Today, Department Head Anantha Chandrakasan announced the appointment of Professor Srini Devadas as an Edwin Sibley Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, joining Prof. Alan Willsky as the second Edwin Sibley Webster chaired professor at MIT. Professor Devadas succeeds nearly sixty years of many prominent faculty members holding this professorship, including Ernst Guillemin in 1960, Lan Jen Chu in 1963, Peter Elias in 1974, and Ronald Rivest in 1992.
Professor Devadas has done pioneering work in a number of areas related to CAD, security and computer architecture. His early award-winning work involved developing a symbolic simulation method for analyzing the average and worst-case power estimation of combinational logic; this was among the first efficient, accurate power estimation methods developed. Professor Devadas was one of the first to recognize that manufacturing variations in integrated circuits could be used to not just identify, but to authenticate, individual integrated circuits. He coined the term Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) in 2002; PUFs are now a very active field of research and this technology has been commercialized. Most recently, along with his students, he has developed a computation-migration-based parallel processing architecture where programs move to where the data resides rather than the other way around. As proof of concept, his group is working on the tape-out of a 121-core processor.
In addition to his research, his service and teaching record at MIT has been extraordinary. He served as Associate Department Head of the EECS Department for nearly 6 years, leading the Computer Science side of the department during that time. He has taught 6.00, 6.001, 6.002, 6.004, 6.005, 6.006, 6.042, 6.046, and 6.170 at the undergraduate level, and graduate-level classes in VLSI, architecture and security.
The Webster professorship was established in 1954 by a grant from the Edwin S. Webster Foundation. The chair honors the late Mr. Edwin S. Webster, a member of the MIT Class of 1888 and a leading Corporation member and advisor to MIT's President during the years of Richard Maclaurin's presidency. Edwin Webster's company, Stone and Webster, built the first MIT buildings in Cambridge and gave to the Institute what is now known as the Gray House.