Faculty promotions: Chlipala, Golland, Torralba & Vaikuntanathan

Faculty promotions: Chlipala, Golland, Torralba & Vaikuntanathan
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This week it was announced that four CSAIL researchers have been promoted within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department.

Polina Golland and Antonio Torralba were promoted to full professor, while Adam Chilpala and Vinod Vaikuntanathan were promoted to associate professor. The promotions are effective July 1.

Polina Golland studies the shapes and functions of biological structures through the statistical analysis of biomedical images. She builds computational models of the anatomical and functional variability within populations, and develops methods to detect and characterize changes in those distributions under the influence of development or disease. Her models give insight into the functional organization of the brain and into the causes of its variability.

Antonio Torralba has received wide recognition for pointing out the importance of context for object recognition — that the objects near another object help us to recognize the object itself — and developing techniques to exploit context. In collaboration with Aude Oliva, he introduced “scene recognition” as an area of study within computer vision, and developed a representation designed to capture such contextual information.

Adam Chlipala's research addresses software development, applying formal logic to prove programs are correct using a computer proof assistant. He aims to reduce the human cost of program verification so that it may one day become a standard part of software development. This research could ultimately increase the reliability and security of software.

Vinod Vaikuntanathan studies cryptography, a topic of ever-increasing importance in modern society. He has made breakthroughs that bring us much closer to being able to compute on encrypted data, important for secure cloud computing, as well as in functional cryptography, the ability to share only some parts of an encrypted system.

Read more: https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/faculty-promotions-announced-eecs-0319