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Six faculty recognized for Russian engagement

Institute names inaugural Skolkovo Foundation Professors.
Six MIT faculty members from across the Institute have been appointed to one-year terms as Skolkovo Foundation Professors. The MIT-based appointments recognize significant engagement in the collaboration between MIT and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Moscow.

The pilot recipients are Regina Barzilay, Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering; Duane Boning, Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; David Gamarnik, Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Operations Research; Fiona Murray, Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship; Bruce Tidor, Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Computer Science and Biological Engineering; and Forest White, Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Biological Engineering.

Faculty were informed of the appointments by MIT Vice President Claude Canizares; terms began on Jan. 1 and continue through 2013.

As faculty lead for the MIT Skoltech Initiative, Boning hopes that the honor draws attention to other opportunities for MIT faculty and researchers to work with Skoltech. “I am grateful for the support and excited about what it represents for the MIT community. The collaboration with Russia is creating new ways to experiment, from support for collaborative research and course development, to sabbatical and leave opportunities in Moscow,” he says.

Tidor, who advises on faculty search, adds, “The mission to create a new innovation-based university in Moscow is compelling. Working cross-culturally with colleagues, developing a global recruiting strategy, and trying to build some of the best features of MIT in a different place is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. In working to create an effective environment for faculty recruitment, our search committees have become a mechanism for bridging departments and exchanging ideas within MIT and for building global and local networks.”

Working with Skoltech faculty and leadership, the six recipients have helped launch joint research, innovation and educational programs, MISTI-Russia activities, and other mechanisms for collaboration.

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