Tom Leighton is a Professor of Applied Mathematics and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. He was head of the Algorithms Group from its inception in 1996 until 1998, when he co-founded Akamai Technologies. Currently on leave from MIT, he serves as Akamai’s CEO and member of the board of directors.
Professor Leighton is a preeminent authority on algorithms for network applications, and has published over 100 papers on algorithms, cryptography, parallel architectures, distributed computing, combinatorial optimization, and graph theory. He also holds numerous patents involving content delivery, Internet protocols, algorithms for networks, cryptography, and digital rights management.
He received his B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton in 1978, and his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from MIT in 1981. He joined the MIT Mathematics faculty in 1982, and became Professor in 1989.
Professor Leighton has served on numerous governmental, industrial and academic committees. From 2003-05, he served as Chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee on Cyber Security. His many distinctions include the IEEE Babbage Award, the MIT Entrepreneurship Award, the ACM-SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize, and being named as a member of the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) Innovators Hall of Fame and one of the Ten Top Technology Innovators by US News and World Report. Professor Leighton is a Fellow (and Member of the Trust) of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. In 2014 he was elected to the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.