David Grier is a physicist specializing in soft condensed matter physics. He is a professor of physics at NYU and has worked on new techniques to probe and manipulate the microscopic world—including using single beams of light imprinted with computer-designed holograms and developing methods of particle tracking. His research focuses on discovering nature’s fundamental organizing principle, the rules by which interacting objects arrange themselves into functional hierarchies. Grier holds more than 50 patents and has authored well over 100 scientific articles. He was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and a physics professor at the University of Chicago before moving to NYU.