Michael Athans is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS).

Contact information

Michael Athans
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room 35-404
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 253-6173
(617) 258-8553 [Fax]

mathans@mit.edu, mathans@lids.mit.edu

Biographical Sketch

Michael Athans was born in Drama, Macedonia, Greece on May 3, 1937. He came to the United States in 1954 for a one year exchange visit under the auspices of the American Field Service and he attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California. Next he attended the University of California at Berkeley from 1955 to 1961 where he received his BSEE in 1958 (with highest honors), MSEE in 1959, and Ph.D. in control in 1961.

From 1961 to 1964 he was employed as a member of the technical staff at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Mass. where he conducted research in optimal control and estimation theory. Since 1964 he has been a faculty member in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, where he currently holds the rank of Professor. He also was the director of the MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (formerly the Electronic Systems Laboratory) from 1974 to 1981. In 1978 he co-founded ALPHATECH Inc., Burlington Mass., where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Scientific Consultant. He has also consulted for numerous other industrial organizations and government panels. He has acted as the thesis supervisor for 42 MIT doctoral students to date. In 1995 he was Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.


Prof. Athans' research interests and contributions span the areas of

and the application of these methodologies to and he has authored or co-authored over 325 technical papers and reports.


Dr. Athans is the co-author of

and in 1974 he also developed 65 color TV lectures and study guides on Modern Control Theory, distributed by the MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study.


Prof. Athans has been honored with a number of awards, including

His latest award is the American Automatic Control Council's Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award "In Recognition of a Distinguished Career in Automatic Control; As a Leader and Champion of Innovative Research; As a Contributor to Fundamental Knowledge in Optimal, Adaptive, Robust, Decentralized and Distributed Control; and as a Mentor to his Students" presented in June 1995 at the American Control Conference.


Prof. Athans has served in numerous committees of and he was president of the IEEE Control systems Society from 1972 to 1974. In addition he is a member of He has served as Associate Editor of

Last modified 15 February 1996
wmcd@mit.edu (W. McDermott)