Alexander Vilenkin is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University. A theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for 25 years, Vilenkin has written over 150 papers and is responsible for introducing the ideas of eternal inflation and quantum creation of the universe from a quantum vacuum. During the early universe, inflation expanded the universe at trillion times faster than the speed of light. His work in cosmic strings has been pivotal. With Arvind Borde and Alan Guth, he is one of the originators of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem.
Vilenkin received his undergraduate degree in physics in 1971 in the former Soviet Union (University of Kharkiv). He later moved to the United States, where he obtained his Ph.D. at Buffalo. His work has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles in the United States, Europe, Soviet Union, and Japan, and in many popular books.
Vilenkin sometimes wears sunglasses when giving seminars which give him a characteristic appearance. Apparently these are because his eyes are sensitive to bright projector lights.