The Seth J. Teller Awards for Excellence, Inclusion, and Diversity

    Founded in 2018 and named for the late EECS professor, the annual Seth J. Teller Award for Excellence, Inclusion, and Diversity honors members of the MIT community who embody those three values through work, research, or educational innovation.

    Eligibility

    MIT Students, staff and faculty are all eligible. Any EECS student, member of staff, or faculty member wishing to nominate someone for this award should send a short email to teller-award@mit.edu stating how the nominee embodies excellence, enhances diversity, and/or promotes inclusion in the MIT community.

    Background

    Seth Teller was a technological visionary who pursued grand challenges throughout his career. Full of ideas and enthusiasm, Seth was driven to make bold rather than incremental advances to help people’s everyday lives. A native of Connecticut, Teller received his BA in physics from Wesleyan University in 1985 and his PhD in Computer Science from Berkeley in 1992. He joined the MIT Faculty in EECS in 1994 and was promoted to Professor in 2007.

    Seth Teller, in an image courtesy of MIT News.

    Teller’s research was driven by the idea that robots might someday work collaboratively with people. He made major contributions in numerous arenas: computer graphics, digital mapping of cities, navigation for mobile robots, perception for self-driving cars, aids for the blind, assistive technology, and human robot interaction. He was the recipient of many awards, including an NSF Career Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.

    Additionally, Teller was an inspirational teacher. He co-developed and taught 6.141 Robotics: Science and Systems, a cornerstone of MIT’s robotics curriculum, and also developed 6.811: Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology. In this class, small teams of students work with a single individual who lives with a disability to develop an assistive technology device to provide aid to them in the performance of some activity of daily living. Teller was deeply committed in his service to the Institute, especially to EECS undergraduate and graduate students. He was a mentor for several hundred UROP projects and was a recipient of the MIT IEEE/ACM Best Undergraduate Academic Advisor Award.

    Past Winners

    The Seth J. Teller Award Plaque. Image courtesy John Leonard.

    The award’s past winners include:

    2021

     Caris Mariah Moses

    Arvind Satyanarayan

    2020

    Leslie Kolodziejski

    Candace Ross

    Jose Cambronero

    2019

    Bruke Mesfin Kifle

    Ronitt Rubinfeld

    2018

    Irene Chen

    Marzyeh Ghassemi