Keith A Nelson received his Ph.D. in 1982 from Stanford University. He went on to postdoctoral work at the university of California Los Angeles. He then began his career at MIT, where he serves today as Haslam Dewey Professor.
Nelson has received OSA's Ellis R. Lippincott Award and William F. Meggers Award in 2012 and 2021 respectively. He is also a Fellow of OSA.