Ragan-Kelley named ACM SIGGRAPH'S 2021 Significant New Researcher

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June 10, 2021

Rachel Gordon | CSAIL

MIT EECS professor Jonathan Ragan-Kelley received ACM SIGGRAPH'S 2021 Significant New Researcher Award, for his “outstanding contributions to systems and compilers in rendering and computational photography,” according to ACM’s press release. 

“Jonathan’s work on high-performance domain-specific languages for graphics, computational photography, and machine learning is intellectually deep and has already had tremendous practical impact across the industry. 

While doing his PhD at MIT in 2014 under the supervision of MIT professors Frédo Durand and Saman Amarasingh, Ragan-Kelley was instrumental in developing the language and compiler Halide, “a language for fast, portable computation on images and tensors” which has become the “industry standard for computational photography and image processing.” Fast and efficient, Halide was created to make writing high-performance image processing code on modern machines more seamless. His earlier work on the language Lightspeed has been an instrumental tool in producing films, and for those efforts he was a finalist for a technical Oscar award.

Ragan-Kelley earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Stanford in 2004, his Master’s degree at MIT in 2007, and his PhD from MIT in 2014, under MIT professors Frédo Durand and Saman Amarasinghe. He also worked as a postdoc with Pat Hanrahan at Stanford (2014-16) and as a Visiting Researcher at Google (2016-17). Currently, Ragan-Kelley is the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT, and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at UC Berkeley.