New Leadership in EECS: Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering and, as of July 1, 2011, the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering and, as of July 1, 2011, the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

On June 13, School of Engineering Dean Ian Waitz announced the selection of Anantha P. Chandraksan as the new EECS Department head noting: “As the largest academic department in the School of Engineering, and at MIT, EECS and its faculty are involved in an exceptional range of intellectual, educational, and research activities. I welcome the new ideas that Anantha will bring to leading EECS and his dedication as he assumes this role.”

Anantha Chandrakasan earned his BS (1989), MS (1990) and PhD (1994) in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. He came directly to MIT as a faculty member in the EECS Department.

Armed with research interests and experience in micro-power digital and mixed-signal integrated circuit design, wireless microsensor system design, portable multimedia devices, and energy efficient radios, Chandrakasan built a strong research group that has been recognized over the years by awards including the 1993 IEEE Communications Society’s Best Tutorial Paper Award, the IEEE Electron Devices Society’s 1997 Paul Rappaport Award for the Best Paper in an EDS publication during 1997, the1999 DAC Student-Design Contest Award, first place in the 2004 DAC/ISSCC Student-Design- Contest Award, the 2007 IEEE ISSCC Beatrice Winner Award for Editorial Excellence and the 2007 ISSCC Jack Kilby Award for Outstanding Student Paper (2007, 2008, 2009). In 2009, Anantha Chandrakasan was selected for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) University Researcher Award.

As EECS faculty member, Chandrakasan held the Analog Devices Career Development Chair from 1994 to 1997. He received the NSF Career Development award in 1995, the IBM Faculty Development award in 1995 and the National Semiconductor Faculty Development award in 1996 and 1997. Chandrakasan’s enthusiastic and engaged teaching, particularly of 6.111 (Introductory Digital Systems Laboratory), was recognized in 2007 by his receipt of the Eta Kappa Nu Undergraduate Guide, ‘Excellence in EECS Teaching’ Award for his contributions to undergraduate education.

When Anantha Chandrakasan spoke at the IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in 1994 about his graduate work designing a power-efficient chip set, he was asked to give the talk twice to accommodate the crowds. ["Milliwatts with Mega Impact", Technology Review, Jan./Feb. 2010] “It [the use of so much less power] shocked the industry, said Dennis Buss, ’63, SM ’65, EE ’66, PhD ’68, and chief scientist at Texas Instruments, who enjoyed both presentations.

The ISSCC is known as the premier conference in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. As the ISSCC Chair since 2010, Chandrakasan explains what excites him about this yearly event: “The Conference offers a unique opportunity for engineers working at the cutting edge of circuit design to learn of the latest advances, and to network with leading experts. It is referred to as the ‘Chip Olympics’, because this is where major organizations in the chip industry unveil their record-breaking designs.”

Chandrakasan has also become a landmark name in the world of circuit design for his 1992 IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits paper titled “Low-Power Digital CMOS Design.” The paper for which he is the lead author brought the concept of a power-efficient chip to reality in what was to become the second most cited paper in the history of the JSSC journal, considered the leading publication in the circuits field.

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