Neil Gershenfeld

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Physicist, Computer Scientist

Neil Gershenfeld leads a unique laboratory, the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, that is breaking down boundaries between digital and physical worlds. Gershenfeld and his students have created computers that use nuclear spins in molecules and bubbles in fluids, built programmable materials and intelligent infrastructure, made machines that make machines and computerized virtuosic musical instruments. His work has been seen and used in the White House and the Museum of Modern Art, in Las Vegas shows and rural Indian villages.

Named one of the top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy magazine, Gershenfeld is the founder of a growing global network of more than 100 field fab labs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication in locations from Afghanistan to the Arctic Circle. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell, was a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and was a technician at Bell Labs. He’s the author of numerous technical papers, patents and books, including Fab, When Things Start to Think, The Physics of Information Technology, and The Nature of Mathematical Modeling.