Prof. Alex Paul Pentland
Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts, and Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland is a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, and mobile information systems. He directs the MIT Human Dynamics Lab, developing computational social science and using this new science to guide organizational engineering.  He also directs the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, spinning off companies to bring MIT technologies into the real world.   He is among the most-cited computer scientists in the world.


Selected Spin-off Companies

Sense Networks
Cogito Health




UnTravel Media
Way Systems

United Villages
Virage (merged with Autonomy AUTNF.PK)

Vivo (merged with RealNetworks NYNEX:RNWK)
Viisage (now NYSE:ID)

Institutions Founded or Co-Founded

Human Dynamics Lab, MIT

MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program

Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, MIT

Center for Future Health, University of Rochester Strong Hospital

Media Lab Asia, New Delhi

IEEE Autonomous Mental Development TC

IEEE Wearable Information Systems TC

IEEE Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition


Awards Received

DARPA 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge, 2009

Harvard Business Review Breakthrough Idea 2009

Best Paper Award, Int’l Conference on Information Systems, Mining Face-to-Face Networks [for] Productivity 2008

Reality Mining: 10 Technologies That Will Change The Way We Live, Technology Review 2008
Carlos Ghosn Award for Automotive Design 2008

Future Health Technology Award, for `Honest Signals’ Health Assessments 2008

Idea of the Year, USA Today, for `Memory Glasses’ 2006

Ars Electronica’s `Digital Communities’ Award, 2004

Most Visionary Technology, MIT Enterprise Forum, 2003

The Tech Museum Award for Equality, LINCOS Project, 2001

Alcatel Science and Technology Award, LINCOS (Little Intelligent Communities), 2001
Jean Pierre Devijver Prize for Best Paper, Intl. Asso.
Pattern Recognition, 2001

Senior Fellow, Design Futures Council, 2000
Most Influential Paper of Decade Award, Intl. Asso. Pattern Recognition, 2000

The Century Club (100 people to watch in the next century), Newsweek, 1997
Best Paper Prize, Institute of Elec. and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 1991
Best Paper Prize, American Asso. Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 1984

University of Michigan, B.G.S. June 1976
M.I.T., Ph.D., June 1982
Professional Experience:

M.I.T., Media Arts and Sciences, Civil and Environmental Eng., Sloan School of Business, 1987-present
University of Rochester, Electrical Engineering, Center for Future Health, 1998-2001
Fairchild AI Center, Senior Computer Scientist, 1984-1985
Stanford University, Industrial Lecturer, 1983-1987
Stanford University, Visiting Professor, 1982-1983
SRI International, AI Center, Senior Computer Scientist, 1982 -1987


Selected And Recent Scientific Publications
Pentland, A., (2010) To Signal Is Human, American Scientist, Vol. 98, pp. 204-210


Eagle, N., Pentland, A., and Lazer, D. (2009), "Inferring Social Network Structure using Mobile Phone Data",

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) doi:10.1073_pnas.0900282106


Pentland, A., (2008) Honest Signals: how they shape our world, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA


Wu, L., Waber, B., Aral, S., Brynjolfsson, E., and Pentland, A. (2008) Mining Face-to-Face Interaction Networks using Sociometric Badges: Predicting Productivity in an IT Configuration Task , Proc. Int’l Conf on Information Systems. Paris, France. December 14-17 2008.


