K. Daron Acemoglu
K. Daron Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT, and a member of the Institutions, Organizations and Growth program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Acemoglu is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the Turkish Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, the Erwin Plein Nemmers prize, and the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge award, in addition to numerous other awards and fellowships. He earned BA from the University of York, an MS in mathematical economics and econometrics from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.
Alex Amouyel is the executive director of Solve, an MIT initiative. Solve is a community of cross-sector leaders devoted to identifying and supporting solutions to actionable challenges through open innovation. Previously, Alex was the Director of Program for the Clinton Global Initiative, where she curated the content for the Annual Meeting. She also worked for Save the Children International in London and across Asia, the Middle East and Haiti, and at the Boston Consulting Group. Alex holds a double master’s degree from Sciences Po, Paris, and the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College, Cambridge.
Regina Barzilay is the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and an investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Barzilay is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the MIT Technology Review TR35 Award, and a Microsoft Faculty Fellowship. She was also elected an Association of Computational Linguistics Fellow and an Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Fellow. Barzilay received her BS and MS from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. She earned a PhD in computer science from Columbia University and did her postdoctoral work at Cornell University.
Cynthia Breazeal SM ’93, ScD ’00
Cynthia Breazeal is an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, where she founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab. She is also founder and chief scientist of Jibo, Inc. Breazeal is a pioneer of social robotics and human robot interaction. Her 2002 book Designing Sociable Robots is about Kismet, an expressive humanoid robot. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and is an award-winning innovator, designer, and entrepreneur. Breazeal did her graduate work at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and received a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
Rodney Brooks is the Panasonic Professor of Robotics, emeritus, at MIT, where he was the director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) until 2007. He was co-founder, chief technology officer, and chairman of iRobot and is currently the founder, chief technology officer, and chairman of Rethink Robotics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research publications include work in computer vision, robotics, the foundations of artificial intelligence, and artificial life. He received an MA in pure mathematics from Flinders University of South Australia and a PhD from Stanford University.
Anantha P. Chandrakasan
Anantha P. Chandrakasan is dean of the MIT School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He was previously the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and the director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories. Since 2010, he has served as conference chair of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference. He is a recipient of awards including the 2009 Semiconductor Industry Association University Researcher Award and the 2013 IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits. A fellow of IEEE, Chandrakasan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2015. He earned a BS, an MS, and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
James J. Collins
James J. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science at MIT and a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty. He is also a core founding faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Collins’s numerous honors include a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur Fellowship, and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. Collins earned an AB from the College of the Holy Cross and a PhD from Oxford University.
James DiCarlo is the head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, the Peter de Florez Professor of Neuroscience, and an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. DiCarlo, along with colleagues, is recognized for revealing how population image transformations carried out by a deep stack of neocortical processing stages are effortlessly able to extract object identity from visual images. He is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Pew Scholar Award, and a McKnight Scholar Award. DiCarlo received an MD and a PhD in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He did his postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dario Gil SM ’00, PhD ’03
Dario Gil SM ’00, PhD ’03 is a leading technologist and senior executive at IBM. As vice president of AI and quantum computing, Gil is responsible for IBM’s global artificial intelligence research efforts and their quantum computing program. He also co-chairs the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab. Gil previously held the position of vice president of science and solutions at IBM Research, where he directed a global organization of 1,500 researchers across 12 laboratories. His research results have appeared in over 20 international journals and conferences. An elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology, Gil is the author of a number of patents. He received an SM and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
W. Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80
W. Eric L. Grimson is chancellor for academic advancement at MIT, the Bernard M. Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering, and a professor of computer science. As chancellor for academic advancement, he represents the Institute to alumni/alumnae, parents, and others, and advises the President on issues related to the MIT Campaign for a Better World. A faculty member since 1984, he previously served as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and as chancellor of MIT. A fellow of AAAI, of ACM, and of IEEE, Grimson earned a BS in mathematics and physics from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, and a PhD in mathematics from MIT.
Joichi “Joi” Ito
Joichi “Joi” Ito is the director of the MIT Media Lab. Recognized for his work as an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and internet freedom, Ito is currently exploring how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society. Ito has served as both board chair and CEO of Creative Commons, and sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The New York Times Company. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web” by Businessweek in 2008, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute, and the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement.
Dina Katabi SM ’99, PhD ’03
Dina Katabi is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, director of the Networks@MIT research group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing. Katabi works on new technologies and machine learning models for digital health, the internet of things, and smart environments. Katabi is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and she received a MacArthur Fellowship for her innovative technologies. She earned an SM and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
Gideon Lichfield has been the editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review since December 2017. He spent 16 years at The Economist, first as a science and technology writer and then in several international postings. In 2012, he became one of the founding editors of Quartz, a news outlet that is now widely recognized as one of the most innovative companies in digital media. Lichfield has taught journalism at New York University and been a fellow at Data & Society, a research institute devoted to studying the social impacts of new technology. He grew up in the UK and earned a BS in physics and philosophy from the University of Bristol, and an MS in the philosophy of science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Andrew W. Lo
Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering. Before joining MIT’s finance faculty in 1988, he taught at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. His research interests are in evolutionary models of behavior and adaptive markets, systemic risk, hedge fund industry dynamics, and health care finance. Lo’s awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Paul A. Samuelson Award, a American Association for Individual Investors Award, the 2001 IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He earned a BA in economics from Yale University and an AM and a PhD in economics from Harvard University.
