Summer 2023 Connector

    Hello to the EECS community near and far!

    It’s incredible to think that we are at the cusp of a new fall semester–where has the summer gone? I hope everyone reading this has found some time to rest, restore, and renew their energy for the year ahead. As the new building for the Schwarzman College of Computing receives some beautiful finishing touches across the street from my office, I find myself looking forward to the interdisciplinary exploration which the building symbolizes. Our newest faculty members, who you will read about below, open up new areas of research across many disciplines, making them well-equipped to address some of humanity’s thorniest and most complex problems. We are on the cusp not only of a new year, but of a new era of innovation–one which will bring not both novel challenges, and advances in our ability to address those challenges head-on. I can’t wait to see what it brings.

    –Asu Ozdaglar, Department Head, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    MathWorks Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Deputy Dean of Academics, MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing

    Postdoctoral researcher Mantian Xue shares her work on machine learning and biosensors at the second annual Thriving Stars summit. Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl.

    Departmental News

    School of Engineering welcomes new faculty

    This new cohort of faculty members, who have either recently started their roles at MIT or will start their new roles within the next year, conduct research across a diverse range of disciplines.

    Department of EECS announces 2023 promotions

    The department is proud to announce multiple promotions this year.

    Education Initiatives

    MIT PhD student enhances STEM education in underrepresented communities in Puerto Rico

    Through her organization, Sprouting, Taylor Baum is empowering teachers to teach coding and computer science in their classrooms and communities.

    “Engineering for Impact” takes on the Miami heat.

    A collaboration between MIT and Miami-Dade County has students working with city planning officials to understand why people wait patiently for a bus–and why they bail.  

    Feature Story

    The Thriving Stars of Data-Driven Medical Diagnoses

    Early-career women share their professional discoveries and personal journeys on the cutting edge of healthcare and medical technology.


    Planning algorithm enables high-performance flight

    With this new approach, a tailsitter aircraft, ideal for search-and-rescue missions, can plan and execute complex, high-speed acrobatic maneuvers.

    MIT engineers “grow” atomically thin transistors on top of computer chips

    A new low-temperature growth and fabrication technology allows the integration of 2D materials directly onto a silicon circuit, which could lead to denser and more powerful chips.

    New method simplifies the construction process for complex materials

    With a new, user-friendly interface, researchers can quickly design many cellular metamaterial structures that have unique mechanical properties.

    Using AI, scientists find a drug that could combat drug-resistant infections

    The machine-learning algorithm identified a compound that kills Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterium that lurks in many hospital settings.

    Faculty Spotlight

    MIT faculty tackle big ideas in a symposium kicking off Inauguration Day

    At a symposium exploring the theme “Where Big Ideas Come From — and Why They Matter,” MIT faculty, including Sangeeta Bhatia and Dina Katabi, presented their research and shared their perspectives on how MIT can cultivate ideas and innovations to meet the major challenges of the world today.

    Armando Solar-Lezama named inaugural Distinguished Professor of Computing

    Solar-Lezama is the first person appointed to this position generously endowed by Professor Jae S. Lim.

    Palacios named the Clarence J. LeBel Professor

    This chair appointment recognizes his groundbreaking research, excellent teaching and mentoring, and exceptional contributions to the department and to MIT.

    Go Deeper

    Bringing the social and ethical responsibilities of computing to the forefront

    The inaugural SERC Symposium convened experts from multiple disciplines to explore the challenges and opportunities that arise with the broad applicability of computing in many aspects of society.

    Machine-learning system based on light could yield more powerful, efficient large language models

    MIT system demonstrates greater than 100-fold improvement in energy efficiency and a 25-fold improvement in compute density compared with current systems.

    New sensor mimics cell membrane functions

    The device detects the same molecules that cell receptors do, and may enable routine early screening for cancers and other diseases.

    Faculty Awards

    QS Ranks MIT the world’s No. 1 university for 2023-24

    The Institute received a No. 1 ranking in the following QS subject areas: Chemical Engineering; Civil and Structural Engineering; Computer Science and Information Systems; Data Science and Artificial Intelligence; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Linguistics; Materials Science; Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Manufacturing Engineering; Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy; and Statistics and Operational Research.

    Jelena Notaros receives 2023 NSF CAREER Award

    The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

    Two professors awarded 2023 Thornton Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships (FRIFs)

    The Department established the FRIF awards in 2011 to provide tenured, mid-career faculty with the funding resources and freedom necessary to explore new research directions, resulting in potentially important discoveries through early-stage research.

    Ellen Roche and Justin Solomon named Edgerton Award winners

    The purpose of the award is to recognize exceptional distinction in teaching, in research, and in service.

    Yael Tauman Kalai awarded the 2022 ACM Prize in Computing

    The prize recognizes early-to-mid-career computer scientists who have made key research contributions to the field, such as Kalai’s influence on modern cryptographic practices.

    Student Awards & Spotlights

    Using data to write songs for progress

    Senior Ananya Gurumurthy adds her musical talents to her math and computer science studies to advocate using data for social change.

    Four MIT students selected for Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship 2023

    Hae Won Lee and Jiadi Zhu, PhD students in EECS, have been chosen as winners of the fellowship this year, for their proposal titled “Low-temperature Heterogeous Integration of MoS2 Transistors on Silicon CMOS Circuits for RF Energy Harvesting”.

    Alumni in Action

    Fueled by problem-solving

    Undergraduate research helped feed EECS and physics major Thomas Bergamaschi’s post-MIT interest in tackling challenges.

    Q & A


    Professor Emeritus Dick Thornton, adventurer, dies at 93

    An innovator, entrepreneur, and outdoorsman, Thornton’s influence upon all the communities he touched was profound.