Alex Siegenfeld

2015 Hertz Fellow
Alexander Siegenfeld
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Born in New York City and raised in Connecticut, Alex Siegenfeld developed early interests in chemistry, physics, and math. As an undergraduate at MIT, he majored in physics and mathematics and conducted theoretical research on a variety of solid-state systems. Alex is currently pursuing a PhD in physics at MIT. Originally interested in combining chemical intuition with mathematical rigor to further the understanding of materials with exotic and useful properties, he spent his first graduate year working on topological superconductors and Fermi liquid theory. He has since shifted his focus to applying concepts and methods from statistical physics to further the understanding of social and political phenomena. He is conducting research at the MIT Media Lab’s Laboratory for Social Machines and the New England Complex Systems Institute; his current projects include researching spatial variation in political polarization, and studying the mathematical properties of political representation in democratic voting systems.

“I want to bring chemical thinking into research models in physics so that we can better understand where on the periodic table to look for materials with desirable properties. This field can be very counterintuitive, and I find that interesting. I want to use my research to develop better tools and materials for society.”
– Alexander Siegenfeld