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Alex Nugent is dedicated to the development and commercialization of physically self-organizing electronics. While an undergraduate Physics major at Whitman College, Alex invented and patented a device that would later become known as a memristor but which possesses properties unlike any device currently in use. Alex formed KnowmTech, an intellectual property holding company for ideas pertaining to the technology. After college he worked for a year at Los Alamos National Laboratory under a Fault-Tolerance of Nano-Scale Systems project. As a result of this experience Alex discovered a connection between SVM, Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and a simple plasticity rule he called the AHaH rule. After receiving a Boeing fellowship, Alex commenced a PhD track in Electrical Engineering at University of Washington, but left to pursue his dream of building a physically adaptive neuromorphic processor. Quickly discovering that CMOS/memristive circuits implementing the AHAH rule could be configured as universal logic gates, he explored scalable self-similar NPU architectures. From 2008 through 2011 Alex supported DARPA under the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) and Physical Intelligence (PI) programs in the capacity of SETA for the Defense Sciences Office. From 2011-2018, he was awarded multiple SBIR and STTR Phase I, II and III programs from the DoD sponsors for development of Knowm technology. Alex now works full time for Knowm Inc and wears many hats as he nurtures and grows Knowm’s business.


Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington
Bachelor of Physics

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
PhD Track, EE. Dropped out to build brains.

Select Publications

  • Nugent, M. Alexander, and Timothy W. Molter. “AHaH Computing–From Metastable Switches to Attractors to Machine Learning.” PloS one 9.2 (2014): e85175.
  • Nugent, M. Alexander, and Timothy W. Molter. “Thermodynamic-RAM Technology Stack.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1406.5633 (2014).
  • Nugent, M. Alexander, and Timothy W. Molter. “Cortical Processing with Thermodynamic-RAM.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1408.3215 (2014).
  • Nugent, M. Alexander, Garrett Kenyon, and Reid B. Porter. “Unsupervised Adaptation to Improve Fault Tolerance of Neural Network Classifiers.” Evolvable Hardware. (2004).
  • Nugent, M. Alexander, R. Porter, and G. T. Kenyon. “Reliable computing with unreliable components: Using separable environments to stabilize long-term information storage.” Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 237.9 (2008).

Patent Portfolio