Alex Hills, Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr. Alex Hills spent years living in rural Alaska, where he worked on providing telecommunication services to people living in the villages. He lived in Kotzebue, Nome and Bethel but worked in more than a hundred small villages across the state. This work is described in his new book, Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them.
Later Alex became a university professor. He is now Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and Affiliate Distinguished Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Well known in the fields of wireless, telecommunications, and networking technology, he has lectured widely and published many papers and technical reports. He holds 18 patents, and readers worldwide have enjoyed his easy-to-understand articles in Scientific American and IEEE Spectrum.
Dr. Hills also led the team that built Carnegie Mellon’s “Wireless Andrew” system, the world’s first large Wi-Fi network. With this work, described in his book, Wi-Fi and the Bad Boys of Radio, he helped to create the vision of what Wi-Fi would later become.
He served as Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was responsible for the development and operation of Carnegie Mellon’s computing and telecommunications systems. As head of the university’s information technology organization, he was responsible for the financial and operational performance of the unit, which had 150 employees. Previously, he held a similar position at the University of Alaska.
And Alex has a great deal of international experience. He has traveled widely, lecturing and consulting in nearly 30 countries. When all are counted, he has visited 60 countries and seven continents. He has held visiting distinguished professor appointments in Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand.
Dr. Hills is a former U.S. Army Signal Corps officer and served as a company commander in South Korea. He lives in Alaska with his wife Meg, a nurse practitioner. The couple has two adult daughters and four grandchildren.