Alex “Sandy” Pentland

Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts and Sciences, Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program Director

Alex “Sandy” Pentland is the Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and director of MIT Connection Science within MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. Pentland’s research focuses on using big data and advanced analytics to understand human behavior at scales from individuals to countries, and he is a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, wearable computing, image understanding, and modern biometrics.

Pentland is one of the most cited authors in the computational sciences, and is currently advising national policy makers in the European Union, China, United States, and in several developing countries. He is also the author of two new books, Trusted Data and Building the New Economy. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a board member of the UN Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. He earned a BS in mathematics and statistics from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in artificial intelligence and psychology from MIT.


  • Hardjono, Thomas and Pentland, Alex. (2020). Trusted Data: A New Framework for Identity and Data Sharing. MIT Press
  • B Lepri, N Oliver, E Letouzé, A Pentland, P Vinck. (2018). Fair, transparent, and accountable algorithmic decision-making processes. Philosophy & Technology 31 (4), 611-627
  • MA Bakker, DP Tu, HR Valdés, KP Gummadi, KR Varshney, A Weller. (2019). DADI: Dynamic Discovery of Fair Information with Adversarial Reinforcement Learning. arXiv preprint arXiv:1910.13983
  • Salah, A.A., Pentland, A., Lepri, B., Letouze, E. (2019). Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios: The’Data for Refugees Challenge’Study. Springer Nature Press