John W. Hessler

Mathematican, GIScientist, and Professor in Baltimore, MD

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When not climbing in the Alps or mountain biking through some jungle, John W. Hessler is a Lecturer in Quantum Theory and Computing in the Graduate School of Advanced Studies of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University and a Specialist in Computational Geography & Geographic Information Science at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Hessler's main line of research focuses on the ontological and mathematical foundations of spatial computing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has written on genetic & evolutionary algorithm design, on the philosophy of artificial life, and on the foundations and use of neural networks and deep learning in geographic research. He is also interested in the applications of Category Theory in natural language processing applications and theories of distributional semantics.

Hessler has taught classes and seminars on the foundations of quantum theory & computing, human brain mapping, the mathematics of neural computation & engineering and on the computational complexity of the Gerrymandering problem, where he has also developed new Markov Chain methods.

The author of more than one hundred books and articles, including the New York Times best-seller, MAP: Exploring the World, his work has been featured in many national media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Discover Magazine, WIRED, the Atlantic’s CITYLAB, the BBC, CBS News and most recently on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Hessler is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, a mountaineer and alpinist, and is an occasional contributor to Alpinist Magazine.

  • Work
    • Johns Hopkins University / LoC