Alex Hills

Distinguished Service Professor – EPP Courtesy Professor – ECE
Office 129F Baker Hall
Telephone (907)-232-6088
Fax (412)-268-3757

Research Interests

Dr. Alex Hills and his team built the world's first big Wi-Fi network. As described in his new book, Wi-Fi and the Bad Boys of Radio, the team overcame major obstacles to create the first wireless campus. It was an unheard of idea when Hills started the project in 1993. The network, which came to be called "Wireless Andrew," was the prototype used by many others to build Wi-Fi networks now in use around the world.

Working with colleagues, Professor Hills also developed a methodology for designing Wi-Fi networks. He invented a semi-automated design tool called Rollabout to dramatically improve and speed up the Wi-Fi network design process.

Dr. Hills is actively involved in international development. As a senior advisor to the Technology Consulting in the Global Community program, he has worked with Carnegie Mellon students on a broad array of projects in developing nations. This work is described in his book "Geeks on a Mission." It was the subject of his keynote speech at the 2015 Information Networking Institute graduation ceremony.

Alex Hills has also written and lectured on the potential for wireless to deliver basic telephone service in the developing world and on its implications for anytime-anywhere computing. He has wide experience in information technology, including both technical and business aspects. And he is an expert in telecommunications policy, which encompasses aspects of engineering, law and economics.

He has served as Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at Carnegie Mellon, founding director of the university's Information Networking Institute, Alaska's Deputy Commissioner of Administration and chief telecommunications official, and a US Army officer and company commander in South Korea.

In the News

  • Hills Elected Alaska Engineer of the Year
  • ECE Faculty Win Accolades from IEEE and ACM
  • Helium Networks Commercializes Wireless LAN Technology Invented by CMU Researchers
  • CMU Researchers Create Tools for Reliable, High Speed "Wi-Fi" Wireless Networks
  • External Press

  • Hills to receive honorary doctorate from University of Alaska Anchorage
  •  Alex  Hills

    Carnegie Mellon, 1989

    Research Area

    Signals and Systems


    Research in wireless technology and telecommunications policy


    PhD, 1979
    Engineering and Public Policy
    Carnegie Mellon University

    MS, 1969
    Electrical Engineering
    Arizona State University

    BS, 1964
    Electrical Engineering
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute