Caroline Uhler Granted Tenure

Image Credit

Image: David Sella

January 15, 2020

We are very happy to share that LIDS faculty member Caroline Uhler has been granted tenure by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Caroline joined MIT and LIDS in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of EECS and core faculty member of the Institute for Data Systems and Society (IDSS).

“Caroline’s warmth, energy, and exceptional intellectual achievements have made her such an important part of the LIDS community,” said LIDS director John Tsitsiklis. “It is wonderful to see her immense talent recognized in this way, and a privilege to have her here at LIDS.”

IDSS director Munther Dahleh added, “What is amazing about Caroline is her ability to take complicated problems in genomics and to skillfully formulate and solve mathematical problems in statistics and optimization to provide solutions to these practical problems. Her problem-solving skills are simply impressive. I am thrilled to have her as a colleague at MIT.”

In her announcement, EECS department head Asu Ozdaglar highlighted Caroline’s research, as well as some of her many accomplishments and accolades:

Caroline has made substantial contributions to theory and applications of probabilistic graphical models. She utilizes her knowledge of algebra, algebraic geometry, graph theory, optimization and combinatorics, and statistical modeling to create new paradigms and to answer important questions at the interface of statistics, machine learning and optimization, including causal inference (with focus on causal structure discovery from both observational and interventional data), efficient inference with Gaussian graphical models with special structure, and experimental design. She is particularly motivated by statistical problems arising in genomics. She has made fundamental contributions including efficient computation for Bayesian estimation problems with linear constraints on the covariance matrix, providing a beautiful theory for graphical models that enjoy a particular form of positive association, called Multivariate Totally Positive models (MTP2), (a property that emerges in a variety of domains ranging from phylogenetics to finance), and presenting the first causal structure discovery algorithm that is provably consistent in the interventional setting. She is also actively working at the intersection of statistics, applied mathematics, and biology, motivated by her interest in learning gene regulatory networks.

Caroline is recognized as a creative and innovative researcher and teacher. She has received multiple prestigious awards including the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, a Sloan Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, and the Simons Investigator award. Caroline developed two courses at MIT, one of which serves as the capstone class for the IDSS minor in statistics. She serves on the EECS admissions committee, the Broad Institute fellows selection committee, and was an organizer of the joint conference between MIT, Harvard, and Microsoft for Women in Data Science.

Please join us in congratulating Caroline!