|Alex "Sandy" Pentland|
|Born||1952 (age 62–63)
Ann Arbor, MI
|Institutions||Stanford University, MIT|
University of Michigan
|Thesis||Visual Inference of Shape: Computation from Local Features (1982)|
|Doctoral advisor||Whitman Richards|
|Doctoral students||Irfan Essa
|Known for||Social Physics, Wearable Computing, Computational Social Science, Computer Vision|
He started as lecturer at Stanford University in both computer science and psychology, and joined the MIT faculty in 1986, where he became Academic Head of the Media Laboratory and received the Toshiba Chair in Media Arts and Sciences. He co-leads both the Big Data and the Personal Data and Privacy initiatives of the World Economic Forum, serves on the boards of Telefónica, Motorola Mobility, and Nissan Motors, and previously co-founded and co-directed the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health
He directs the MIT Human Dynamics Lab which uses big data to better understand human society, the Institute for Data Driven Design which builds tools to protect individual privacy, and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program which creates ventures to take cutting edge technologies into the real world, with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurship in developing nations. He also serves as Academic Director of Data-Pop Alliance, a joint project on big data and human development co-created with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Overseas Development Institute.
In 2011 Forbes named him one of the world's seven most powerful data scientists along with a founder of Google and the CTO of the United States.
Pentland's research focuses on social physics, big data, and privacy. His research helps people better understand the `physics' of their social environment, and helps individuals, companies and communities to reinvent themselves to be safer, more productive, and more creative. He has previously been a pioneer in wearable computing, ventures technology for developing nations, and image understanding. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels.
His most recent book is Social Physics which describes research that won both the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review and the 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge. His previous book Honest Signals  described research chosen as Harvard Business Review Breakthrough Idea of the Year.
- most cited authors in computer science
- Human Dynamics Lab
- individual privacy
- MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program
- seven most powerful data scientists
- wearable computing
- technology for developing nations
- image understanding
- Social Physics
- 2012 McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review
- 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge
- Honest Signals
- Breakthrough Idea of the Year
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Pentland.|
- MIT Home Page and link to MIT Human Dynamics research group
- Books Published
- Social Physics research and videos
- Science Papers
- Reporting on Pentland's research (video)