Vinod Vaikuntanathan wins Edgerton Faculty Award

Thu, 04/26/2018

Vinod Vaikuntanathan, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), has been recognized for excellence with the 2017-2018 Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award.

The honor lauds Vaikuntanathan, who also a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), for "his innovative and broadly-applicable work in cybersecurity, and for his wonderfully conversational and comprehensible lectures and inspiring discussions,” the award selection committee stated in its decision. The award was announced at a recent MIT faculty meeting.

The annual award was established in 1982 as a tribute to Institute Professor Emeritus Harold E. Edgerton, for his active support of junior faculty members. Each year, a committee presents the award to one or more non-tenured faculty members to recognize exceptional contributions in research, teaching, and service. 

Vaikuntanathan’s colleagues and students have commended him for his clear, approachable, and engaging style as a teacher and mentor, as well as for his contributions to the EECS cryptography community and curriculum. The School of Engineering also recognized his contributions in these areas with the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2016.

“Vinod is widely considered the best cryptographer of his generation,” one senior faculty colleague wrote in a nomination. “His teaching record is stunning; it is very rare for a junior faculty member to be considered one of the best lecturers in our department. His citizenship is exemplary and he has taken on a leadership role in the EECS and CSAIL communities.”

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