New Institute chair holders include Lozano-Pérez, Kaelbling, Aaronson, Dawson and Zeldovich

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July 8, 2009

EECS Department Head Eric Grimson announced on June 30, 2009, new faculty chair positions awarded to several EECS faculty. In his words:

"I am delighted to inform you that several of our colleagues are recipients of chairs at the Institute.

Tomás Lozano-Pérez is the new School of Engineering Professor in Teaching Excellence. Given Tomas' incredible contributions to the curriculum of the department: chairing the Curriculum Initiative Committee, helping to design and implement 6.01, as well as many other curricular contributions over the years, this chair appointment is particularly appropriate as a recognition of Tomas' influence excellence and innovation in teaching and curricular design.

Leslie Kaelbling is the new Ellen Swallow Richards Professor. This Professorship was established in 1973 to honor MIT's first woman graduate and first woman teacher. This chair has previously been held by Nancy Lynch, JoAnne Stubbe (Chemistry), Alice Amsden (Urban Studies and Planning), Barbara Imperiali (Chemistry) and Nancy Kanwisher (Brain and Cognitive Sciences). Leslie is an internationally renowned expert in machine learning and robotics, especially in the use of decision theoretic methods applied to artificial intelligence problems such as robot path planning, robot assembly tasks, resource allocation and other problems involving intelligent agents. She is also one of the department's best instructors, having won the Jamieson Prize for teaching in recognition of her many contributions to 6.01.

We also have three new Career Development Chairs.

Scott Aaronson will hold the TIBCO Career Development Professorship for a three year period. Scott's research interests center around fundamental limits on what can efficiently be computed in the physical world, with particular focus on quantum computing and limitations on quantum computing algorithms. Scott also maintains an active interest in many topics in classical theoretical computer science.

Joel Dawson will hold the Mark Hyman, Jr. Career Development Professorship for a three year period. Joel is interested in RF and mixed-signal CMOS ICs for communications systems and medical applications. His work explores optimal tradeoffs between the analog and digital domains in order to achieve desired functionality and performance at low cost.

Nickolai Zeldovich will serve as the Douglas T. Ross Career Development Professor of Software Technology for a three year period. Nickolai's research interests focus on building practical secure systems, from operating systems and hardware, to networks and distributed systems, to programming languages and security analysis tools.

Please join me in congratulating Tomás, Leslie, Scott, Joel and Nickolai."

Eric Grimson
Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering
Head, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology