John Frank

Hertz Fellow: John Frank

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Biophysics; Soft condensed matter

Fellowship Years

1999 - present

In 1998, John Frank received his Hertz Fellowship and decided to pursue a PhD at MIT studying "ordering on curved interfaces" with Professor Mehran Kardar. His research focuses on understanding how curvature influences reactions and patterns on membranes. Widely observed shapes in membranes and thin films are often the result of geometry and diffusion rather than particular chemical constituents or a unique tuning of parameters. As an undergrad, John holds a BS in physics with distinction from Yale University where he led Yale's first solar car team to the top rookie seat of Sunyrace 97.

In 1999, John founded MetaCarta, which pioneered map-based search with statistical natural language processing that helps people find everything written about any place. Nokia acquired MetaCarta in 2010. Most recently, John helped to co-found a new start-up, Diffeo, and he continues to innovate in information retrieval at Diffeo. In 2013, his work and leadership at Diffeo led to the The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative award, that he shared with its co-founders and Hertz Fellows Max Kleiman-Weiner and Dan Roberts.


2014 - Peter Strauss Award
Hertz Fellow John Frank is the recipient of the 2014 Strauss Award for co-founding Diffeo, a technology start-up that created a new type of human language technology that applies text analytics to working notes, and for MetaCarta, a company that provides geographic information extraction and search engine products. MetaCarta was acquired by Nokia in 2010.

2013 - The Newman Entrepreneurial Initiative
Diffeo, co-founded with Hertz Fellows Max Kleiman-Weiner and Dan Roberts.