Two EECS faculty members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Friday, April 14, 2017 - 3:30pm

Two professors in Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) are among 11 MIT faculty members elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) for 2017.

Hari Balakrishnan and Daniela Rus are among 228 leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts who were elected to the academy. One of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications, as well as studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Balakrishnan, who is the Fujitsu Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, leads the Networks and Mobile Systems group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is also a director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing. Rus is the Andrea and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and director of CSAIL, where she leads the Distributed Robotics Laboratory.

Also elected to the academy was MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, the Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Other new academy members from MIT include:

  • Angelika Amon, the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor of Cancer Research;
  • Edward S. Boyden, the AT&T Chair in the MIT Media Lab and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences;
  • Kerry A. Emanuel, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences;
  • Joi Ito, professor of the practice in media arts and sciences and director of the MIT Media Lab;
  • Nergis Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and associate head of the Department of Physics;
  • Earl K. Miller, the Picower Professor in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences;
  • Mary C. Potter, professor emerita of psychology;
  • Paul L. Schechter, the William A. M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, Emeritus.


“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” Don Randel, chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors, said in announcing the new members on April 12. “Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in Cambridge in October.

Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Maria Mitchell in the 19th century, and Albert Einstein and Toni Morrison in the 20th century. The current membership includes more than 200 Nobel laureates and 100 Pulitzer Prize winners.