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Victor Zue will direct CSAIL

Victor Zue
Victor Zue

Victor Zue, co-director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), will become sole director of the lab, effective July 1.

Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti announced today that Zue, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering, will share the director position with Rodney Brooks from April 1 until June 30, when Brooks will return to regular faculty status.

"While CSAIL continues to be among the crown jewels of the School (of Engineering) and the Institute, as Victor notes, there is always room for improvement," Magnanti wrote in his e-mail announcement. "He and I agree that almost four years after the merger and three years after moving into Stata, this seems an opportune time for reflection and assessment."

Zue will begin meeting with CSAIL principal investigators to talk about a process for self-reassessment and will recruit a new faculty leadership team, according to Magnanti. He will also convene a faculty committee to examine the current state of the lab and provide input on its strategic directions.

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

Zue, former director of the Laboratory for Computer Science, has served as co-director of CSAIL since it was formed in a merger with the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 2003. Brooks, former director of the IA Lab, has served as CSAIL's director since the merger.

Magnanti thanked Brooks for his "outstanding service as CSAIL director."

"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," he wrote. "Rod and Victor have done a marvelous job in navigating these waters. It has been a privilege to work closely with Rod and I very much look forward to collaborating with Victor and the new CSAIL faculty leadership team in the months ahead."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 14, 2007 (download PDF).

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