Three EECS professors awarded 2021 Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships (FRIFs)

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April 14, 2021

From left to right: Ryan Williams, William Oliver, and Aleksander Madry

Jane Halpern | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The Department of EECS has awarded three Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships (FRIFs) to Professor Aleksander Madry, Associate Professor William Oliver, and Professor Ryan Williams.

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.

Ryan Williams received a Frank Quick Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, created through the generosity of EECS alumnus Frank Quick ’69, SM ’70. Aleksander Madry and William Oliver received Thornton Family Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships, created through the generosity of Richard Thornton, SM ‘54, ScD ’57, an EECS faculty member for more than 40 years.

Aleksander Madry is a Professor of Computer Science, a member of the Theory of Computation Group in CSAIL as well as the Director of the MIT Center for Deployable Machine Learning. His research interests span algorithms, continuous optimization, science of deep learning, and understanding machine learning from a robustness and deployability perspectives.

Before joining the MIT EECS department in 2015, Madry was a faculty at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England. Among other awards and honors, he has received the Presburger Award from the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS), a Sloan Research Fellowship, an ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award Honorable Mention and an NSF CAREER Award. Madry was also an invited speaker at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians.

William Oliver is an Associate Professor of EECS, a Lincoln Laboratory Fellow, the Associate Director of RLE, and the Director of the Center for Quantum Engineering. Oliver works with the Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group at Lincoln Laboratory and the Engineering Quantum Systems Group at MIT, where he provides programmatic and technical leadership for programs related to the development of quantum and classical high-performance computing technologies for quantum information science applications. His interests include the materials growth, fabrication, design, and control of superconducting quantum processors, as well as the development of cryogenic packaging and control electronics involving cryogenic CMOS and single-flux quantum digital logic. Oliver is a Fellow of the American Physical Society; serves on the US National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee and the US Committee for Superconducting Electronics; is an IEEE Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC) Board Member; and is a member of AAAS, IEEE, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.A. in Japanese from the University of Rochester (NY).

Ryan Williams is a Professor of EECS and a member of the Theory of Computation group in CSAIL, where he conducts research 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 several 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. Williams received his BA in computer science and mathematics from Cornell, and his 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.