Steven Wasserman



(617) 253-2200
Senior Lecturer



I developed high-tech products in Silicon Valley for more than 15 years, working at large companies like Apple and Microsoft and startups like WebTV and 3DO. Ten years ago, I decided to focus on more interesting problems. Now I make machines that measure biology. I teach two classes on the subject of bioinstrumentation, and I develop instruments for academic labs and industry. My primary areas of interest are optics and electronics. I am an avid maker, woodworker, glass blower, and computer programmer.


The courses I teach (20.309 and 20.345) are extreme, hands-on lab experiences that demand lots of building, debugging, iteration, and understanding. Bioinstrumentation is a rich and fascinating field that offers plenty of opportunities to illustrate engineering in a way that is compelling and useful to biological engineers. Above all, the classes I teach are about how to create mental models of complex systems and apply those models to achieve breakthrough performance.

Because process and results in the lab are tangible, labs are ideal places for introspection and self-discovery. I encourage students to reflect on their time in the lab to discover how their work habits and personal traits promote or impede their success.

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