Devavrat Shah, Nickolai Zeldovich receive Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 10:15am

L to R: Professors Devavrat Shah and Nickolai Zeldovich

EECS Staff


EECS has awarded Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships (FRIFs) to Professors Devavrat Shah and Nickolai Zeldovich, says Asu Ozdaglar, EECS department head.  

Shah received a Frank Quick Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, created through the generosity of EECS alumnus Frank Quick ’69, SM ’70. Zeldovich received an EECS Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship.

The fellowships were established to recognize midcareer faculty members for outstanding research contributions and international leadership in their fields. The FRIFs provide tenured faculty with resources to pursue new research and development paths, and to make potentially important discoveries through early-stage research.

Shah, a faculty member since 2005, is a member of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Sciences (LIDS) and the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS). He also directs the Statistics and Data Science Center (SDSC).

His research focuses on statistical inference and stochastic networks. His contributions span a range of areas, including resource allocation in communications networks, inference and learning on graphical models, and algorithms for social data processing including ranking, recommendations, and crowdsourcing.  Within the broad context of networks, his work covers a variety of areas across electrical engineering, computer science and operations research.  

Shah received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay, where he received the Presidents of India Gold Medal, awarded to the best graduating student across all engineering disciplines. He received a PhD in computer science from Stanford University, receiving the George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award from Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

His work has received broad recognition, including a Rising Star Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group for the computer systems performance evaluation community (SIGMETRICS) and the Erlang Prize from the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS. He has also received an National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

Best-paper prizes include the Best Publication Award from the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS and best-paper awards from the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society of INFORMS, ACM SIGMETRICS, and the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference. He was also named a Young Alumni Achiever by IIT Bombay. He founded the machine learning start-up Celect, Inc. which helps retailers with optimizing inventory by accurate demand forecasting.

Zeldovich, a faculty member since 2008, is a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research interests are in building practical secure systems. He has been involved with numerous startup companies including MokaFive (desktop virtualization), PreVeil (end-to-end encryption), and Algorand (cryptocurrency). He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in EECS from MIT before receiving a PhD in computer science from Stanford.

Other awards include a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, the EECS Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award, the MIT Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, and the Mark Weiser Award from the ACM Special Interest Group in Operating Systems (SIGOPS).