EECS Celebrates: Honoring the department's outstanding contributors

Friday, July 24, 2020 - 9:15pm

2020 EECS Celebrates:  Honoring the department's outstanding contributors


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 EECS Celebrates event and reception could not take place on campus this year.  Instead, this slide show virtually celebrates the department’s annual awards to faculty, students, and staff.







Seth J. Teller Award for Excellence, Inclusion, and Diversity

Named for the late EECS professor, this award honors members of the MIT community who embody those three values through work, research, or educational innovation. The 2020 winners were Professor Leslie Kolodziejski and EECS PhD students Candace Ross and José Cambronero Sanchez. All were honored for their activities to improve diversity and inclusion in the department.

Kolodziejski is the lead of the EECS Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDEI) and also focuses on graduate student diversity as the EECS Graduate Officer. 

Ross and Cambronero Sanchez were recognized for their many volunteer activities for the EECS Graduate Office, especially their leadership in the EECS Graduate Student Visit Days Events.  For the past three years they have planned, organized, publicized, and led the discussion for the "Student Diversity Panel" portion of the visit days.  Due to their efforts, attendance in this event has grown each year.  Visiting admitted students describe how informative and helpful the authentic discussion was during the panel, and report choosing MIT because of our openness about diversity.   



Burgess (1952) & Elizabeth Jamieson Prizes for Excellence in Teaching (EECS Award)

  • Patrick Jaillet, Co-Director, MIT Operations Research Center; Dugald C. Jackson Professor of EECS, recognized for his teaching in 6.036 Introduction to Machine Learning.

  • Pablo Parrilo, Joseph F. & Nancy P. Keithley Professor, recognized for his teaching in 6.215 (6.255J) Optimization Methods and 6.036 Introduction to Machine Learning.


EECS Outstanding Educator Award (EECS Award)

  • Kimberle Koile, Lecturer, was recognized for her teaching in 6.UAT Oral Communication and 6.034 (6.844) Artificial Intelligence.


Jerome H. Saltzer Award for Excellence in Teaching (EECS Award)

  • Peter Hagelstein,Associate Professor of EE, was recognized for his teaching in 6.011 Introduction to Communications, Control, and Signal Processing and 6.728 Applied Quantum and Statistical Physics.


Kolokotrones Education Award (EECS Award)

  • Arvind Satyanarayan, NBX Career Development Assistant Professor of EECS, was recognized for creating the department's first course on data visualization, 6.984 Interactive Data Visualization, and also for curricular contributions to 6.170 Software Studio


Louis D. Smullin (’39) Award for Excellence in Teaching (EECS Award)

  • Daniel Sanchez Martin, Associate Professor of EECS was recognized for his effort in redesigning 6.004 Computation Structures, EECS introductory subject in Logic Design and Computer Architecture. He used Bluespec, a modern hardware description language and integrated it with an open source logic synthesis tool to provide feedback regarding circuit area and timing.


Ruth and Joel Spira Awards for Excellence in Teaching (SoE Award)

  • Tamara Broderick, Associate Professor of EECS, recognized for her outstanding teaching of 6.882 Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence, 6.036 Introduction to Machine Learning, and 6.435 Bayesian Modeling and Inference. She also made important contributions to 6.041 Introduction to Probability, incorporating new problem sets about real situations.

  • Julian Shun, Douglas Ross (1954) Career Development Assistant Professor of Software Technology, was recognized for the breadth of his teaching ability in 6.006 Introduction to Algorithms, for his teaching in 6.172 Performance Engineering of Software Systems, and for creating the new graduate course 6.886 Algorithms Engineering.



Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising (Institute Award: Recognizes faculty who demonstrates unbounded compassion and dedication towards students)

  • Michael Carbin, Assistant Professor of EECS

  • Leslie Kolodziejski, EECS Graduate Officer; EECS CDEI Co-Chair; Professor of EE


HKN Best Instructor Award (EECS Award)

  • Jason S. Ku, Lecturer, received the 2020 award for his teaching in 6.006 Intro to Algorithms.


IEEE/ACM Best Advisor Award (EECS Award)

  • Silvina Hanono Wachman, Principal Lecturer, received the 2020 award for her guidance and support of students -- for being someone they could come to with any problems in their lives (not just academics), especially during the pandemic.



Department Head Special Recognition Award (EECS Award)

  • Irene Huang, EECS Administrative Officer, was recognized for her excellent and important work for the department.

  • Chris Terman, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, was recognized for his work in the EECS undergraduate office, especially for new tools he created that enable staff to work more effectively (and from home after the pandemic struck).  His solutions changed the way students reach out to staff and improved understanding of the students’ degree progress for both students and advisors.


Junior Bose Award (SoE Award: Recognizes an outstanding contributor to education from among the faculty members who are being proposed for promotion to associate professor without tenure.)

  • Justin Solomon, Associate Professor of EECS, for his teaching in 6.006 Intro to Algorithms and 6.837 Computer Graphics.


Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow (MIT Program: Honors MIT’s best teachers, recognizing faculty who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates at MIT.)


Richard J. Caloggero Award (EECS Award: Recognizes members of the EECS department who have shown loyalty, dedication, and effectiveness beyond normal expectations.)

  • Luca Daniel, Professor of EECS, was recognized for his dedicated work in numerous EECS committees, especially faculty search.



