Graduates from the MIT EECS Department number over 20,000.  Our alumni are innovative leaders in fields impacting people across the globe.  Each year we feature several Course 6 alumni in the MIT EECS Connector, the annual EECS newsletter and include them in this Alumni spotlight.

Did you (or will you) receive a major award recently?  Please fill out the alumni updates contact form and include "Award for 2016 Connector" in the subject line.

We also want to add more news from our amazing alumni.  Please share your news by filling out our alumni updates contact form.  

Ashar Aziz '81
Growing up in Pakistan, Ashar Aziz at a young age had a goal to be a technologist and an inventor and entrepreneur. When he learned from one of his cousins that MIT was the best engineering school in the world, he decided that would be the best way to reach his goal. Read more.
Robert Blumofe, SM '92, PhD '95
Robert (Bobby) Blumofe admits that his predecessors did not provide math/science role models. “My father was in charge of production at United Artists and then Director of the American Film Institute West. On the other side, my mother’s father was Jack Benny,” Read more.
Vanu Bose, '87, SM '94, PhD '99
Vanu Bose was an MIT child as his father, Amar, was a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department for 45 years, as well as founder of the Bose Corporation in 1964. Every Sunday morning Vanu remembers coming to play badminton with his father and a group of faculty and students – an enduring early vision of what MIT was about. Read more.
Cynthia Breazeal, SM '93, ScD '00
At age 10, Cynthia Breazeal, was really inspired and influenced by the movie Star Wars. “I was fascinated by the droids, R2D2 and C3PO.” Breazeal felt robots were not only intelligent and capable, but also social and emotive — with rich personalities and capable of forging meaningful relationships with people. “Robots for me should always have intelligence with heart, and they should engage with us like devoted sidekicks, instead of just tools or slaves. Our experience with technology should reinforce what we love about the human experience, not dehumanize us.” This is her enduring vision. Read more.
Mike Evans, '99, MEng '00
Co-Founder and COO, GrubHub Seamless; blogger, writer Mike Evans has known about MIT for a long time — since his older brother applied to MIT when he (Mike) was in the sixth grade. “I distinctly remember sitting in the back seat of our car listening to my mother talking to him about it. She said, ‘If you go to MIT, you can do anything in the world.’” Read more.
Yoky Matsuoka, SM ‘95, PhD ‘98
Yoky Matsuoka has always liked math and physics, but, she says, “…those interests were dwarfed by my pursuit to be a professional tennis player.” Since her earlier years in her native Japan and then in California by age 16, she loved tennis. Spending about 30 hours per week training, she realized two things: “I didn’t know much else besides tennis and my career as a high-earning top tennis player was not going to be a reality [due in part to injuries].” Read more.
Jaime Teevan, PhD ‘07
Jaime Teevan enjoys doing research because she thrives on exploring open-ended unanswered questions. She says, “One trait that I have found advantageous is a willingness to jump headfirst into things — be it starting a new line of research or helping my son publish a book.” Read more.
Andrea Wong '88
Andrea Wong grew up in Silicon Valley attending the high school that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak went to. Technology was all around her. “I was a good math student, so everyone told me that I should be an engineer. I wanted to go to the best school possible, and MIT was it.” Read more!
Bill Thies '01, MEng '02, PhD '09
Bill Thies was a top student. At the end of undergrad, he had a perfect GPA and a world of opportunities. When he graduated from MIT with his PhD in computer science in 2008, Bill was at the top of his field... read more.
Conor Madigan '00 PhD
In 2007 Madigan found his answer to his career choice was increasingly weighted towards building a new company. Developing his startup pitch deck was an exciting process. Read more about Conor Madigan's exciting path to founding Kateeva.
William Irving '87 (6-1), SM '91, MEng '92, PhD '95
As an undergraduate at MIT, Bill Irving was struck by two realities: how positive he found his experience being part of the Chi Phi fraternity and how potentially demoralizing it was to keep up with all the brilliant people in his classes. Read more.
Shyam Gollakota PhD ‘12
“The drive to achieve big things was contagious at MIT and hard not to catch!” He describes the times he worked with Prof. Katabi as fun and intellectually stimulating — including discussions about research that extended to the early morning hours. Read more ~
Limor Fried '03, MEng '05
As a maker-movement pioneer, Fried says she hopes to inspire a “culture of makers” by sparking people’s interest in building not only their own electronics, but also their own tech startups. “Adafruit not only wants to make more makers, we want to help inspire people to make businesses — and make even more makers,” Read more about Limor Fried!
Meet this Bill from Microsoft
Bill Thies, '01, MEng '02, PhD '09, is featured in the online Indian newspaper titled The Hindu. Featured for his highly effective work in India bridging technology with social need, Bill Theis described his work... read more.
Wendi Heinzelman: A Woman to Watch
Wendi Heinzelman, SM '97, PhD '00, professor of electrical engineering and the dean of graduate studies for arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Rochester, has been featured in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle as a champion of women engineers -- a woman to watch. Read more of this feature, authored by Michelle Inclema Shippers.
Gollakota, CSAIL-EECS graduate, honored by ACM for 2012 Doctoral Dissertation