Melissa Nobles is the Kenan Sahin Dean of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and a professor of political science. Previously, she was head of the Department of Political Science where she oversaw the establishment of a new research program, the MIT Governance Lab, and the Neuroscience and Social Conflict Initiative. Her international, comparative research focuses on retrospective justice in light of ethnic and racial conflicts. She is also involved in faculty governance at MIT and beyond, serving as associate chair of the MIT faculty from 2007–2009 and vice president of the American Political Science Association. Nobles earned a BA in history from Brown University and an MA and a PhD in political science from Yale University.
Aude Oliva is a principal research scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the executive director of the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab. She formerly served as an expert to the National Science Foundation, Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). Her research interests span computer vision, cognitive science, and human neuroscience. She was honored with the National Science Foundation CAREER award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. She earned a MS and PhD in cognitive science from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France.
Leila Pirhaji PhD ’16
Leila Pirhaji is the founder and CEO of ReviveMed, an AI-driven drug-discovery platform focused on discovering therapeutics for metabolic diseases. Pirhaji is passionate about transforming metabolomic data into the right therapeutics for the right patients. During her time at MIT, she developed a pioneering machine-learning technology that translates data from small molecules or metabolites into therapeutic solutions. Pirhaji founded ReviveMed to commercialize this innovative technology, which was published in Nature Methods. She earned a PhD in biological engineering from MIT.
Tomaso A. Poggio
Tomaso A. Poggio is the Eugene McDermott Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and the director of the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines. He is also an investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and has received numerous awards, including the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience. He received a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Genoa and worked at the Max Planck Institute in Germany until 1981.
Katie Rae is the CEO and managing partner of The Engine, an enterprise launched by MIT to support “tough tech.” Previously, Rae was a founder and managing director at Project 11 Ventures and managing director of Techstars Boston. Rae spent her early career building significant internet businesses as the head of product for Microsoft Startup Labs and SVP of Product at Eons. She learned the ropes of product and business development at AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. Rae currently serves as chairman of Startup Institute where she is also a founder. She holds a BA in biology from Oberlin College and an MBA from Yale University.
L. Rafael Reif
L. Rafael Reif is the 17th president of MIT. During his tenure, he has fostered the growth of MIT’s nonprofit online platform, edX, and helped MIT pioneer the role that online learning and credentials will play in the future of higher education. Reif created the MIT Innovation Initiative; established the Environmental Solutions Initiative, the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Laboratory, and the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab; issued the MIT Plan for Action on Climate Change; and launched The Engine, a specialized “tough tech” accelerator. Other key priorities for Reif include the Kendall Square Initiative, an ambitious redevelopment plan powered by MIT, and the partnership with IBM to create the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab, which will focus on fundamental artificial intelligence research with the goal of propelling scientific breakthroughs. A faculty member since 1980, he also serves as a freshman advisor and is a passionate advocate for students. Born in Venezuela, Reif is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Daniela Rus is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Rus studies robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science. Her focus is developing the science and engineering of autonomy, with the long-term objective of enabling a future where machines are integrated into the fabric of life by supporting people with physical tasks. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, and is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and IEEE. She earned a PhD in computer science from Cornell University.
Rebecca Saxe PhD ’03
Rebecca Saxe is a professor of cognitive neuroscience in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Before joining the MIT faculty, Saxe was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. She is especially known for her work on “Theory of Mind” — a person’s ability to think about the thoughts, beliefs, plans, hopes, and emotions of other people. Saxe was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and her 2009 TED Talk “How we read each other’s minds,” has been viewed almost three million times. Saxe received a BA from Oxford University and a PhD in cognitive science from MIT.
Eric Schmidt is technical advisor to Alphabet Inc., where he advises its leaders on technology, business, and policy issues. Schmidt joined Google in 2001 and helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology. He served as Google’s chief executive officer from 2001–2011 and executive chairman 2011–2017, alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Under his leadership Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation.