Carlton E. Tucker Teaching Award

  • Srini Raghuraman


Frederick C. Hennie III Teaching Awards

  • Evan Denmark

  • Mesert Kebed

  • Jennifer Madiedo

  • Valerie Richmond

  • Zhongxia Yan


Harold Hazen Teaching Award

  • Dylan Mathis McKay


Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) Awards

  • Srijon Mukherjee

  • Tony Wang



Anna Pogosyants UROP Award

  • Zoë Marschner
    Project: Hexahedral Mesh Repair via Sum-of-Squares Relaxation
    Supervisor: Justin Solomon


Jeremy Gerstle Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) in AI Award

  • Steven Liu
    Project: Diverse Image Generation via Self-Conditioned GANs
    Supervisor: Antonio Torralba


Licklider UROP Award

  • Carlos Castillo Lozada
    Project: Sprayable User Interfaces: Prototyping Large-Scale Interactive Surfaces with Sensors and Displays
    Supervisor: Stefanie Mueller


Morais (1986) and Rosenblum (1986) UROP Award

  • Brandon Motes
    Project: Automated Optical Measurements to Predict Performance of Optoelectronic Devices
    Supervisor: Vladimir Bulovic


Robert M. Fano UROP Award

  • Dhruv Rohatgi (2 Projects)
    Project1: Truncated Linear Regression in High Dimensions
    Project 2: Near-Optimal Bounds for Online Caching with Machine Learned Advice
    Supervisors: Costis Daskalakis, Piotr Indyk


SuperUROP Awards (2019-2020)

  • Fatima Gunter-Rahman
    Project: Using Single-Cell Transcriptomics to Understand Cognitive Resilience in Alzheimer’s Disease
    Supervisor: Li-Huei Tsai

  • Lior Hirschfeld
    Project: Uncertainty Quantification Using Neural Networks for Molecular Property Prediction
    Supervisor: Regina Barzilay

  • Yaateh Richardson
    Project: Learned Bloom Filters
    Supervisor: Tim Kraska



David A. Chanen Writing Award (for Group Writing in 6.033)

  • Eric Hong, Magdalena Price, and Alok Puranik
    Title:  ZoomNet: Updating NASA’s ExtraNet


George C. Newton Undergraduate Laboratory Award (6.111 Group Project)

  • Ishaan Govindarajan and Eric Pence
    Project: The DiGuitar


Northern Telecom/BNR Undergraduate Laboratory Award (6.111 Group Project)

  • Jeremy McCulloch, Adam Potter, and Sreya Vangara
    Project: Futuristic Pepper’s Ghost Approximation

  • Kendall Garner and Claire Traweek
    Project: digitEyez


J. Francis Reintjes Excellence in 6-A Industrial Practice Award

  • Matthew Hutchinson
    Title:  Applying High Performance Computing to Early Fusion Video Action Recognition
    Supervisor: Charles Leiserson
    Company: MIT Lincoln Lab

  • Lokhin Cheng
    Title: Digital Control for Adaptive Efficiency in Switching Regulators
    Supervisor: David Perreault
    Company: Analog Devices



Charles & Jennifer Johnson Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making MEng Thesis Awards

1st Place

  • David Mayo
    Title: Understanding Object Recognition Performance at Scale in Machines and Humans
    Supervisor: Boris Katz

2nd Place

  • Nilai Sarda
    Title:  On Anomaly Detection in Particle Accelerators
    Supervisor: Justin Solomon


Charles & Jennifer Johnson Computer Science MEng Thesis Awards

1st Place

  • Ryan Senanayake
    Title: A Unified Iteration Space Transformation Framework for Sparse and Dense Tensor Algebra
    Supervisor: Saman Amarasinghe

2nd Place

  • Severyn Kozak
    Title: Chasing Zero Variability in Software Performance
    Supervisors: Charles Leiserson, Tao B. Schardl


David Adler Electrical Engineering MEng Thesis Awards

1st Place

  • Theia Henderson
    Title: A Continuous Approach to Information-Theoretic Exploration with Range Sensors
    Supervisors: Vivienne Sze, Sertac Karaman

2nd Place

  • Chandler Squires
    Title: Causal Structure Discovery from Incomplete Data
    Supervisor: Caroline Uhler


Ernst A. Guillemin SM Thesis Award in Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making

  • Jingzhao Zhang
    Title: Dynamical Systems View of Acceleration in First-Order Optimization
    Supervisor: Suvrit Sra


Ernst A. Guillemin SM Thesis Award in Electrical Engineering

  • Alireza Fallah
    Title: Robust Accelerated Gradient Methods for Machine Learning
    Supervisor: Asu Ozdaglar


George M. Sprowls PhD Thesis Award in Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making

  • Jiajun Wu
    Title: Computational Perception of Physical Object Properties
    Supervisors: William Freeman, Joshua Tenenbaum


George M. Sprowls PhD Thesis Award in Computer Science

  • Joshua Alman
    Title: Linear Algebraic Techniques in Algorithms and Complexity
    Supervisors: Ryan Williams, Virginia Williams

  • Young Hyun (Albert) Kwon
    Title: Riffle - An Efficient Communication System with Strong Anonymity
    Supervisor: Srini Devadas

  • Amy Xian Zhang
    Title: Systems for Collections Human Curation of Online Discussion
    Supervisor: David Karger

Jin Au Kong PhD Thesis Award in Electrical Engineering

  • Anuran Makur
    Title: Information Contraction and Decomposition
    Supervisors: Yury Polyanskiy and Lizhong Zheng

  • Di Zhu
    Title: Microwave Engineering in Superconducting Nanowires for Single-Photon Detection
    Supervisor: Karl Berggren



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