Pablo Parrilo named to Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professorship

Professor Pablo Parrilo

EECS Staff

EECS faculty member Pablo Parrilo has been appointed as the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor, EECS department head Asu Ozdaglar announced this week.

“This appointment recognizes Professor Parrilo’s foundational research in the broad area of mathematics of information with major contributions in control, optimization, theoretical computer science, quantum computing, and statistical signal processing — as well as his significant teaching and service contributions to the department,” Ozdaglar said.

Parrilo joined EECS as an associate professor in 2004, becoming a professor in 2008. Previously, he was an assistant professor at the Automatic Control Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and visiting associate professor at the California Institute of Technology.

He received a PhD in Control and Dynamical Systems (CDS) from the California Institute of Technology in 2000 and an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering from the University of Buenos Aires in 1994.

Parrilo is a principal investigator with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and is affiliated with MIT’s Operations Research Center. His research interests include optimization methods for engineering applications, control and identification of uncertain complex systems, robustness analysis and synthesis, and the development and application of computational tools based on convex optimization and algorithmic algebra to practically relevant engineering problems.

His educational contributions include the creation of the new graduate course Algebraic Techniques and Semidefinite Programming (6.256) and the updating of several optimization-related graduate courses. On the undergraduate side, he co-developed an experimental version of Signals and Systems (6.003) and co-taught Introduction to Machine Learning (6.036).

Awards and honors include the Donald P. Eckman Award from the American Automatic Control Council, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Activity Group on Control and Systems Theory (SIAG/CST) Prize, the IEEE Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize, and the Farkas Prize from the Optimization Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Parrilo is an IEEE Fellow. Earlier this year, he was one of 28 researchers worldwide named to the SIAM Fellows Class of 2018, a distinction given in recognition of his “foundational contributions to algebraic methods in optimization and engineering.”

The Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley chair, originally created as a career-development chair, became a senior faculty professorship in 1990. MIT alumnus Joseph F. Keithley received a bachelor’s degree in 1937 and a master’s degree in 1938, both in electrical engineering, and then went on to found Keithley Instruments.

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