John N. Tsitsiklis

Clarence J. Lebel Professor of Electrical Engineering

  • MIT, BSc, Electrical Engineering, 1980
  • MIT, BSc, Mathematics, 1980
  • MIT, MSc, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1981
  • MIT, PhD, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1984.

Brief Biography

Professor Tsitsiklis began his studies at MIT in 1976, and completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1984. His thesis focused on the subject of decentralized decision-making and distributed computation, under the supervision of Michael Athans.
After serving as an acting assistant professor of
electrical engineering at Stanford University (1983-1984), he returned to MIT in 1984 and has since then been affiliated with LIDS. He has served as a director of the Operations Research Center, and is currently an associate director of LIDS.
Professor Tsitsiklis is the coauthor of over one hundred journal papers in the areas of systems, optimization, control, and operations research, and a number of books, including Introduction to Probability, with Dimitri Bertsekas. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of INFORMS. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2008, he was conferred the title of Doctor honoris causa, from the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium).

Selected Publications

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Introduction to Probability, Athena Scientific, 2002; 2nd edition, 2008 (with Dimitri Bertsekas).
  • Introduction to Linear Optimization, Athena Scientific, 1997 with Dimitris Bertsimas).
  • Neuro-dynamic Programming, Athena Scientific, 1996 (with Dimitri Bertsekas).
  • Parallel and Distributed Computation: Numerical Methods, Prentice-Hall, 1989 (with Dimitri Bertsekas); republished in 1997 by Athena Scientific.
  • J.N. Tsitsiklis, “Decentralized Detection,” Advances in Signal Processing, Vol. 2, H. V. Poor and J.B. Thomas, editors, JAI Press, 1993, pp. 297-344.

Journal Papers:

  • J.N. Tsitsiklis, “Efficient Algorithms for Globally Optimal Trajectories,” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. 40, No. 9, Sept. 1995, pp. 1528-1538.
  • J.N. Tsitsiklis and B. Van Roy, “An Analysis of Temporal-Difference Learning with Function Approximation,” IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. 42, No. 5, May 1997, pp. 674-690.
  • V.D. Blondel and J.N. Tsitsiklis, “A Survey of Computational Complexity Results in Systems and Control,” Automatica, Vol. 36, No. 9, pp. 1249-1274, Sept. 2000.
  • R. Johari and J.N. Tsitsiklis, “Efficiency Loss in a Network Resource Allocation Game,” Mathematics of Operations Research, Vol. 29, No. 3, Aug. 2004, pp. 407-435.
  • A. Muharremoglu and J.N. Tsitsiklis, “A Single-Unit Decomposition Approach to Multi-Echelon Inventory Systems,” Operations Research, Vol. 56, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2008, pp. 1089-1103.

Selected Awards

  • IBM Faculty Development Award (1983)
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1986)
  • Outstanding Paper Award by the IEEE Control Systems Society (1986)
      For the paper: J.N. Tsitsiklis and M. Athans, "On the Complexity of Decentralized Decision Making and Detection Problems", IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. 30, No.5, 1985, pp. 440-446.
  • M.I.T. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award (1989)
      Given to junior faculty members at MIT in recognition of exceptional distinction in teaching, research, and scholarship.
  • Bodossaki Foundation Prize, in the field of Sciences of Information Processing Systems & Methods (1994).
      Given to scientists of Greek descent under the age of forty
  • INFORMS Computer Science Technical Section Prize (1997)
      With D. Bertsekas, "for their book Neuro-Dynamic Programming and the research behind it."
  • Fellow of the IEEE (1999)
      For contributions to the theory of control and computation in large-scale systems
  • Fellow of INFORMS (2007)
  • National Academy of Engineering (2007)
      For contributions to the theory and application of optimization in dynamic and distributed systems.
  • Doctor honoris causa, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (2008).
  • IEEE/ACM (MIT Chapter) best advisor award (2009).
  • INFORMS, Applied Probability Section, 2009 Markov Lecture.
  • INFORMS Computer Society Prize (2012)
      (with A. A. Ahmadi, A. Olshevsky, and P. Parrilo)

Courses Taught