Alex Pentland

Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Director, Human Dynamics Lab
Director, MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program
School of Architecture and Planning
School of Engineering


Alex Pentland Alex `Sandy' Pentland directs MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms.

Sandy is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, and mobile computing.

He has won numerous international awards in the arts, sciences, and engineering; in 1999 he was chosen by Newsweek as one of the "100 Americans Most Likely to Shape the Next Century," in 2009 he won DARPA's 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge, and in 2011 he was named one of the "world's seven top data scientists" by Tim O'Reilly in Forbes magazine.

His research has been featured in Nature, Science, the World Economic Forum, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features including Nova and Scientific American Frontiers. His most recent book is Honest Signals, published by MIT Press.

Faculty Media

  • MIT’s Sandy Pentland: Big Data Can Be a Profoundly Humanizing Force in Industry

    Sandy Pentland, one of Forbes’ seven most powerful data scientists in the world, is director of the Human Dynamics Lab at the MIT Media Lab and has been leading the big data revolution for decades....

  • Research: You Have Fewer Friends than You Think

    When we analyzed self-reported relationship surveys from several experiments around the world, we found that while most people assume friendships are two-way, only about half of friendships are...

  • MIT Adopts Ripple Validator To Advance the 'Internet of Value'

    MIT's Connection Science, a research initiative that applies data and analytics with the goal of building better societies, has adopted a validator for the Ripple Consensus Ledger to advance...

  • The UX Of Ethics: Should Google Tell You If You Have Cancer?

    Big data can spot things we'd never see coming. But are companies like Google and Amazon responsible for telling us the bad news?

  • MIT Advances Blockchain Research With Ripple

    MIT is pushing forward with its blockchain research — with the help of Ripple.

  • Can Data Analysis Help Change Behaviors?

    Can scientists prove whether individual behaviors, such as eating or exercise habits, are contagious? Research from Alex 'Sandy' Pentland, Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and the Director of...

  • Google Adviser Calls on Tech Giant to Create a Separate Organization for Data

    Sandy Pentland, MIT professor, talks to the Guardian about the ‘crowd-madness’ of social media and why tech giants such as Google must separate and protect users’ data

  • In Defense of Meetings

    So meetings in and of themselves are not bad. We just need to change the structure of meetings—literally and physically. First we need to change the social structure of meetings. In our...

  • Why Startups Should Steal Ideas and Hire Weirdos

    The most consistently creative and insightful people are explorers. They spend an enormous amount of time seeking out new people and different ideas, without necessarily trying very hard to find...

  • The Social Data That Business Should Use

    "Focus on how people relate to each other," says MIT's Sandy Pentland in The Wall Street Journal.


Contact Information

Office: E15-387
Phone: 617-253-0648
Fax: 617-258-6264
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