Michael D. Smith

Michael D. Smith is an Advisor to Xfund. He is the John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University. He recently spent 11 years as the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading Harvard’s oldest and largest school. His leadership was characterized by a deep commitment to undergraduate teaching, to a tenure-track system, and to research, both fundamental and applied. He was actively involved in Harvard and MIT’s launch of edX, and he served on its board from 2012-2018. Earlier in his career, Mike spent time in industry building a range of computing hardware for Honeywell Information Systems, and in 2001, he co-founded the data security company Liquid Machines, which was acquired in 2010 by Check Point Software Technologies. Mike has degrees from Princeton University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Stanford University. While at Harvard, he received a prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and the Alpha Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He is currently writing a book on teaching, and when not in the classroom, he enjoys exploring the interplay of technology with other fields, from the life sciences to business to education.

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