Professor of Mathematics
Algorithms, Combinatorics & Optimization
Theoretical Computer Science
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 UCLouvain in 1987, and completed the Ph.D. 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 appointed 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 Family Professorship through June, 2017. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and of the Association for Computing Machinery. He received the Farkas Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society in 2012. In 2016, he received a Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) from UCLouvain, Belgium.