Pentland, A., (2007) Automatic Mapping of Human Networks, Physica A doi:10.1016 j.physa.2006.11.046  
Eagle, N., and Pentland, A., (2005) Social Serendipity: Mobilizing Social Software, IEEE Pervasive, Vo. 4, No. 2, pp. 28-34
Pentland, A., (2005) Socially Aware Computation and Communication, IEEE Computer, March 2005, pp. 63-70
Pentland, A., Choudhury, T., Eagle, N., and Singh, P. (2004), Human Dynamics: Computation for Organizations, Pattern Recognition Letters, Vol 26, No. 4, pp. 503-511
Pentland, A., (2004) Learning Communities: Understanding Information Flow in Human Networks, BT Technology Journal, Oct. 2004 Vol 22, No. 4, pp. 62-70
Pentland, A., (2004) HealthWear: Medical Technology Becomes Wearable (2004) IEEE Computer,
May, 2004, 37(5), pp. 42-49
Pentland, A., Hassan, A., and Fletcher, R., (2004) DakNet: Rethinking Connectivity in Developing Nations, IEEE Computer, Jan, 2004 37(1), pp. 4-9
Kumar VS, Wentzell KJ, Mikkelsen T, Pentland A, Laffel LM. (2004) The DAILY (Daily Automated Intensive Log for Youth) Trial: A Wireless, Portable System to Improve Adherence and Glycemic Control in Youth with Diabetes. Diabetes Technol. Ther. 2004 Aug;6(4):445-53.
Roy, D., and Pentland, A., (2002) Learning words from sights and sounds: A computational model, Cognitive Science, 26 113-146.
Weng, J., McClelland, J., Pentland, A., Sporns, O., Stockman, I., Sur, M., Thelen, E.,  (2001) Automonous Mental Development by Robots and Animals,  Science, V291 No. 5504, Jan 26, 2001
Moghaddam, B., Nastar, C., and Pentland, A., (2001) A Bayesian Similarity Measure for Deformable Matching, Image and Vision Computing, 19(5) pp. 235-244 April 2001
Tan, H., and Pentland, A., (2001) A Sensing Chair using Pressure Distribution Sensors,
IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, Sept. 2001
Pentland, A., (2000) Looking at People: Sensing for Ubiquitous and Wearable Computing
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 22(1), pp. 107-119, Jan. 2000.
Oliver, N., Rosario, B., and Pentland, A., (2000) A Bayesian Computer Vision System for Modeling Human Interaction, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 22(8), pp. 831-843
Sparacino, F., Davenport, G., and Pentland, A., (2000) Media in Performance: Interactive Spaces for Dance, Theatre, Circus, and Museum Exhibits, IBM Systems Journal, 39(3) Fall 2000
Pentland, Alex (2000), Perceptual intelligence, Communications of the ACM, 43(3) pp. 35-44
Pentland, A., and Liu, A., (1999) Modeling and Prediction of Human Behavior, Neural Computation, 11(1), pp. 229-242,  Jan 1999
Jebara, T., Azarbayejani, A., and Pentland, A., (1999) 3D Structure from 2D Motion, IEEE Signal Processing, 16(3) pp. 66-84 May 1999
Starner, T., and Pentland, A., (1998) Real-Time American Sign Language Recognition from Video Using Hidden Markov Models, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision,   Nov. 1998.
Pentland, A., (1997) Content-Based Indexing of Images and Video, The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions on Biological Sciences, Vol. 352, pp. 1283-1290.
Maes, P., Blumburg, B., Darrell, T., and Pentland, A. (1997) The ALIVE System: Wireless, Full-body Interaction with Autonomous Agents, in ACM Multimedia Systems, Special Issue on Multimedia and Multisensory Virtual Worlds, ACM Press, Volume 5, Issue 3, (summer 1997).
Moghaddam, B., Pentland, A., (1997), Probabalistic Visual Learning for Object Representation,
IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision, Vol. 19, No. 7, pp. 696-710.
Essa, I., Pentland, A., (1997), Coding, Analysis, Interpretation and Recognition of Facial Expressions,
IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision}, Vol. 19, No. 7, pp. 757-763
Starner, T., Mann, S., Rhodes, B., Levine, J., Healey, J., Kirsch, D., Picard, R., and Pentland, A., (1996) Augmented Reality Through Wearable Computing, Presence, Teleoperators and Virtual Environments (M.I.T. Press), special issue on augmented reality, Vol 5, No 2, pp. 163-172.
Pentland, A. (1996) Smart Rooms, Smart Clothes, Scientific American, Vol. 274, No. 4, pp. 68-76, April 1996.
Pentland, A., Picard, R., Sclaroff, S. (1996) Photobook: Tools for Content-Based Manipulation of Image Databases, in In'tl Journal of Computer Vision, Vol. 18, No. 3.,pp. 233-254
Azarbayejani, A. and Pentland, A. (1995) Recursive Estimation of Motion, Structure and Focal Length,  in IEEE Tran. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 545-561
Pentland, A., (1994) Interpolation using Wavelet Bases, IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Vision, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 410-414.
Turk, M., and Pentland, A., (1991) Eigenfaces for Recognition, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 71-86.
Pentland, A., (1984)  Fractal-Based Description Of Natural Scenes, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Recognition, Nov. 1984, Vol. 6, No. 6, pp 661-674.