Nathan Myhrvold, PhD

1979 Hertz Fellow
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Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is a prominent scientist, technologist, inventor, author, and food photographer.

In a 14-year tenure at Microsoft, Myhrvold led advanced technology and business development groups, founded Microsoft Research, managed an R&D budget of $2 billion, and served as the company’s chief strategist and chief technology officer. Myhrvold previously had cofounded Dynamical Systems Research, a software company, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, where his research with Professor Stephen Hawking centered on quantum theories of gravitation. More recently, Myhrvold has published peer-reviewed research in planetary science on asteroids and missions to identify near-Earth objects, in paleontology on dinosaur metabolism and growth rates, and in climate science on global transitions to low-emission energy systems.

In 2000, after retiring from Microsoft, Myhrvold founded Intellectual Ventures (IV), which he leads as CEO and one of its most prolific inventors, with more than 900 U.S. patents awarded. Myhrvold is vice chairman of TerraPower, a pioneer in advanced nuclear energy. He also has served as an adviser to nine startup companies that IV has launched to commercialize advanced metamaterials technologies. Along with Bill Gates, Myhrvold created Global Good to invent technologies for global health and development, and the Institute for Disease Modeling, which has become a world leader in computational epidemiology.

Food and cooking have been passions of Myhrvold since childhood. While at Microsoft, he worked nights at a Seattle restaurant with chef Thierry Rautureau and then obtained a culinary degree at Ecole De La Varenne in Burgundy. In 2007, he founded The Cooking Lab, a culinary research laboratory, photo studio, and publishing company. In 2011, he published a five-volume, 2,500-page cookbook, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. That book and its 2017 sequel of even greater length, Modernist Bread, both won James Beard cookbook awards. His one-volume book Modernist Cuisine at Home (2012) has been translated into seven languages. Building on his 2013 book The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, Myhrvold opened a gallery of his food photography in Las Vegas in 2017. Modernist Cuisine Galleries have since opened in New Orleans, Seattle, and La Jolla. His three-volume book Modernist Pizza was published in 2021.

Myhrvold holds a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics, as well as a master’s degree in mathematical economics, from Princeton University. His master’s degree in geophysics and space physics, as well as his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, are from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Graduate Studies

Princeton University
Mathematics, Physics
Vistas in Curved Space-Time Quantum Field Theory

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