Shyamnath Gollakota, CSAIL-EECS graduate was honored with 2012 Doctoral Dissertation Award by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in recognition for his work with wireless interference. Dr. Gollakota, now assistant professor at the University of Washington, studied with Dina Katabi, professor in the EECS department and principal investigator in CSAIL at MIT.
Kota Murali wins INSA Award and two IBM Corporate Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards
Dr. Kota Murali (SM '03, PhD '06) is the Chief Technologist for Nanotechnology at the IBM India Semiconductor Research and Development Center. He was recently awarded two IBM Corporate Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, and received the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award, and the Materials Society of India Medal. Read more.
Susie Wee, '90, SM '91, PhD '96
Several months ago Susie Wee (’90, SM ’91, PhD ’96) took on a new role at Cisco as the VP and Chief Technology Officer of Networked Experiences. As with other transitions in her life and career, her abilities as a strong team builder and a well-grounded technologist have propelled her into new roles and challenges. Read more...
Sal Khan, SB, MEng '98
Sal Khan became a global superstar when he brought his life experiences and natural inclinations to help others into focus by creating and running the Khan Academy. Since it’s inception in 2008, Khan Academy, as a not-for-profit, has delivered over 240 million online lessons to students worldwide — testament to its mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Read more...
Dropbox Founders Drew Houston '05 and Arash Ferdowsi '08
Drew Houston '05 and Arash Ferdowsi '08 were undergraduates in Course VI, computer science at MIT, but they didn't really meet until the summer of 2007 when it came time to develop Dropbox. What made their Dropbox partnership possible? Read about Dropbox founders Drew Houston '05 and Arash Ferdowsi '08 in the 2013 MIT EECS Connector.
Deborah Estrin, SM '83, PhD '85
On June 28, 2012, Cornell University announced that Deborah Estrin had accepted the position of professor of computer science — the first hire for Cornell Tech , the new technology center on Roosevelt Island off Manhattan. As the Founding Director of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) 2002–2012, and a professor of computer science at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Prof. Estrin is noted as a pioneer in networked sensing, using mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real time data about the physical world. Read more....
Technology Review's 2012 TR35 includes two EECS graduates: Drew Houston and Baile Zhang
Since 1999, Technology Review, has selected top innovators under age 35 based on the impact of their creations. Included in this year's crop of stellar innovators are two EECS graduates: Drew Houston, the creator and co-founder of Dropbox and Baile Zhang, who has created visibility cloaking that currently works for small objects with the goal for cloaking larger objects.
Tyler Moeller, SB (6-2), MEng '98, named to Tech 50: "The Difference Makers" in Financial Services
Tyler Moeller, CEO and Co-founder (in 2003) of Broadway Technology, LLC, has been selected by the international business to business publication the Institutional Investor as one of the top 50 Technology Leaders in Financial Services. He is also distinguished in this group as the youngest at 36.
EECS Alumnus, Cal Newport writes about career choice - follow it and passion will follow
EECS alum Calvin Newport, '06, PhD '09, wrote for the NY Times about choosing a career. His suggestion? Chose your career and then let the passion follow you in this path!
Read the latest issue of the MIT EECS Connector — the annual publication of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Pawan Deshpande, MIT ‘06, MEng ‘07
Since he was in the fourth grade, Pawan Deshpande has been fascinated with computing, programming and online content. read more...
Ted Tewksbury, MIT ‘83, SM ‘87 and PhD ‘92
"I never set out to be a CEO. I just wanted to be a great engineer and create innovative products. Along the way, I discovered that.. " read more
Todd Coleman, MIT SM ‘02, PhD ‘05
"As a professor in bioengineering at UCSD, my research is multi-disciplinary at its core. I attribute the ability to make connections between biology and engineering to my training in Course VI at MIT..." read more
Wendi Heinzelman, MIT SM ‘97, PhD ‘00
“I went into an academic research career in order to have impact—through my research, through my teaching, and through my mentoring of graduate students.”
Sachin Katti, MIT PhD ‘09
"I started down this research path itself quite serendipitously, and the story speaks to the amazing nature of research connections you can make at MIT from random conversations."
Yehia Massound, MIT PhD '99
"It was at MIT where my limits were really challenged. I learned that intelligence can only take a person so far but if combined with strong commitment and consistent work, it can lead to profound success." -- Yehia Massoud
Sridevi Sarma, MIT PhD ‘06
"Sri’s path to brain-implant controller design started during the time she was doing her doctoral studies in LIDS. While her graduate studies were focused on control theory, she was taking courses in neuroscience on the side."
Mark Somerville, MIT PhD ‘98
"For me, these themes – intensity and commitment, the virtue of trusting students to go further than the ‘ought to’ be able to, and the rewards of working with students and seeing them develop as thinkers, as doers, and most of all as people – have formed the foundation for my work..." read more
David Wentzlaff, MIT PhD ‘11
"I chose to go to MIT after visit day weekend. I just loved the environment, loved the faculty, and loved the students. After all of my years in graduate school, my first impressions did not waiver, the community at MIT and EECS is what makes it such a great place."
Vanessa Wood, MIT PhD ‘11
"From the outside, MIT has a reputation of competition; however, as a student in EECS, I found the opposite to be true. Whether it was studying for an exam with fellow students or replacing tubing for a water-cooling system in lab, there was always willingness to share knowledge and lend a hand."