2022: Léonard Boussioux

Beyond his dedicated technical instruction, Léonard Boussioux brings encouragement and curiosity to the classroom. Students share that he “constantly influences everyone around him in a positive way” and “exemplifies what the MIT community is all about: extremely creative and talented people, eager to collaborate with others and positively affect society.”

In recognition of Léonard’s above-and-beyond commitment to teaching, he was honored with the 2022 Goodwin Medal.

Léonard is a PhD candidate in the Operations Research Center, performing research in time series forecasting; interpretable and robust deep learning; ensemble modeling; and multimodality, with applications stretching from AI for Social Good to tackling climate change. His breadth of teaching experience includes serving as Teaching Assistant for 15.095 Machine Learning under a Modern Optimization Lens and 15.060 Data, Models, and Decisions, as well as Instructor for 15.003 Analytics Tools and 15.S60 Computing in Optimization and Statistics. 

Bringing creativity and an engaging style to the classroom, Léonard told “real-world related stories, organized small games, and broke complex concepts into understandable parts,” one faculty recommender shared. As a student added, “Léonard is an extremely empathetic teacher who can translate complex material in a way that both makes sense and resonates with the student.” 

Léonard’s office hours were a highlight for many students. They noted his willingness to “stay for another hour just to answer our questions such as looking at our datasets and clustering results in detail.” In fact, a faculty member noted that “Some students were even coming without questions, just to hear and listen to how he carried the session.”

Outside of the classroom, Léonard’s welcoming personality helps build community. One student recollected an activity with Léonard in 2021, after feeling a sense of disconnection from campus due to starting their program remotely. While the student didn’t recollect that they had met Léonard in a previous remote class, he greeted them by name and offered to connect them with others in their department. The student reflected, “I credit Léonard and this encounter as the first experience that made me feel truly a part of the MIT community.”

As another student described, “We couldn’t be more grateful to have such a supportive TA who is also at the same time a great friend in life.”