Edwin Sibley Webster Professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Charles E. Leiserson received his B.S. from Yale University in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1981. He joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, where he is now the Edwin Sibley Webster Professor in MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and head of the Supertech research group in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, the highest recognition at MIT for undergraduate teaching. He is a Fellow of four professional societies — AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and SIAM — and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Awards include the ACM-IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award, the IEEE Computer Society Taylor L. Booth Education Award, the ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, and the ACM and Hertz Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Awards.

Professor Leiserson’s current research centers on software performance engineering: making computer programs run fast. His contributions to parallel computing include the Cilk multithreaded programming technology, which is available in major compilers today. He founded Cilk Arts, Inc., an MIT spinoff which was acquired by Intel Corporation. On leave from MIT as Director of System Architecture at Akamai Technologies, he led the engineering team that developed Akamai’s worldwide content-distribution network comprising tens of thousands of servers. He designed and led the implementation of the network architecture for Thinking Machine Corporation’s Connection Machine CM-5, the world’s most powerful supercomputer in the early 1990’s. He coauthored the first paper on systolic architectures, invented the retiming method of digital-circuit optimization, and introduced the notion of cache-oblivious algorithms. He is well known as coauthor of Introduction to Algorithms (MIT Press), the leading textbook on computer algorithms, which has sold 750,000 copies and is one of the most cited publications in all of computer science. His annual workshop on Leadership Skills for Engineering and Science Faculty has educated hundreds of faculty at MIT and around the world in the human issues involved in leading technical teams in academia. Professor Leiserson has supervised over two dozen Ph.D. students and more than 60 Master’s and Bachelor’s students.