Martin A. Schmidt
Martin A. Schmidt SM ’83, PhD ’88 is provost at MIT and the Ray and Maria Stata Professor of Electrical Engineering. As provost, he is MIT’s senior academic and budget officer with overall responsibility for the Institute’s educational programs. Schmidt is the co-chair of the edX board of directors, the senior officer responsible for the MIT Innovation Initiative, and a co-author of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change. He also led the development of the SOLVE initiative, which convenes thought leaders, researchers, and students to identify and implement technology-centered solutions to problems. A professor of electrical engineering, Schmidt’s teaching and research are in the areas of micro- and nanofabrication of sensors, actuators, and electronic devices. He is the recipient of the Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award and the Eta Kappa Nu Teaching Award at MIT. He earned a BS from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an SM and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
Laura Schulz is a professor of cognitive science in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She is interested in how children learn their commonsense understanding of the physical and social world and in bridging the gap between computational models of learning and the behavior of young children. She received the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, the MacVicar Faculty Fellowship at MIT in 2013, and the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in 2014. Her 2015 TED Talk on learning in early childhood has been viewed over 1,500,000 times. She received a BA in philosophy from the University of Michigan and a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
David Siegel SM ’86, PhD ’91
David Siegel is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who was drawn to computer science and programming at a young age. This interest sparked a lifelong passion for building intelligent computational systems, reflecting the belief in technology’s potential to improve virtually every human endeavor. He currently serves as co-chairman of Two Sigma Investments, a firm founded in 2001 on the belief that innovative technology and data science could help discover value in the world’s data. As of 2018, the firm manages over $50 billion in assets with more than 1,400 employees worldwide. After graduating from Princeton, Siegel received a PhD in computer science from MIT, where he conducted research at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Megan Smith ’86, SM ’88
Megan Smith served as the third United States chief technology officer and assistant to the president under President Obama. Prior to her White House role, Smith was a vice president at Google, leading new business development for nine years, and later serving as a vice president on the leadership team at Google[x]. Smith is a member of the MIT Corporation and the MIT Media Lab Visiting Committee, an advisor to the Malala Fund, which she co-founded, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She earned an SB and an SM in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Marin Soljačić ’96
Marin Soljačić is a professor of physics at MIT. His research interests include artificial intelligence and electromagnetic phenomena with a focus on nanophotonics, non-linear optics, and wireless power transfer. Soljačić is the recipient of the Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America and the TR35 award from MIT Technology Review. He was also honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, the Blavatnik National Award, and Invented Here! from the Boston Patent Law Association. Soljačić earned a BS in physics and electrical engineering from MIT and a PhD from Princeton University.
Michael Sipser is the dean of the MIT School of Science and the Donner Professor of Mathematics. He is a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) with areas of research in algorithms and complexity theory, and has published a widely used textbook on computation. Among other initiatives, he introduced the Fundamental Science Investigator Award and champions the Aging Brain Initiative. Sipser is on the board of trustees at the Center for Excellence in Education, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Mathematical Society, and a 2016 MacVicar Fellow. Sipser earned a BA in mathematics from Cornell University and a PhD in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Xiao’ou Tang PhD ’96
Xiao’ou Tang is the founder of SenseTime, a leading artificial intelligence company focused on computer vision and deep learning, and a professor in the Department of Information Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also serves as the associate director of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Science and the the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Computer Vision. He previously worked as the director of the Visual Computing Group at the Microsoft Research Asia. Tang has received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. His research interests include computer vision, pattern recognition, and video processing. An IEEE fellow, Tang received a BS from the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, an MS from the University of Rochester, and a PhD in ocean engineering from MIT.
Josh Tenenbaum PhD ’99
Josh Tenenbaum is a professor of computational cognitive science at MIT, a researcher at the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines, and an investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He works actively in artificial intelligence, believing that if we can build machines that learn, see, think, and act in more human-like ways, this will lead to more useful and beneficial AI systems. Tenenbaum’s honors and awards include the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association and the Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences. He earned a BA from Yale University and a PhD in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT.
Antonio Torralba is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the MIT director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. He completed his a postdoctoral work at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), where he is now an investigator. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the best student paper award at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, and the J. K. Aggarwal Prize from the International Association for Pattern Recognition. He earned a degree in telecommunications engineering from Telecom BCN, Spain, and a PhD in signal, image, and speech processing from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France.
Sophie V. Vandebroek
Sophie V. Vandebroek is the chief operating officer of IBM Research. Her responsibilities include creating and executing the IBM Research strategy as well as the operations of IBM’s 12 Research Labs around the globe. The primary areas of IBM Research include cognitive computing, blockchain, quantum computing, and cybersecurity. Vandebroek is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers and a fellow of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. She holds 14 US patents and is a member of the board of directors of IDEXX Laboratories, previously serving on the board of directors of Analogic Corporation and of Nypro Corporation. She earned a master’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium, and a PhD in electrical engineering from Cornell University.
Yibiao Zhao is the co-founder and CEO of iSee AI, a startup working on humanistic AI for autonomous driving. The company is among the first to be backed by The Engine, a venture fund launched by MIT. A pioneer of engineering common sense for visual understanding and cognitive robots, Yibiao is co-chair of the interdisciplinary workshop series at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition and Cognitive Science Society conferences. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles in computer vision and his postdoctoral work at MIT in cognitive robots.