Executive Committee Chair
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Algorithms, Combinatorics & Optimization
Michel Goemans is Department Head of the Mathematics Department, as of July 1, 2018, following a year as Interim Department Head, 2017-2018. He received both the B.S. & M.S. degrees in applied mathematics from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 1987, and completed the Ph.D. in operations research at MIT in 1990. Goemans continued at MIT as instructor of applied mathematics, 1990-92. He subsequently joined the MIT faculty, and is a Member of the Theory of Computation Group at MIT-CSAIL. In 2002 he was appointment Professor of Mathematics. Goemans' research interests include combinatorial optimization and algorithms, in particular developing new techniques for designing approximation algorithms. He received the A.W. Tucker Prize (1991), the SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Prize (1996 & 1999), the AMS Delbert Ray Fulkerson Prize (2000), the IBM Faculty Partnership Award (2000), and the MIT School of Science Student Advising Award (2004). In 2006, the department selected him for the Robert E. Collins Distinguished Scholarship. A prior Sloan fellow and NSF Career Awardee, Goemans received a 2007 Guggenheim fellowship. In 2007 Goemans was selected to be the initial holder of the Leighton Faculty Professorship through June, 2017. He was made a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2008 "for contributions to the theory of approximation algorithms and mathematical programming." He received the Farkas Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society in 2012, and in 2013, elected Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In May 2016, he received a Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.