Martin Wainwright, the Cecil H. Green Professor in MIT’s departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and Mathematics, has been named the new director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), effective July 1.
“Martin is a widely recognized leader in statistics and machine learning — both in research and in education. In taking on this leadership role in the college, Martin will work to build up the human and institutional behavior component of IDSS, while strengthening initiatives in both policy and statistics, and collaborations within the institute, across MIT, and beyond,” says Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and the Henry Ellis Warren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “I look forward to working with him and supporting his efforts in this next chapter for IDSS.”
“Martin holds a strong belief in the value of theoretical, experimental, and computational approaches to research and in facilitating connections between them. He also places much importance in having practical, as well as academic, impact,” says Asu Ozdaglar, deputy dean of academics for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, department head of EECS, and the MathWorks Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “As the new director of IDSS, he will undoubtedly bring these tenets to the role in advancing the mission of IDSS and helping to shape its future.”
A principal investigator in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and the Statistics and Data Science Center, Wainwright joined the MIT faculty in July 2022 from the University of California at Berkeley, where he held the Howard Friesen Chair with a joint appointment between the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Statistics.
Wainwright received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and doctoral degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. He has received a number of awards and recognition, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and best paper awards from the IEEE Signal Processing Society, IEEE Communications Society, and IEEE Information Theory and Communication Societies. He has also been honored with the Medallion Lectureship and Award from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the COPSS Presidents’ Award from the Joint Statistical Societies. He was a section lecturer with the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2014 and received the Blackwell Award from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2017.
He is the author of “High-dimensional Statistics: A Non-Asymptotic Viewpoint” (Cambridge University Press, 2019), and is coauthor on several books, including on graphical models and on sparse statistical modeling.
Wainwright succeeds Munther Dahleh, the William A. Coolidge Professor in EECS, who has helmed IDSS since its founding in 2015.
“I am grateful to Munther and thank him for his leadership of IDSS. As the founding director, he has led the creation of a remarkable new part of MIT,” says Huttenlocher.