankine, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, microbiologist Dianne Newman, and computer scientist Subhash Khot.