School of Engineering welcomes new faculty

The School of Engineering welcomes 15 new faculty members across six of its academic departments. This new cohort of faculty members, who have either recently started their roles at MIT or will start within the next year, conduct research across a diverse range of disciplines.

Many of these new faculty specialize in research that intersects with multiple fields. In addition to positions in the School of Engineering, a number of these faculty have positions at other units across MIT. Faculty with appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) report into both the School of Engineering and the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. This year, new faculty also have joint appointments between the School of Engineering and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the School of Science.

“I am delighted to welcome this cohort of talented new faculty to the School of Engineering,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, chief innovation and strategy officer, dean of engineering, and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “I am particularly struck by the interdisciplinary approach many of these new faculty take in their research. They are working in areas that are poised to have tremendous impact. I look forward to seeing them grow as researchers and educators.”

The new engineering faculty include:

Stephen Bates joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as an assistant professor in September 2023. He is also a member of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). Bates uses data and AI for reliable decision-making in the presence of uncertainty. In particular, he develops tools for statistical inference with AI models, data impacted by strategic behavior, and settings with distribution shift. Bates also works on applications in life sciences and sustainability. He previously worked as a postdoc in the Statistics and EECS departments at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Bates received a BS in statistics and mathematics at Harvard University and a PhD from Stanford University.

Abigail Bodner joined the Department of EECS and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences as an assistant professor in January. She is also a member of the LIDS. Bodner’s research interests span climate, physical oceanography, geophysical fluid dynamics, and turbulence. Previously, she worked as a Simons Junior Fellow at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Bodner received her BS in geophysics and mathematics and MS in geophysics from Tel Aviv University, and her SM in applied mathematics and PhD from Brown University.

Andreea Bobu ’17 will join the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics as an assistant professor in July. Her research sits at the intersection of robotics, mathematical human modeling, and deep learning. Previously, she was a research scientist at the Boston Dynamics AI Institute, focusing on how robots and humans can efficiently arrive at shared representations of their tasks for more seamless and reliable interactions. Bobu earned a BS in computer science and engineering from MIT and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

Suraj Cheema will join the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of EECS, as an assistant professor in July. His research explores atomic-scale engineering of electronic materials to tackle challenges related to energy consumption, storage, and generation, aiming for more sustainable microelectronics. This spans computing and energy technologies via integrated ferroelectric devices. He previously worked as a postdoc at UC Berkeley. Cheema earned a BS in applied physics and applied mathematics from Columbia University and a PhD in materials science and engineering from UC Berkeley.

Samantha Coday joins the Department of EECS as an assistant professor in July. She will also be a member of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics. Her research interests include ultra-dense power converters enabling renewable energy integration, hybrid electric aircraft and future space exploration. To enable high-performance converters for these critical applications her research focuses on the optimization, design, and control of hybrid switched-capacitor converters. Coday earned a BS in electrical engineering and mathematics from Southern Methodist University and an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

Mitchell Gordon will join the Department of EECS as an assistant professor in July. He will also be a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In his research, Gordon designs interactive systems and evaluation approaches that bridge principles of human-computer interaction with the realities of machine learning. He currently works as a postdoc at the University of Washington. Gordon received a BS from the University of Rochester, and MS and PhD from Stanford University, all in computer science.

Kaiming He joined the Department of EECS as an associate professor in February. He will also be a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research interests cover a wide range of topics in computer vision and deep learning. He is currently focused on building computer models that can learn representations and develop intelligence from and for the complex world. Long term, he hopes to augment human intelligence with improved artificial intelligence. Before joining MIT, He was a research scientist at Facebook AI. He earned a BS from Tsinghua University and a PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Anna Huang SM ’08 will join the departments of EECS and Music and Theater Arts as assistant professor in September. She will help develop graduate programming focused on music technology. Previously, she spent eight years with Magenta at Google Brain and DeepMind, spearheading efforts in generative modeling, reinforcement learning, and human-computer interaction to support human-AI partnerships in music-making. She is the creator of Music Transformer and Coconet (which powered the Bach Google Doodle). She was a judge and organizer for the AI Song Contest. Anna holds a Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Mila, a BM in music composition, and BS in computer science from the University of Southern California, an MS from the MIT Media Lab, and a PhD from Harvard University.

Yael Kalai PhD ’06 will join the Department of EECS as a professor in September. She is also a member of CSAIL. Her research interests include cryptography, the theory of computation, and security and privacy. Kalai currently focuses on both the theoretical and real-world applications of cryptography, including work on succinct and easily verifiable non-interactive proofs. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a master’s degree at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and a PhD from MIT.

Sendhil Mullainathan will join the departments of EECS and Economics as a professor in July. His research uses machine learning to understand complex problems in human behavior, social policy, and medicine. Previously, Mullainathan spent five years at MIT before joining the faculty at Harvard in 2004, and then the University of Chicago in 2018. He received his BA in computer science, mathematics, and economics from Cornell University and his PhD from Harvard University.

Alex Rives will join the Department of EECS as an assistant professor in September, with a core membership in the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In his research, Rives is focused on AI for scientific understanding, discovery, and design for biology. Rives worked with Meta as a New York University graduate student, where he founded and led the Evolutionary Scale Modeling team that developed large language models for proteins. Rives received his BS in philosophy and biology from Yale University and is completing his PhD in computer science at NYU.

Sungho Shin will join the Department of Chemical Engineering as an assistant professor in July. His research interests include control theory, optimization algorithms, high-performance computing, and their applications to decision-making in complex systems, such as energy infrastructures. Shin is a postdoc at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He received a BS in mathematics and chemical engineering from Seoul National University and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jessica Stark joined the Department of Biological Engineering as an assistant professor in January. In her research, Stark is developing technologies to realize the largely untapped potential of cell-surface sugars, called glycans, for immunological discovery and immunotherapy. Previously, Stark was an American Cancer Society postdoc at Stanford University. She earned a BS in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Cornell University and a PhD in chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern University.

Thomas John “T.J.” Wallin joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an assistant professor in January. As a researcher, Wallin’s interests lay in advanced manufacturing of functional soft matter, with an emphasis on soft wearable technologies and their applications in human-computer interfaces. Previously, he was a research scientist at Meta’s Reality Labs Research working in their haptic interaction team. Wallin earned a BS in physics and chemistry from the College of William and Mary, and an MS and PhD in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.

Gioele Zardini joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor in September. He will also join LIDS and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. Driven by societal challenges, Zardini’s research interests include the co-design of sociotechnical systems, compositionality in engineering, applied category theory, decision and control, optimization, and game theory, with society-critical applications to intelligent transportation systems, autonomy, and complex networks and infrastructures. He received his BS, MS, and PhD in mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics, systems, and control from ETH Zurich, and spent time at MIT, Stanford University, and Motional.

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