Nathan Myhrvold

Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is vice chairman of TerraPower, a pioneer in advanced nuclear energy that spun out of Intellectual Ventures (IV), which Myhrvold founded in 2000 after retiring as chief strategist and chief technology officer of Microsoft. As CEO of IV, Myhrvold grew the company from a handful of people in 2000 to become the world’s preeminent invention capital firm. To date, IV has launched more than 15 startups, which together have raised more than $700 million in capital investment.

Myhrvold serves on the board of Kymeta, one of eight companies that IV has created to commercialize advanced metamaterials technologies. Along with Bill Gates, Myhrvold created and oversees Global Good, a unit of IV that invents technologies for global health and development, and its Institute for Disease Modeling, a world leader in computational epidemiology. Myhrvold is also among IV’s most prolific inventors, with more than 800 U.S. patents awarded and several hundred patents pending. In addition to his work with IV and its spinouts, Myhrvold conducts and publishes scientific research in planetary science, paleontology, climate science, and other fields.

During his 14-year tenure at Microsoft, Myhrvold led multiple advanced technology and business development groups, founded Microsoft Research, and managed an R&D budget of $2 billion. As group vice president for applications and content from 1994 to 1996, and then as the company's CTO through 1999, he played pivotal roles in the development of Microsoft’s Office, Windows, and online products. Prior to joining Microsoft, Myhrvold was cofounder of Dynamical Systems Research, a software company. He also worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, where his cosmology research with Professor Stephen Hawking centered on quantum field theory in curved spacetime and quantum theories of gravitation.

Prior to Cambridge, Myhrvold earned a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics, as well as a master's degree in mathematical economics, from Princeton University. In 2005, Princeton awarded him the James Madison Medal, its highest honor for alumni. Myhrvold has an M.S. in geophysics and space physics, as well as a B.A. in mathematics, from UCLA. He attended culinary school in France while at Microsoft, earning a Grande Diplome from Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in 1995. He was awarded an honorary degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 2012 in recognition of his contributions to the culinary arts.

Combining his interests in food, science, and technology, Myhrvold founded The Cooking Lab in 2010 and has authored and published a series of influential books, beginning with the acclaimed five-volume, 2,438-page cookbook Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking in 2001. The book won two James Beard Foundation awards and was inducted into the Gourmand World Cookbook Hall of Fame. It has been translated into seven languages. His other award-winning books include Modernist Cuisine at Home (2012), The Photography of Modernist Cuisine (2013), and Modernist Bread (2017), which also won a James Beard award.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, July 17, 2019