Norbert Wiener Professor of Mathematics
Theoretical Computer Science, Machine Learning
Theoretical Computer Science
Ankur Moitra is the Norbert Wiener Professor of Mathematics as of July 2021. He was also appointed Director of the MIT Statistics and Data Science Center (SDSC). Moitra received his B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell in 2007. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in computer science in 2009 and 2011 respectively, where he was advised by Tom Leighton and was supported by a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship. He received a George M. Sprowls Award (best thesis) and a William A. Martin Award (best thesis) for his doctoral and master's dissertations. He then spent two years as an NSF CI Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, and jointly a senior postdoc in the computer science department at Princeton University. In 2013 he returned to MIT as an assistant professor in applied mathematics, and a principal investigator in CSAIL. He was promoted to Associate Professor in July, 2017, and received tenure in July 2019.
His research spans a diverse set of topics, from statistical inference to optimization and approximation to codes and combinatorics. He is particularly interested in algorithmic problems with applications in machine learning and big data.
In 2015 Ankur received an NSF CAREER Award and the Kelly Research Award. In 2016 he received the Sloan Research Fellowship and the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. He also received the Rockwell International Career Development Professorship, July 2016 - June 2019. In 2018, Ankur received the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, for his proposed research on "An Algorithmic Theory of Robustness." The MIT School of Science also selected Ankur for the Teaching Prize in Graduate Education.