• Apr 20, 1949
    (b.) - ?

Bio/Description

A researcher, technology and biotechnology entrepreneur, academician and author, he was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. As a teenager, he became enthralled with America’s fledgling space program, which informed his choice of higher education and career. He received a B.S. degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University in 1971, and both his M.S. degree and his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1972 and 1976, respectively. In the course of his academic work at MIT, he became exposed to high-performance computing and networking technologies that would later became part of the Internet. His interest in the broad commercial potential of these technologies led him to pursue his professional career in the computer and software industries. He began his career at IBM's scientific center in Haifa, Israel, where he also taught at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He later held various research and management positions at IBM's Yorktown Heights (NY) Research Center, working on advanced development projects in the areas of networking and distributed computing; and executive management positions at Apollo Computer, Inc., and Lotus Development Corporation. He served as CEO and Chairman of Tivoli Systems Inc., a pioneer in the distributed systems management field, which he took public in 1995 and subsequently merged with IBM in 1996. Tivoli was a venture-backed startup that successfully competed with larger companies to redefine and standardize the technology behind network and systems management. The acquisition by IBM became more of a “reverse merger,” in that Tivoli became the Network and Systems Management Division of IBM and one of its largest software businesses, growing to several billion dollars. He became the General Manager of the Tivoli business at IBM; and retired from Tivoli as Chairman in 1998. He was the Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2006 to 2011, where he worked to enhance the Lab’s connection with sponsors by increasing the interaction between its faculty and students and sponsor representatives on research topics of mutual interest. He remains a professor of the practice and the principal investigator for the New Media Medicine research group, which he founded and where he initiated research into areas that go beyond improving our “digital lifestyles” to solving bigger societal problems, such as health care and disability. In 2009, he presided over the Media Lab’s move into a new building, designed by legendary architect Fumihiko Maki of Japan. The facility was built on the Lab’s research principles of openness and transparency. Two collaborative research initiatives begun during his time as Director were the Center for Future Banking, formed with Bank of America, and the Center for Future Storytelling. From 2007 to 2011, he was a trustee of Princeton University, where he served as Chairman of the Alumni Affairs Committee; and currently, is a member of the Advisory Council for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is also a member of the advisory council of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. Among his ventures as an entrepreneur, he co-founded several companies, including Stellar Computer, Inc., a developer of graphic supercomputers; and Bowstreet, Inc., a pioneer in the emerging field of Web services. He also served on the Advisory Board of nLayers Inc., which was later acquired by EMC. He co-founded and was on the Board of Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an early-stage cancer-drug discovery company doing innovative work at the intersection of technology and the life sciences; he retired from Infinity's board in 2011. In addition, he chaired the Advisory Council for the creation of the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School. He co-founded Bluefin Labs, which uses machine learning technology to provide brands, agencies and media companies with real-time TV audience response insights through social media analysis. Bluefin was sold to Twitter in 2013 for a reported $100 Million. He is a co-founder of two startups, Matter.io and Twine Health and is actively involved with a number of other startups, many of which are exploring how to use “Big Data” - the proliferation of structured and unstructured data about people – to improve people’s health, wealth and happiness. These include ginger.io, Daily Feats, Audax Health and Bon’App. A published author, he is a vocal advocate and spokesperson for re-invigorating innovation in the United States. He is the author of “The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives”, published in 2011. His citations include Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award and Forbes Magazine's "Leaders for Tomorrow."
  • Date of Birth:

    Apr 20, 1949
  • Noted For:

    Involved in advanced development projects in the areas of networking and distributed computing
  • Category of Achievement:

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