Polina Golland named to Henry Ellis Warren (1894) Chair

Photo: Allegra Boverman

EECS Staff

EECS Professor Polina Golland has been appointed to the Henry Ellis Warren (1894) Chair.

“The appointment recognizes Professor Golland’s leadership in medical imaging research, her outstanding mentorship and educational contributions, and her exceptional service to the department,” EECS department head Asu Ozdaglar said in making the announcement.

Golland joined EECS in 2003. She received a PhD in EECS from MIT and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Technion, Israel.

She is a principal investigator in CSAIL and a faculty member in IMES. Her primary research interest is in developing novel approaches for medical image analysis and understanding. With her students, she has demonstrated novel approaches to image segmentation, shape analysis, functional image analysis, and population studies. She has also worked on various problems in computer vision, motion and stereo, predictive modeling, and visualization of statistical models.

Jointly with Professors Alan Willsky, Greg Wornell, and Lizhong Zheng, Golland developed and has taught Inference and Information (6.437) since 2006. This graduate course exposes the students to fundamental frameworks for statistical inference and relevant connections to information theory. In 2014, Golland and her colleagues introduced the same topics into the undergraduate curriculum via Introduction to Inference (6.008). This undergraduate course provides a computational perspective on statistical inference, modeling, and information theory through analytical exercises and computational labs.

Golland has served as an associate editor or a member of the editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging and IEEE Transactions on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence. She has served on the board of the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI) Society, chaired the Society’s annual meeting in 2014, and was elected a Fellow of the Society in 2016.

Working with colleagues in EECS and IMES, Golland founded Rising Stars in EECS in 2012 and Rising Stars in Biomedical in 2016. The intensive career-development workshops are designed for top women and under-represented minority postdocs and graduate students. The Rising Stars workshops have since been offered in physics, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering at MIT and at other universities. In 2014, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) presented Golland with its Diversity Award in recognition of her work with Rising Stars. (The Rising Stars workshop returns to EECS in October 2018).

She also received an NSF CAREER Award in 2006, the Louis D. Smullin (’39) Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011, the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, and an EECS Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship (FRIF) in 2015.

The Warren Chair is designated for interdisciplinary research leading to application of technological developments in electrical engineering and computer science, with their effect on human ecology, health, community life, and opportunities for youth. It was established in memory of well-known inventor Henry Ellis Warren, class of 1894. EECS Professors Louis Braida and Dennis Freeman also hold Warren Chairs.

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