Alex Wissner-Gross

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Alex Wissner-Gross
Born Alexander David Wissner-Gross
Template:Birth year and age
Manhasset, New York
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Great Neck South High School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Occupation Scientist, Inventor, Entrepreneur

Alex Wissner-Gross is an American scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He currently holds academic appointments as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science [1] and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab.[2]


In 2003, Wissner-Gross became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelors degrees in physics, electrical engineering, and mathematics,[3] while graduating at the top of his class from the MIT School of Engineering, winning the Henry Ford II Scholar Award.[4] In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Harvard, [5] where his research on programmable matter, ubiquitous computing, and machine learning was awarded a Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize.[6]


Wissner-Gross has contributed to research in low-latency networking, intelligent control, scientific computing, knowledge extraction, reconfigurable computing, and robotics.

Low-latency networking

In 2010, Wissner-Gross published an optimally low-latency solution for positioning computer servers on a network to coordinate distributed stochastic processes, and applied the result to the optimization of global high-frequency trading.[7][8][9][10][11]

Intelligent control

In 2013, Wissner-Gross published a thermodynamic theory of intelligent control based on entropic forces that generated complex adaptive behavior when applied to simple systems.[12][13][14][15][16]

Scientific computing

In 2007, Wissner-Gross published a computational approach for simulating liquid-solid phase transitions in the vicinity of heteroepitaxial solid surfaces, and applied the result to the development of non-abrasive medical implant coatings.[17][18][19][20]

Knowledge extraction

In 2007, Wissner-Gross published an algorithm for extracting semantically ordered reading lists from the link structure of a hypertext corpus, and applied the result to Wikipedia.[21][22]

Reconfigurable computing

In 2006, Wissner-Gross published an approach for using dielectrophoresis to assemble, reconfigure, and disassemble nanoelectronic interconnects on a chip.[23][24]


In 2001, Wissner-Gross was involved in research on robotic manipulation using nanofluidic media.[25][26]

Selected awards and recognition


  1. "IACS People". 
  2. "Hertz Foundation Fellow: Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "All-USA Academic First Team". USA Today. 12 February 2003. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "School of Engineering awards". MIT News. 4 June 2003. 
  5. "Ph.D. Theses: 2000 to present". Harvard Physics Department. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Thesis Prize Winners". The Hertz Foundation. 
  7. Phillips, Matt (28 Dec 2010). "MarketBeat Q&A: Danger, Wonk-o-Meter is High on This One". The Wall Street Journal. 
  8. Ehrenberg, Rachel (29 Oct 2010). "Trading Places". Science News. 
  9. Palmer, Jason (23 Mar 2011). "Stock Trades to Exploit Speed of Light, Says Researcher". BBC News. 
  10. Carmody, Tim (11 Nov 2010). "Gaming the System with High-Frequency Trading". Wired. 
  11. Dillow, Clay (23 Mar 2011). "Financial Traders Look to Boost Profits by Exploiting the Speed of Light for Long-Distance Trades". Popular Science. 
  12. Palmer, Jason (23 Apr 2013). "Entropy Law Linked to Intelligence, Say Researchers". BBC News. 
  13. Kosner, Anthony (21 Apr 2013). "From Atoms to Bits, Physics Shows Entropy as the Root of Intelligence". Forbes. 
  14. Monroe, Don (19 Apr 2013). "Focus: Model Suggests Link between Intelligence and Entropy". American Physical Society. 
  15. Hewitt, John (22 Apr 2013). "The Emergence of Complex Behaviors Through Causal Entropic Forces". 
  16. Dvorsky, George (26 Apr 2013). "How Skynet Might Emerge from Simple Physics". io9. 
  17. Dume, Belle (4 Sep 2007). "Warm Ice Could Make Implants More Biocompatible". New Scientist. 
  18. Cartwright, Jon (30 Aug 2007). "Warm Ice Could Improve Medical Implants". Physics World. 
  19. Powell, Alvin (28 Sep 2007). "Hot Ice Could Lead to Medical Device". Science Daily. 
  20. Ostrovsky, Gene (19 Sep 2007). "Warm Ice for Gadgets in the (Polycrystalline) Diamond Age". Medgadget. 
  21. Knight, Will (2 Jan 2007). "Wikipedia Links Used to Build Smart Reading Lists". New Scientist. 
  22. Singhal, Anupriya (5 Jan 2007). "Software Provides Reading Lists". The Harvard Crimson. 
  23. "Nanowires Get Reconfigured". Institute of Physics. 19 Oct 2006. 
  24. "Nanotechnology: Toward Matter Programmable to Atomic Precision". Foresight Institute. 7 Jun 2007. 
  25. Port, Otis (15 Jul 2001). "What This Teenager Did on His Summer Vacation". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  26. Feldman, Orna (2001). "Big Ideas". MIT Spectrum. 
  27. "1998 USACO". 
  28. "2 LIers Get Top Prizes In Science / 6th and 10th on Intel list". Newsday. 9 March 1999. 
  29. "Here and There". MIT News. 2 June 1999. 
  30. "School of Engineering rewards six students, faculty". MIT News. 6 June 2001. 
  31. "Student Honors & Awards". [email protected]. 7 October 2002. 
  32. "Three MIT students win Marshall Scholarships". MIT News. 4 December 2002. 
  33. "Awards and Honors". 28 January 2004. 
  34. "Alex Wissner-Gross awarded 2007 Dan David Prize Scholarship". 1 May 2007. 
  35. "Alex Wissner-Gross Named in 2010 Science News of the Year". 20 November 2010. 
  36. "Alex Wissner-Gross Elected to Philosophical Society of Washington". 2 December 2011. 

External links