CSAIL Leadership Updates

Victor Zue, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Co-Director since its formation in 2003 of CSAIL (the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory), assumed the role of sole Director of CSAIL on July 1, 2007 as announced by then Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti in mid February.

In thanking outgoing CSAIL Director Rodney Brooks, Magnanti stated: “The last few years have been an exciting and challenging time for CSAIL, with the merger of LCS and the AI Lab, the growth of the computer science faculty, the move into the Stata Center, and significant changes in sources of support for computer science research. Rod and Victor have done a marvelous job in navigating these waters. It has been a privilege to work closely with Rod.”

CSAIL comprises the largest interdepartmental laboratory on campus, with nearly eight hundred members and ninety-plus principal investigators. CSAIL members come from seven academic departments — Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mathematics, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Brain and Cognitive Science, Mechanical Engineering, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. CSAIL is also the home of the World Wide Web Consortium.

In his new role, Zue has met with CSAIL principal investigators in a process of lab reassessment, and has formed a new faculty leadership team, including three Associate Directors, Anant Agarwal, Daniela Rus and Madhu Sudan; and for the newly defined directorates, new Research Directors of Artificial Intelligence, William Freeman and Tomás Lozano-Pérez; of Systems, Hari Balakrishnan; and of Theory, Ronitt Rubinfeld.

Zue’s primary research interest is the development of spoken language interfaces to make human-computer interactions easier and more natural. Prior to 2001, he headed the Spoken Language Systems Group, which has pioneered the development of systems that enable a user to interact with computers using multiple spoken languages.

Outside of MIT, Victor Zue has served on many planning, advisory and review committees for the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the National Academies of Science and Engineering. In 2004, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.

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