Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

This academic year marked the 100th anniversary of the department now known as Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). To commemorate this historic milestone, this past May we hosted a day and a half of celebration of the department's accomplishments from the past century with previews of those in the next. Nineteen professors from EECS presented at symposia on topics ranging from department history to the evolution of engineering, biology, and physics to quantum optics, molecular engineering, and nanostructures. Various labs held open houses and poster sessions designed to give alumni and other friends of the department the opportunity to meet and chat with students and faculty, tour the facilities, and see some fascinating demonstrations. One other feature of the celebration was a "virtual tour" of the Stata Center, attended by several hundred guests. Over 900 guests were in attendance, including over 400 at the gala dinner held at the Park Plaza. Despite the chilly, rainy weather, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, making the event a rousing success.

Our strategic plan continues to be twofold: continuing to hire and retain the best faculty possible—including hiring faculty jointly with other units at MIT, an ongoing process—and looking for innovative ways to use technology. This includes working across departmental lines.

Within this plan, the department is committed to sharing research efforts and intellectual synergy. As one means to that end, this July saw the merger of the Laboratory for Computer Science and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory into the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Rodney Brooks has been named director and Victor Zue codirector. Some of the largest factors behind the merger were the overlapping of research interests, such as Project Oxygen, between the two labs and the increasing overlap in the 1990s of research efforts through large funding projects. CSAIL has now become MIT's largest on-campus research lab, home to more than 750 students, faculty and staff, and it will eventually move its offices to the new Stata Center.

Progress continues on the construction of the Stata Center. With the opening of the parking garage in June 2003 and the renovation of the plaza on Vassar Street, the completion date later this year draws ever closer.

The Visiting Committee held their biannual meeting with the department in March. After meeting with students and faculty, committee members were satisfied with the progress of the department since their last visit.

This summer marked the second year of the Women's Technology Program. Over 150 applications were received from high school juniors around the country to fill only 40 spots. For four weeks, these young women explored topics in electrical engineering and computer science, focusing on engaging hands-on experiments and projects interspersed with lectures in electrical engineering (EE), computer science (CS), and math. They also took advantage of the opportunity to explore the MIT community and the surrounding areas in their free time. With the help of dedicated instructors from the MIT community, these young women worked hard and advanced their knowledge of complex college-level subject matter.

The first 100 years of the department have been marked by enormous progress and cutting-edge innovation. As we move forward into the second century, our faculty, students, and staff stand poised to distinguish themselves with accomplishments of even greater magnitude.

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Undergraduate Program

Enrollment of undergraduates averaged 806 in 2002–2003, close to that of 2001–2002, with 17 percent in the Electrical Engineering Program (6-1), 31 percent in the Computer Science Program (6-3), and 52 percent in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Program (6-2). From the Class of 2005, 311 students were enrolled in Course 6. About 191 students from the Class of 2006 have so far selected Course 6, with 24 percent choosing 6-1, 51 percent choosing 6-2, and 25 percent choosing 6-3.

The following prizes and awards were won by our undergraduate students:

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Graduate Program

In September 2002, there were 882 graduate students enrolled in the department. About 28 percent of the total were foreign nationals. The department supported 540 research assistants and 120 teaching assistants. In addition, there were 153 fellowships, including 24 National Science Foundation fellows and 5 Department of Defense fellows. The remaining students had industrial or foreign support or were using their own funds.

The Master of Engineering (MEng) Program entered its 8th year with 192 students. During AY2003, the department awarded 81 MS degrees and 64 PhDs. There were no EE degrees awarded.

The department received 2,821 applications for the 2002–2003 academic year, an increase over the previous year. The applications continue to be generally excellent, and 229 were admitted of whom 150 registered in September.

The following awards were presented to graduate students for excellence:

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6-A Internship Program

The department's 6-A Internship Program is in its 86th year. Last year substantial changes in the 6-A requirements were made to maximize flexibility for students by allowing easy entrance and exit at any time. In addition, there was a new fall 6-A recruitment for seniors who wanted to an industry-based Master of Engineering thesis. This year 129 students applied to the 6-A Program during the annual Orientation and Selection process, and 28 were selected as members of the incoming 6-A class. Currently, there are 44 undergraduates and 18 MEng students in the program. To compare, in 2002, 144 students applied and 26 were selected; in 2001, 108 students applied and 42 were selected; and in 2000, 73 students applied and 41 were selected. Since the last report, 6 students have withdrawn from the 6-A Internship Program as they felt their needs were better matched with the opportunities available on campus. However, most 6-A students continue to find the program professionally rewarding and a source of satisfaction. Participating companies continue to offer challenging and well-supervised assignments.

No new companies joined 6-A this year and, due to the poor economy, many companies did not participate in the annual Orientation and Selection process. However, these companies are continuing with the students already in the program, and many of them have indicated an interest in resuming their active participation in the future.

Many honors and awards continue to be bestowed on 6-A students. Arthur Musah (Texas Instruments) received the following awards: the Austin Kelly III/Richard Douglas Traveling Fellowship (to juniors for travel that supports study in the humanities or arts); the Robert A. Boit Manuscript Prize for Poetry; and the Robert A. Boit Writing Prize for a Short Story.

At the annual Department Social and Awards Ceremony held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, 6-A student Danielle Shumaker (Texas Instruments) was honored with the George C. Newton Undergraduate Laboratory Prize.

Phi Beta Kappa awards were given to JiaFu Cen (Qualcomm, Inc.) and Adam G. Unikowsky (IBM).

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Faculty Notes

The following eight new faculty members joined the department this year:

There were three other appointments to the faculty: Stephen Senturia, Barton L. Weller professor (postretirement); Michael Stonebraker, adjunct professor; and Joel Schindall, the Bernard Gordon professor of the practice.

There were 14 promotions in the department. Krste Asanovi, Trevor Darrell, Robert Morris, Muriel Médard, and Rahul Sarpeshkar were promoted to associate professor. Duane Boning, Anantha Chandrakasan, Madhu Sudan, and Akintunde Akinwande were promoted to professor. Dennis Freeman, Martin Rinard, Seth Teller, Hari Balakrishnan, and Rajeev Ram were granted tenure.

Professor Akintunde Akinwande, Professor Arthur Baggeroer, Professor David Gifford, Professor Berthold Horn, Professor Qing Hu, Professor Hae-Seung Lee, Professor Jae Lim, Professor Alexandre Megretski, and Professor Alan Willsky were on sabbatical for all or part of the year. Associate Professor Saman Amarasinghe, Associate Professor Trevor Darrel, Associate Professor Muriel Médard, Associate Professor Robert Morris, Professor Shafrira Goldwasser, Professor Leonard McMillan, and Professor James Roberge were on leave for all of part of the year.

There were two administrative appointments this year: current LCS director Victor Zue will serve as codirector of the new Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Rodney Brooks, currently director of the AI Lab, will serve as director.

The department hosted three visiting faculty this year: Associate Professor Joseph Hellerstein, Professor Katrin Kneipp, and Professor of the Practice Gregory Papadopoulos.

Associate Professor Joseph Hellerstein resigned from the faculty. We are saddened by the passing of Professor Hermann Haus.

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Faculty Awards and Honors

John V. Guttag
Department Head
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

More information about the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science can be found on the web at


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