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Sep Kamvar joins the MIT Media Lab

Sep Kamvar
Sep Kamvar
Photo: Eric Lagstein

The Media Lab is pleased to announce the appointment of Sep Kamvar, a computer scientist, artist and entrepreneur with an international reputation for his work in personalized search and peer-to-peer networks. He will be joining the lab on Jan. 1, 2012, as the LG Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and head of the Social Computing research group.

Kamvar comes to the Media Lab from Stanford University, where he earned a PhD in scientific computing and computational mathematics, and is currently consulting professor of computational and mathematical engineering. To date, his most significant contributions have been at the intersection of computer science and mathematics, and have involved developing personal and social models for information retrieval.

For four years, he took a leave from his graduate work to found Kaltix, a personalized search company. When Google acquired Kaltix, Kamvar built and led Google’s engineering efforts in personalization, most notably Google Personalized Search and iGoogle.

Kamvar is also an advocate for using the web as a medium for artistic expression — one that can be viewed by millions of people simultaneously with the ability to constantly change. His artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and the National Museum for Contemporary Art in Athens.

He earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Princeton, and is the author of two books and more than 40 technical publications and patents. His 2003 paper on the EigenTrust algorithm for reputation management, co-authored with Mario Schlosser and Hector Garcia-Molina, is one of the most cited papers in the field.

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