Nick Patterson is a senior computational biologist in the Medical and Population Genetics Program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His work involves applying new statistical methodologies to complex genetic data, focusing on human medical genetics. His work at the Broad has ranged widely, encompassing the study of the medical genetics of African American, Latino and Indian populations, to understanding the evolutionary path of modern humans from the time of the Neandertals. In 2001, Patterson joined the Whitehead Institute /MIT Center for Genome Research. He briefly worked on gene expression data applied to cancer before switching to the study of human genetics. His work at the Whitehead, and now at the Broad Institute, is his most recent foray into the world of large data sets. Prior to his career in genetics research, Patterson enjoyed two successful careers based in applied mathematics. For 20 years he worked as a cryptographer for the British, then the US code-breaking agencies to decipher and encrypt highly confidential communications. He spent the next ten years with Renaissance Technologies, an investment hedge fund, building mathematical models for market prediction. Patterson was first an undergraduate and then a graduate student in Mathematics at Cambridge University, where he received both his BA and PhD.