Bertsekas, Brooks and Mitter honored with major awards

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June 26, 2014

Bertsekas, Brooks and Mitter receive major awards, spring 2014

Three EECS faculty members were recently the recipients of major awards. Dimitri Bertsekas received the 2014 American Automatic Control Council Richard Bellman Heritage Award given for distinguished career contributions to the theory or applications of automatic control; Rodney Brooks has received the 2014 Engelberger Robotics Award for Leadership and the 2015 IEEE Robotics and Automation Award in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of robotics and automation; and Sanjoy Mitter is the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award for outstanding contributions to communication technology.

Dimitri Bertsekas, the McAfee Professor of Engineering and member of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS), has devoted his research at MIT (since 1979) to the fields of optimization, control, large-scale computation and data communication networks. His classic textbooks and monographs in theoretical and algorithmic optimization and control and applied probability include applications to data communication, transportation networks and electric power generation. A member of the National Academy of Engineering since 2001, Prof. Bertsekas was also awarded the 2009 INFORMS Expository Writing Award for his ability to “communicate difficult mathematical concepts with unusual clarity, thereby reaching a broad audience across many disciplines.”

At the 45th International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2014) in Munich on June 2, Rodney Brooks, the Panasonic Professor of Robotics, Emeritus, and the Founder, Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics was awarded the 2014 Engelberger Robotics Award for Leadership. Instrumental in the merger of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which he directed from 1997 to 2003, and the Laboratory for Computer Science to form the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), Prof.Brooks served as CSAIL Director from 2003 to 2007. Joining the MIT faculty in 1984, Prof. Brooks developed the field of behavior-based mobile robots, co-founding iRobot in 1990. In its selection of the 2015 IEEE Robotics and Automation Award recipient, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society cited Rodney Brooks “For pioneering contributions to and leadership in research and commercialization of autonomous robotics, spanning mobile, humanoid, service, and manufacturing robots.”

Sanjoy Mitter, the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award, is cited by the IEEE “For contributions to the unification of communications and control.” A member of the MIT faculty since 1970 and Director of LIDS from 1981 to 1999, Prof. Mitter has devoted his research to the broad areas of systems, communication and control. He has made significant contributions in engineering applications, notably the control of interconnected power systems, character recognition, and automatic recognition and classification of electrocardiograms. In 1988 Sanjoy Mitter was elected a member of the US National Academy of Engineering “for outstanding contributions to the theory and applications of automatic control and nonlinear filtering.” Professor Mitter was awarded the AACC Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award in 2007 and was the winner of the 2000 IEEE Control Systems Award.