Research Groups


In recent years, the amount of data on which computers are expected to operate has increased by several orders of magnitude, and it is no longer rare to come across data sets whose sizes are many terabytes.

Computation and Biology

The Computation & Biology Group comprises members from the Department of Mathematics and EECS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Theory of Computation

Complexity Theory

CSAIL members have done foundational work in computational complexity theory. Larry Stockmeyer, and Albert Meyer worked together to define the polynomial-time hierarchy in 1973. Michael Sipser's work has focused on circuit lower bounds, interactive proofs, and probabilistic computation.

Computation and Economics

Many systems have components that are controlled by people (as in the Internet) or are people themselves (as in an auction). Engineering such systems becomes more challenging, since each user may try to game them to his own advantage.

Computational Connectomics
Cryptography and Information Security (CIS)


We seek to develop techniques for securing tomorrow's global information infrastracture by exploring theoretical foundations, near-term practical applications, and long-range speculative research.

Distributed Systems

The Theory of Distributed Systems group, led by Prof. Nancy Lynch, works on a wide range of problems in distributed computing theory.


Our goal is to make it easier for people to collect, organize, find, visualize, and share their information.

Parallel Computing

Parallel computing has become the dominant paradigm in computer architecture in recent years. The parallel computation group includes three sub-groups addressing the design of parallel software, from languages to algorithms and to the fields computational foundations.

Quantum Information Science

In 1994, CSAIL member Peter Shor showed that quantum computers, if built, would be able to break most of the cryptographic codes used in modern electronic commerce. This result played a central role in launching quantum computing and information as a field of study.