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Indian-origin academic, Anantha P Chandrakasan, named Dean of MITs School of Engineering

MIT, one of the world’s best schools, has named an Indian-origin academic as dean of its School of Engineering.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   26-06-2017
Anantha P. Chandrakasan
Image credit: news.mit.edu

Anantha P. Chandrakasan is the new Dean of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering. He will take over from Ian Waitz on July 1.

Currently, Dr. Chandrakasan is the Head of MIT’s largest department - Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has been with MIT since 1994 after completing is his post-doctoral research. In 2006, Dr. Chandrakasan became director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories, and in 2011, the head of EECS.

With a dedicated lab at MIT, Dr. Chandrakasan’s research focuses on energy-efficient circuits. His early research on low-power chips for portable computers has enabled the development of today’s smartphones and other mobile devices.

However, the new Dean is not just a respected academic but also an efficient administrator. Provost Martin Schmidt described him as “a people-centred and innovative leader.” MIT President, L. Rafael Reif, told the media, “Anantha balances his intellectual creativity and infectious energy with a remarkable ability to deeply listen to, learn from, and integrate other people's views into a compelling vision.”

Dr. Chandrakasan has helped initiatives like Rising Stars, an annual event when graduate and post-doctoral women gather to share advice on the early stages of an academic career, and SuperOROP, an independent research program for undergraduates.

MIT quoted Dr. Chandrakasan as saying, “That’s what excites me about an administrative job. It’s how I can enhance the student and postdoc experience. I want to create exciting opportunities for them, whether that’s in entrepreneurship, research, or maker activities. One of the key things I plan to do as dean is to connect directly with students.”

Born in Chennai, Anantha Chandrakasan moved to the US when he was still in high school. His mother is a biochemist and Fulbright scholar. He credits her with being the inspiration behind his academic career.

Although, he has been an integral part of MIT for more than two decades, it is ironic that the institute rejected Dr. Chandrkasan’s master’s and doctoral applications. He completed his bacherlor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

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