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The performance of a wide variety of globally-distributed online activities is increasingly limited by the finite speed of light. Dr. Wissner-Gross recently introduced technology for partially mitigating the impact of this limitation on the coordination of geographically distributed activities, such as virtual worlds, currency exchanges, telepresence, and remote surgery. His solution involves positioning computer servers in optimal intermediate locations such as oceans and other network-sparse regions, opening the possibility of geographic remoteness becoming a new form of natural resource for developing countries in the next decade.

Dr. Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is an award-winning scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He serves as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory.


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Alex Wissner-Gross

Alex Wissner-Gross

Dr. Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is an award-winning scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He serves as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory. He has received 109 major distinctions, authored 15 publications, been granted 19 issued, pending, and provisional patents, and founded, managed, and advised 4 technology companies, 1 of which has been acquired. In 1998 and 1999, respectively, he won the U.S.A. Computer Olympiad and the Intel Science Talent Search. In 2003, he became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelors in Physics, Electrical Science and Engineering, and Mathematics, while graduating first in his class from the MIT School of Engineering. In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Harvard, where his research on smart matter, pervasive computing, and machine learning was awarded the Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize. His work has been featured in over 100 news outlets worldwide including The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek.