Ira Winder

Ira is an educator, researcher, and practitioner of computational methods for problem solving and conflict resolution within socio-technical systems. He is the Technical Instructor of Urban Science and Planning at MIT, where he oversees the development of the new program for Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science. Ira also engages in joint research with the Strategic Engineering Research Group, where he works at the convergence of systems engineering, decision science, interactive simulation, and visualization.

Ira's range of expertise includes Computer Science, Mathematical Modeling, City Planning, and Architectural Design. He is a Master of City Planning (MIT, 2013) and Bachelor of Science and Design (MIT, 2010). Ira has spoken and exhibited at venues including Autodesk University, TEDx Boston, US Chamber of Commerce, APA Planning Conference, Singapore World Cities Summit, Big Data Analytics Tokyo, Edinburgh Culture Summit, Guiyang Big Data Expo, and The G7 Conference for ICT. He made an appearance in "A Lego Brickumentary," and his work has been featured on CBS, Financial Times Magazine, The Atlantic's CityLab, and a White House report to the President on "Technology and the Future of Cities."

As a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, Ira led end-to-end design, development, and implementation of interactive simulations at the Changing Places Group, working with industry, academia, and public agencies to build tools for solving problems in complex systems. At the Lab, Ira invented the Tactile Matrix, an integrated hardware and software platform that merges parametric, voxelized simulations with user-friendly tangible interfaces. His work is now a platform for interdisciplinary research, most notably the CityScope Project at the City Science Group.

Areas of Interest
Artificial Intelligence, Civic Participation, Computation, Digital Fabrication, Infrastructure Planning, Infrastructure Systems, Land Use, Planning Management, Prototyping, Real Estate, Transportation and Mobility, Urban Design, Urban Finance, Management, and Urban Economics, Urban Information, Technology, and Media and Analytics, Visualization


2011 - 2013
Master of City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2009 - 2009
Visiting Student, Faculty of Architecture, Hong Kong University
2006 - 2010
Bachelor of Science, Art, and Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2002 - 2006
NC School of Science and Mathematics

Academic Experience

2018 - Present
Technical Instructor of Urban Science and Planning, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
2016 - Present
Research Advisor, MIT Strategic Engineering Research Group
2017 - 2018
Research Affiliate, Singapore Centre for Liveable Cities
2013 - 2018
Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab, Changing Places Group
2011 - 2012
Research Assistant, MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism

Professional Experience

2017 - Present
Principal, On Cue Design
2010 - 2011
Design Engineer, Kobayashi-Maki Design Workshop
2009 - 2010
Design Intern, Utile Design


- 2017
Best Project Demonstration, 'Tactile Matrix', IEEE Future Technologies Conference
2012 - 2013
Shell Energy Fellowship, MIT
- 2010
Faculty Award for Achievement in Design, MIT Department of Architecture
- 2010
Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, MIT
- 2009
First Place Velux Design Competition, MIT Department of Architecture