Six distinguished scientists with ties to MIT were recognized for significant contributions to computing systems.
Jane Halpern | Alexandra Kahn | Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | MIT Media Lab
On Jan. 18, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced its 2022 fellows, those it recognizes “for significant contributions in areas including cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, mobile computing, and recommender systems among many other areas.” Included in the crop of new fellows were six distinguished scientists with ties to MIT.
Constantinos Daskalakis, the Armen Avanessians (1982) Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), was honored “for contributions to the foundations of algorithmic game theory, mechanism design, sublinear algorithms, and theoretical machine learning.” Daskalakis is a theoretical computer scientist who works at the interface of game theory, economics, probability theory, statistics, and machine learning. His current work focuses on multi-agent learning, learning from biased and dependent data, causal inference and econometrics.
A native of Greece, Daskalakis joined the MIT faculty in 2009. He is a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and is affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and the Operations Research Center. He is also an investigator in the Foundations of Data Science Institute. He has previously received such honors as the 2018 Nevanlinna Prize from the International Mathematical Union, the 2018 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the Kalai Game Theory and Computer Science Prize from the Game Theory Society, and the 2008 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Hiroshi Ishii, the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and an associate director of the MIT Media Lab, was honored for “contributions to tangible user interfaces and to human-computer interaction.” Ishii joined the MIT Media Lab in 1995 and established the Tangible Media research group with the goal of making digital tangible by giving physical form to digital information and computation. He is recognized as a founder of “Tangible User Interfaces.”
Ishii and his research team have presented their visions of “Tangible Bits” and “Radical Atoms” at a wide variety of academic, design, and artistic venues including ACM SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, ICC, Centre Pompidou, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and Milan Design Week. The exhibits have shown that the design of engaging and inspiring tangible interactions requires the rigor of both scientific and artistic review, encapsulated by Ishii’s motto, “Be Artistic and Analytic. Be Poetic and Pragmatic.” Ishii was elected to the CHI Academy in 2006, and in 2019 received the SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award for his fundamental and influential research contributions to the field of human-computer interaction.
Kevin Fu ’98, MEng ’99, PhD ’05, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is now a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University, was honored “for contributions to computer security, and especially to the secure engineering of medical devices.” Fu’s research interests include security as it relates to emerging sensor technology in biomedical engineering and cyberphysical systems; his work has important implications for medical devices, autonomous transportation, health care delivery, manufacturing, and the internet of things.
Prior to joining Northeastern in January, Fu was an associate professor at the University of Michigan and an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; additionally, beginning in 2021, he was acting director of medical device cybersecurity within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health and program director for cybersecurity within the FDA Digital Health Center of Excellence. His honors include the Sloan Research Fellow, MIT Technology Review TR35 Innovator of the Year, IEEE Fellow, a Fed100 Award, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He has received best paper awards from USENIX Security, IEEE S&P, and ACM SIGCOMM, and his work on pacemaker security received an inaugural Test of Time Award from IEEE Security and Privacy.
Jimmy Lin ’00, MNG ’01, PhD ’04, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is now professor and David R. Cheriton Chair in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, was honored “for contributions to question answering, information retrieval, and natural language processing.”
Lin’s research centers on the challenge of connecting users with relevant information at scale. Over the years, he has worked on systems designed for diverse users, ranging from causal searchers on the web to intelligence analysts, medical doctors, historians, and data scientists. Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Lin was at the University of Maryland; additionally, he has spent time at Twitter, Cloudera, Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine. He is currently the chief technology officer of Primal, a Waterloo-based knowledge graph and deep learning company; previously, he was the chief scientist of RSVP.ai, a Waterloo, Ontario-based startup.
Rafael Pass PhD ’06, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is now a professor of computer science at Tel-Aviv University, the director of the Checkpoint Institute for Information Security, as well as a professor at Cornell Tech/Cornell University, was honored “for contributions to the foundations of cryptography.” Pass’s work focuses on cryptography and its interplay with computational complexity and game theory, as well as theoretical foundations of blockchains, and connections between cryptography and Kolmogorov complexity.
His honors include: Winner of the 9th NSA Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition, 2022; the Best Paper Award at the 41st Annual International Cryptology Conference 2021; the Wallenberg Academy Fellow, awarded by the Royal Academy of Science in Sweden; the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship; AFOSR Young Investigator Award; a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship; and an NSF Career Award, among others. Before earning his PhD from MIT, he earned his bachelor’s in engineering physics and a master’s in computer science, both from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden.
Jaime Teevan SM ’01, PhD ’07, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is now chief scientist and a technical fellow at Microsoft, was honored “for contributions to human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and productivity.” Teevan is responsible for driving research-backed innovation related to everything from AI to hybrid work in Microsoft’s core products. Previously, she was technical advisor to CEO Satya Nadella, and led the Productivity team at Microsoft Research.
This year, in addition to becoming an ACM Fellow, Teevan was inducted into the ACM SIGIR and CHI Academies. She is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington; before earning her master’s and PhD from MIT, she earned her BS from Yale University.