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Alfred Spector

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science , MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; Blackstone
Published onApr 10, 2020
Alfred Spector

Dr. Alfred Spector is a Visiting Scholar at MIT and a Senior Advisor at Blackstone. His career has led him from innovation in large scale, networked computing systems to broad engineering and research leadership. Recently, he co-authored a Cambridge University Press textbook, “Data Science in Context: Foundations, Challenges, Opportunities.” (See

Previously, Dr. Spector was CTO and Head of Engineering at Two Sigma Investments. Before that, he spent eight years as VP of Research and Special Initiatives at Google, and he held various senior-level positions at IBM, including as global VP of Services and Software Research and global CTO of IBM’s Software Business. Earlier in his career, he founded Transarc Corporation, a pioneer in distributed transaction processing and wide-area file systems, and he was a tenured professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Spector was a Hertz Fellow at Stanford and is also a Fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Spector won the 2001 IEEE Kanai Award for Distributed Computing and the 2016 ACM Software Systems Award. In 2018–2019, Dr. Spector lectured widely as a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar (for example, on the growing importance of computer science across all disciplines based on the evocative phrase, “CS+X”). He has been a member of the ACM Turing Award Committee and has done national service through chairing the NSF’s CISE Advisory Board and his membership on the Army and Defense Science Boards. Dr. Spector obtained a PhD in computer science from Stanford and a BA in applied math from Harvard.

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