Sami Assaf joined the MIT mathematics department as a CLE Moore Instructor in September 2007. She completed the PhD from U.C. Berkeley with Mark Haiman with a thesis addressing the positivity problem of LLT polynomials. An algebraic combinatorialist, Assaf's program investigates symmetric functions, particularly Macdonald polynomials, which intersect with problems in representation theory and algebraic geometry. She is also an NSF postdoctoral fellow.
As a graduate student, Sami received one of Berkeley's prestigious Outstanding Student Instructor awards. For her dissertation she was awarded the Herb Alexander Prize at Berkeley. She was also the president of the Noetherian Ring women in math group at UC Berkeley, and a panelist at the MIT Women in Mathematics Celebration in April, 2008.