Alex Wissner-Gross

Alex Wissner-Gross

Ziff Environmental Fellow: 2008-2010
PhD Physics, Harvard University, 2007
Current Position: President and Chief Scientist, Gemedy and Managing Director, Reified
Alex Wissner-Gross

Alex Wissner-Gross is a condensed matter physicist whose broad research interests concern the science and technology of programmable media, with a recent focus on the intersection of computation, energy, and the environment.

Alex received his PhD in Physics in 2007 from Harvard University for his work on programmable surfaces, which dramatically increased the computational versatility of a range of materials. He has authored 14 publications and received seven full or pending patents. In 2003, Alex became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelors in physics, electrical engineering, and mathematics, while simultaneously graduating first in his class from the MIT School of Engineering as the Henry Ford II Scholar. His research has been featured in BusinessWeek, Wired, USA Today, Scientific American, and The New York Times. He is also the recipient of 80 national and international distinctions, including the Dan David Prize Scholarship for Future Energy Research from Tel Aviv University (2007), Hertz Fellowship (2003), DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (2003), British Marshall Scholarship (2003), Intel Undergraduate Research Award (2002), Goldwater Scholarship (2001), Intel Science Talent Search Winner (1999), USA Team Member at International Olympiad in Informatics (1998), First Place in the USA Computer Olympiad (1998), American Computer Science League Winner (1998,1999), and the AT&T Student Software Award (1997).

As a Ziff Environmental Fellow, Alex worked with Matt Welsh of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to develop a framework for instrumenting computers and other network-capable devices with enough intelligence to monitor and manage their own environmental footprints. He used his own custom-built sensor network to develop a device-level dynamical model of the environmental footprint of the entire Internet. For more information, visit

Faculty Host

Matt Welsh, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Contact Information

Research Areas

Fellows Status

Alphabetical by Last Name