Dina Katabi honored for contributions to American society

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 5:45pm

Professor Dina Katabi

Anne Stuart | EECS 

Dina Katabi, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been named as a Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Katabi, who was born in Syria, is among 38 naturalized citizens from 35 countries of origin who are being celebrated for their contributions to American society.

Katabi, a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), was recognized for her “efforts to improve the speed, reliability, and data security of wireless networks.” In particular, the Carnegie Corporation cited Katabi’s work in “developing a wireless device that is able to track motion using radio signals reflected off of the human body, even through walls ­— a technology that has great potential for medical use.”

For example, the device can help medical personnel monitor patients’ breathing, heartbeat, and other vital signs — at home and without sensors. “Using artificial intelligence, the device is also able to recommend a course of action, such as a phone call to a care provider in the case of an elderly person who has fallen,” the organization noted.

Katabi, who joined the EECS faculty in 2003, also leads the Networks at MIT (NETMIT) research group and is a director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing (Wireless@MIT), both in CSAIL.

Among other honors, Katabi has received a MacArthur Fellowship, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Prize in Computing, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award,  a Test of Time Award from the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Data Communications (SIGCOMM), a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship. She is an ACM Fellow and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She received a bachelor’s degree from Damascus University and master’s and PhD degrees from MIT.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic organization founded in 1911 by industrialist and Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, launched its annual Great Immigrants program in 2006. This year’s class of Great Immigrants also includes Angelika Amon, the Marble Professor of Cancer Research in MIT’s Department of Biology; Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk; CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer; Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton; violinist Midori; former Miami Mayor Tomás Pedro Regalado, New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera; Linux developer Linus Torvalds; and Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen, among other luminaries.

For another version of this story, please visit the MIT News website.