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Rafael Reif named head of electrical engineering and computer science department

Professor Rafael Reif, an internationally noted researcher in microelectronics, has been named the new head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, effective Sept. 1.

Tom Magnanti, dean of the School of Engineering, said, "Having seen Rafael's leadership as associate department head of EECS and as a lead advisor in our Tiny Technologies research initiative, I know that he will shape the future of EECS in exciting new ways."

Reif, who served as associate head of the department for the past five years, is a fellow of IEEE and has received the Semiconductor Research Corporation's 2000 Aristotle Award, which acknowledges outstanding teaching and student mentorship in its broadest sense. The School of Engineering recently selected him as the first Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology.

In his teaching and research, he has focused on microelectronics, with a recent emphasis on future microelectronics interconnect technologies, and on environmentally benign microelectronics fabrication.

Reif received the degree of ingeniero electrico in 1973 from the Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1975 and 1979, respectively.

Reif succeeds Professor John Guttag, who stepped down from the post at the end of July after serving as department head since January 1999 and as associate head for the six previous years.

New associate heads of EECS announced

Magnanti and Reif jointly announced the appointment of professors Eric Grimson and Duane Boning as the new associate heads of EECS.

"Both Eric and Duane have strong records of accomplishment in teaching and research, and a deep commitment to education, our department and MIT. We are grateful to them for their willingness to accept such a demanding and important responsibility," Magnanti said.

Grimson served as associate director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1998 to 2003, and is currently education officer of EECS. He also heads the Computer Vision Group of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has received the School of Engineering's Bose Award for excellence in teaching.

Grimson received a B.Sc. (High Honors) in mathematics and physics from the University of Regina and a Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT in 1980. He holds the Bernard Gordon Chair of Medical Engineering.

Boning has been associate director of the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories since 1998. He is also serving as the co-director for undergraduate education for the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

He holds S.B. degrees in both computer science and electrical engineering, and earned his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1991, all from MIT. His research focuses on interconnect technology, variation modeling, control, and environmental issues in semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing.

Praise for past leadership

Magnanti encouraged members of the MIT community to "thank John Guttag for his extraordinary leadership for over 10 years as associate head and as department head."

"Heading an enterprise as large and as complex as EECS is indeed a challenge, and many great things have happened in the department during John's tenure. John has been especially effective in faculty hiring and mentoring, in fund-raising and in programming and development of the Stata Center," said Magnanti. "He steps down as head of the very best electrical engineering and/or computer science department in the world."

Magnanti also thanked Professor Barbara Liskov, who steps down as associate department head on Aug. 31. "The department has benefited tremendously from her leadership and wisdom," Magnanti said.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 1, 2004 (download PDF).

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