75. Ping Fu

CEO Founder, Geomagic

A survivor of beatings and rape during the oppressive Cultural Revolution in China, Ping Fu, 52, has designed a better life for herself and all of us with groundbreaking 3-D-modeling software that has enabled, among other things, Harley-Davidson to build better bikes and NASA to inspect a badly damaged space shuttle before attempting a landing. Her latest technical feat, introduced last year, easily converts any physical object, from a human foot to a golf course, into a 3-D model. This "direct intent modeling" allows designers to bypass complex algorithms and focus on the task at hand, be it customized shoes or golf courses that drain more efficiently. The next step, Fu hopes, is to create a cloud-based store where designers can use third-party apps developed for everything from turbines to dental implants. "Digital models help us design for the next level and enjoy our lives."

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