Virgil Griffith

  • Program Years: 2009-2013
  • Academic Institution: California Institute of Technology
  • Field of Study: Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Academic Advisor: Christof Koch
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2010)
  • Degree(s):
    Ph.D. Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology, 2014
    B.A. Computer and Cognitive Science, University of Alabama, 2007

Current Status

  • Status: alumni and entrepeneur
  • Research Area: Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Personal URL:
  • Publications

    1. Virgil Griffth, Markus Jakobsson. “Messin’ with Texas: Deducing Mother’s Maiden Names Using Public Records”. In: Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science (2005). Pages 91-103. Study selected to be republished as part of the RSA Cryptobytes journal (Winter 2007); study mentioned in ABC News, PC Magazine as part of “10 biggest problems in computing and how we’ll solve them”.

    2. Virgil Griffith, Markus Jakobsson. “Automated Trawling for Public Private Data”. In: Phishing and Counter-Measures: Understanding the Increasing Problem of Electronic Identity Theft. Pages 191-202. Published by Wiley (2006). ISBN: 978-0-471-78245-2.

    3. Virgil Griffith. “Case Study: Warning the user about active web spoofing”. In: Phishing and Counter-Measures: Understanding the Increasing Problem of Electronic Identity Theft. Pages 101-105. Published by Wiley (2006). ISBN: 978-0-471-78245-2.

    4. Virgil Griffth, Larry Yaeger. Ideal Free Distribution in Agents with Evolved Neural Architectures. Pages 372-379. In: Journal of Artificial Life (2006).

    5. Larry Yaeger, Virgil Griffth, Olaf Sporns. Passive and Driven Trends in the Evolution of Complexity. In: Journal of Artificial Life (2008). Pages 725-732.

    6. Virgil Griffith, Aza Raskin, Steven Mih. “Method of Deducing Demographic and Interests of a Website Visitor”. United States Patent Application Serial Number 61/141,000. Submitted 12/2008.

    7. Virgil Griffith, Christof Koch. “Quantifying synergistic mutual information”.


    * Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, 2002
    * Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honor Society, 2003
    * McWane Undergraduate Research Grant ($1,250), 2004
    * Cognitive Science Undergraduate Visiting Research Fellowship (one year in-state tuition), 2005
    * Cognitive Science Departmental Undergraduate Research Award, 2007
    * One of five Indiana University "Future Famous Alumni", 2007

    * Dept. of Homeland Security Graduate Fellowship, 2007
    * Featured in New York Times “70 ideas that helped make 2007 what it was”, 2007
    * Center for Media and Democracy “Win Against Spin” Award, 2007
    * Selected as member of the Lifeboat Foundation, 2008
    * Knight-Batten Innovation in Journalism Award ($10,000), 2008
    * Profiled in the New York Times Magazine, 2008
    * Creativity Magazine’s “Top 50 most creative people of 2008”, 2009
    * Caltech Entrepreneurship Award, 2010
    * Nominated to MIT Tech Review “Top 35 Innovators under 35”, 2011