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New leadership for sociotechnical systems

Ali Jadbabaie from the University of Pennsylvania named interim director of SSRC
Ali Jadbabaie
Ali Jadbabaie

Ali Jadbabaie, a visiting scientist in the Laboratory for Information Decision Systems (LIDS) from the University of Pennsylvania, has been appointed interim director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, effective Oct. 15. Jadbabaie will also serve as interim associate director designate of a new organization at MIT devoted to understanding and managing complex societal and technical systems, and to new programs in 21st-century statistics. He is a recognized expert in the fields of network science, decision and control theory, and multi-agent coordination.  

Through his highly-cited and influential research, Jadbabaie has made fundamental contributions in optimization-based control, multi-agent coordination and consensus, network science, and network economics. He has won several prestigious awards, and his students and postdoctoral scholars have become professors within electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering departments in top universities and in eminent business schools. 

Jadbabaie received his BS from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, his MS in electrical and computer engineering from the University of New Mexico, and his PhD in control and dynamical systems from the California Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral scholar at Yale University before joining the faculty at Penn, where he is the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Network Science in the department of electrical and systems engineering, in July 2002. He has secondary appointments in computer and information science and operations and information management in the Wharton School.  

A member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) Lab at Penn, Jadbabaie is also the cofounder and director of the Raj and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering (NETS), a new undergraduate interdisciplinary degree program focused on network science and engineering, operations research, computer science, and social sciences. He is also a faculty member of the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences at Penn and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at Penn's law school. He is a lead of a Department of Defense-funded Multidisciplinary Research Initiative (MURI) titled, “The Evolution of Cultural Norms and Dynamics of Sociopolitical Change,” which involves MIT faculty from LIDS and the departments of Political Science and Economics, as well as faculty from Penn, Stanford, and Cornell. 

Jadbabaie is the inaugural editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, a new interdisciplinary journal sponsored by several IEEE societies. He is a recipient of an National Science Foundation Career Award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award from the American Automatic Control Council, and the George S. Axelby Best Paper Award from the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is an IEEE Fellow.  

His current research interests include the interplay of dynamic systems and networks with specific emphasis on multi-agent coordination and control, distributed optimization, network science, and network economics.

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