Lynch elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab professor Nancy Lynch among 4 MIT faculty inducted to National Academy of Sciences
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab professor Nancy Lynch among 4 MIT faculty inducted to National Academy of Sciences

Bookmark and Share

CSAIL principal investigator Nancy Lynch is one of four MIT faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Lynch is the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She heads the Theory of Distributed Systems
group in CSAIL.

Lynch studies the theory of distributed computation. Recently her work has centered on questions about ad hoc networks — networks that are constantly adding and dropping members. How can you guarantee that a vital piece of information will reach every member of a network, if the shape of the network is always changing? How can you distribute data across a network so that you won’t lose information if any members drop out, but you won’t overwhelm members’ memory banks with unnecessary redundancy?

Lynch received her bachelor’s in mathematics from Brooklyn College and her PhD in mathematics from MIT. She taught at Georgia Tech before joining the faculty at MIT, where she’s been for 35 years. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. She has won numerous awards including the Donald E. Knuth Prize for outstanding contributions to the foundations of computer science, jointly awarded by the ACM and IEEE, and two Edsger W. Dijkstra Prizes from the ACM for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing.

Including Lynch, MIT’s new NAS members are: Arup Chakraborty, the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science; Hidde Ploegh, a professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; and David Sabatini, a professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute.