Dr. Neil Thompson

Research Scientist

Primary DLC

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

MIT Room: 32-G766

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship (TIE)
Strategic Management

Research Summary

Professor Thompson is currently conducing industry-related research which includes the study of (1) the implications of Moore's Law has in firm productivity and (2) the impact of modularization synthetic biology.  

(1) The implications of Moore's Law has in firm productivity: This research focuses on understanding implication of moving from single-core to multi-core computing. This shift brings considerable challenges to industry, limiting the kinds of firms that can benefit from it.

The move from single- to multi-core happened primarily due to the physical limitations for heat transfer and dissipation in high-frequency chips: the higher the frequency, the higher amount of heat needs to be dissipated to avoid melting of the chip itself. Since technological advances have not been sufficient to keep the pace of frequency increases, the industry has migrated to using multiple cores (or multiple chips) to expand computing power. 

(2) The impact of modularization synthetic biology: Professor Thompson is very interested in studying how modularization in DNA sequencing is affecting the rate of change or growth in biological discoveries, specifically the ability to "print" DNA. He likened modularization of DNA sequencing to assembling legos. The industry seems to be migrating to creating standard modules based on combinations of guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine that could then be recombined to create new strands of DNA. His research thus focuses on understanding the implications of such approach for development of new drugs, biological products, and related things.

Recent Work

  • Video


    January 29, 2021Conference Video Duration: 21:24
    Neil Thompson
    Innovation Scholar, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Initiative on the Digital Economy
    Kristjan Greenewald
    Research Staff Member, MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab