Will Shapiro

Assistant Professor Adjunct

Will Shapiro is the Co-Founder and CEO of Topos, a company dedicated to changing the way we understand location through the interconnected lenses of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. He received his B. Arch from Cooper Union in 2013. Prior to studying architecture, he studied Mathematics, with a focus on Algebraic Topology, at Brown University, Cambridge University and The University of Chicago. At Brown, he discovered a relationship between the Fibonacci numbers and a set of continued fractions; the resulting paper was awarded the David Howell Premium for Excellence in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy by Brown University.

While working with Cecil Balmond in London, Shapiro developed a suite of software tools for visualizing and producing novel geometries based on higher dimensional mathematics. For his thesis at Cooper, he created modeling software that allows architects to understand how the structures they design react to forces in real time. More recently, he has been developing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding big data through innovations in machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, geometry, topology and statistics. Prior to founding Topos, Shapiro was Head of Research at Seed Scientific (2013-2015) and Head of Research, Analytics at Spotify (2015-2017). Shapiro holds nine patents in Artificial IntelligenceI/Machine Learning.

View Will Shapiro's full CV here.


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.