Asu Ozdaglar appointed head of EECS

Ozdaglar will be the first female EECS head

Prof. Asu Ozdaglar PhD ’03 was appointed head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Ozdaglar has been the interim department head since July 1 and will become the first woman to head the EECS department in MIT’s history.

Ozdaglar succeeds Anantha Chandrakasan, who served as department head from 2011 to 2017, when he became the dean of MIT’s School of Engineering.

“Prof. Ozdaglar is a tremendous leader, a visionary researcher, and a deeply committed educator. She brings all of these qualities to bear as the first woman department head for EECS at MIT. She is a great role model for women in leadership,” Chandrakasan wrote in an email to The Tech.

Previously, Ozdaglar has assumed several other leadership positions, including associate department head, director of the Laboratory for Information Decision Systems, and associate director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, according to an email, also written by Chandrakasan, announcing Ozdaglar’s appointment.

Ozdaglar has also made “fundamental contributions to optimization theory, economic and social networked systems, and game theory” through her research, as well as “equally substantial” contributions to education at MIT, such as by developing multiple undergraduate and graduate courses and playing a leading role in the launch of the Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science (6-14) joint major, the email continued.

Ozdaglar received both an SM and PhD from MIT in 1998 and 2003, respectively.

The department head search committee was chaired by Prof. Polina Golland and included over a dozen other EECS professors and engineering administrators, according to the email announcement.

“It is an incredible honor and tremendous responsibility. EECS is a fantastic department with world-class research, amazing faculty and students. I look forward to working with every member of our community in moving EECS forward,” Ozdaglar wrote in an email to The Tech.