October 1, 2014
The following email was sent to faculty and staff associated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) by Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering, and Munther A. Dahleh, acting director of the Engineering Systems Division.
Dear LIDS Colleagues,
We are pleased to announce that Professor Asuman Ozdaglar from EECS will be the next LIDS Director starting Oct 1, 2014. In that capacity, she will also assume the position of Associate Director (designate) of the New Entity.
Professor Ozdaglar is a recognized star in the diverse fields of optimization, game theory, and networks. She enjoys an excellent national and international reputation and has won several prestigious awards. Professor Ozdaglar has made fundamental contributions to an impressively diverse set of areas. These include: 1) fundamental contributions in convex optimization, duality theory for nonconvex optimization, and the analysis of distributed subgradient algorithms; 2) networked economics as it relates to understanding the price of anarchy in flow networks, and net-neutrality debates; 3) fundamental contributions in the theory of games, approximation of complex games, and computation of equilibria; and 4) social and economic networks with emphasis on fundamental questions concerning the understanding of how information and cascades propagate in complex networks and the evolution of opinion dynamics.
In all of these areas, Professor Ozdaglar identified key fundamental questions and answered them using creative tools from network and system theory. She has been recognized by these communities as a leader in this new and emerging field and as a result won key awards including the prestigious Donald P. Eckman award. She was also recognized at MIT by winning the Inaugural Steven and Renee Finn Fellowship.
Professor Ozdaglar has mentored several PhD students and post docs, many of whom are now professors at top universities. She is also a dedicated teacher who has introduced two new subjects in the areas of Game Theory and Networks, in addition to teaching and revising many of our existing courses in systems and optimization. Her excellence in teaching won her the SoE Graduate Student Council Teaching Award. Professor Ozdaglar is a very active faculty member both at MIT and outside of MIT. She has organized numerous conferences, sessions and clusters on game theory, networks, and distributed optimization which included co-organizing the conference "Frontiers in Game Theory and Networked Systems" at MIT in 2008, and co-organizing the workshop on "Information and Decisions in Social Networks" in 2011 at LIDS. She is an active member of the Operations Research Center.
In stepping into this position, Professor Ozdaglar will play a critical leadership role in shaping the future of the New Entity. We are excited about her participation and we hope that you will join us in congratulating her and thanking her for taking on this important responsibility.
Ian and Munzer