Computation lies at the heart of understanding all physical and biological systems. Many solutions to the most challenging problems of our lives, our work, and our world, therefore, are based in computation. MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) studies this vast, compelling field in an effort to unlock the secrets of human intelligence, extend the functional capabilities of machines, and explore human/machine interactions. We apply that knowledge with a long-term lens to engineer innovative solutions with global impact.
CSAIL has earned a prestigious reputation among the world’s leading computer scientists, mathematicians, and engineers through three areas of differentiation:
- An entrepreneurial approach. Ideas are our currency; through partnerships with industry, institutions, and other research groups, we refine and model ideas until they become reality. Our research has spawned more than 100 technology companies, evidence of our track record in creating innovative ideas that in turn generate substantial value.
- A distinguished faculty. Nearly one-third of our faculty are members of the US national academies. Our ranks include more than 60 professional society fellows, six MacArthur fellows, three Turing Award winners, two Nevanlinna Prize winners, and one Millennium Technology Prize winner.
- A breadth of expertise. The largest lab at MIT, CSAIL’s expertise is drawn from the Institute’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mathematics, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Brain and Cognitive Science, Mechanical Engineering, Media Arts and Sciences, and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences departments, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
With approximately 50 research groups working on hundreds of diverse projects, our researchers are focused on finding innovative ways to make systems and machines operate faster, better, safer, easier, and more efficiently for the benefit of humanity. Our projects fall into three areas of inquiry:
- Artificial intelligence – We seek to understand and develop both living and artificial systems capable of intelligent reasoning, perception, and behavior.
- Systems – We seek to discover new principles, models, metrics, and tools of both hardware- and software-based computer systems.
- Theory – We seek to understand the mathematics of computation and its wide-ranging, real-world consequences.
Housed in the architecturally distinctive Stata Center, bolstered by four decades of extraordinary discoveries, and committed to pursuing frontiers almost beyond imagining, CSAIL places computational thinking squarely in the service of human need. In so doing, we strive to achieve an impact as ubiquitous as computation itself.