New EECS Faculty for 2016-2017

October 28, 2016

School of Engineering | MIT News

EECS welcomes six new faculty.

faculty photos

First row (left to right): Adam Belay, Stefanie Mueller, Max Shulaker. Second row (left to right): David Sontag, Ryan Williams, Virginia Vassilevska Williams.

The School of Engineering will welcome 13 new faculty members to its departments, institutes, labs, and centers during the 2016-17 academic year.

Among them are six new faculty members in EECS:

Adam Belay will join EECS as an assistant professor in July 2017. He received a PhD in computer science from Stanford University, where he was a member of the secure computer systems group and the multiscale architecture and systems team. Previously, he worked on storage virtualization at VMware Inc. and contributed substantial power-management code to the Linux Kernel project. Belay’s research area is operating systems and networking. Much of his work has focused on restructuring computer systems so that developers can more easily reach the full performance potential of hardware. He received a Stanford graduate fellowship, a VMware graduate fellowship, and an OSDI Jay Lepreau best paper award.

Stefanie Mueller will join EECS as an assistant professor in January 2017. She received her PhD in human-computer interaction (HCI) from the Hasso Plattner Institute in 2016, where she also received an MS in IT-systems engineering. In her research, Mueller develops novel interactive hardware and software systems that advance personal fabrication technologies. Her work has been published at the most selective HCI venues — Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Conference for Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), and User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) — and received a best paper award and two best-paper nominees. Mueller is an associate chair of the program committees at ACM, CHI, and UIST, and is a general co-chair for the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computational Fabrication taking place at MIT in June 2017. She has been an invited speaker at MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Microsoft Research, Disney Research, Adobe Research, and others. In addition, her work has been covered widely in New Scientist, BBC, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Mueller will head the HCI engineering group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which works at the intersection of human-computer interaction, computer graphics, computer vision, and robotics.

Max Shulaker joined EECS as an assistant professor in July 2016. He received bachelor's, master’s, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at Stanford, where he was a Fannie and John Hertz Fellow and a Stanford Graduate Fellow. Shulaker’s research focuses on the broad area of nanosystems. His Novel Electronic Systems Group aims to understand and optimize multidisciplinary interactions across the entire computing stack — from low-level synthesis of nanomaterials, to fabrication processes and circuit design for emerging nanotechnologies, up to new architectures — to enable the next generation of high performance and energy-efficient computing systems.

David Sontag will join EECS in January 2017 as an assistant professor. He will also be part of the Institute for Medical Engineering (IMES) and Science and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has been an assistant professor in computer science and data science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 2011. Previously, he was a postdoc at Microsoft Research New England. Sontag’s research interests are in machine learning and artificial intelligence with a recent focus on unsupervised learning, a problem of discovering hidden variables from data, and causal inference, which seeks to estimate the effect of interventions from observational data. As part of IMES, he will lead a research group that aims to transform health care through the use of machine learning. Sontag received the Sprowls award for his PhD thesis at MIT,  best paper awards at the EMNLP, UAI, and NIPS conferences, and a National Science Foundation Early Career award.

Ryan Williams will join MIT as an associate professor (with tenure) in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in January 2017, pending the approval of his tenure case by the Executive Committee. He received an BA in computer science and mathematics from Cornell, and a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. Following postdoctoral appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and IBM Almaden, he was an assistant professor of computer science at Stanford for five years. Williams’s research interests are in the theoretical design and analysis of efficient algorithms and in computational complexity theory, focusing mainly on new connections (and consequences) forged between algorithm design and logical circuit complexity. Along with some best paper awards, Williams has received a Sloan Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, and was an invited speaker at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians.

Virginia Vassilevska Williams will join EECS as an associate professor in January 2017. She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and engineering and applied science from Caltech and a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), UC Berkeley, and Stanford. Prior to joining MIT, she spent more than three years as an assistant professor at Stanford. Her research interests are broadly in theoretical computer science, focusing on the design and analysis of algorithms and fine-grained complexity. Her work on matrix multiplication algorithms was covered by the press and is the most cited paper in algorithms and complexity in the last five years.

Read more about all the new professors on MIT News.