It is my pleasure to introduce the latest issue of LIDS|All.
As I look back at the past year, I am excited to see the lab in the midst of milestones: this issue of LIDS|All marks its 15th year of publication; the 2020 LIDS Student Conference will be our 25th; and now, fall 2019, we are celebrating the lab’s 80th anniversary with a major event that explores the past, present, and future of Information and Decision Sciences (you can learn more at: lids80.lids.mit.edu). Finally, together with IDSS, LIDS is joining the newly-founded MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing — a major initiative at the Institute that aims to accelerate pioneering research and innovation in computing — a development that keeps LIDS at the center of MIT’s world-leading investment in the future of computing and AI.
I am particularly proud of these milestones because they exemplify much of what makes LIDS special: our deep intellectual roots, the breadth of our reach, and the many ways LIDS research is part of burgeoning new fields, playing a role in everything from autonomous vehicles to future power grids, and more.
Most important, however, these events are a testament to the rich and supportive community that is a hallmark of life at LIDS. It is this community that continues to attract top students and researchers from around the world, and a community that it has been our privilege to feature in these 15 years of LIDS|All. In the very first issue of the magazine, then-student Erik Sudderth (PhD ‘06) said of the lab: “There’s such an interesting group of people who are really excited about what they’re doing. If you ask them about some problem you’re having, they’ll probably have a bunch of clever ideas for you. And that’s really great.” I am happy to say the same holds true today.
You will see evidence of this cohesiveness and enthusiasm throughout the magazine, which this year features: graduate student Omer Tanovic, whose award-winning teaching is matched by his impressive work on power efficiency in wireless operations, as well as graduate student Jennifer Tang’s work on online machine learning. You will also read about the lab’s Senior Financial Assistant Carissa Prue; alum Jay Kuo’s Media Communications Lab at the University of Southern California (and his mentoring success); postdoc Vasileios Tzoumas’s vision of resilient autonomous systems intelligence; and Senior Research Scientist Marija Ilic’s forward-looking research on complex electric energy systems.
I hope you enjoy reading these highlights of the year, and learning more about the people and research that make LIDS the exceptional place it is today.
John Tsitsiklis, Director
Clarence J. Lebel Professor of Electrical Engineering