Charles E. Leiserson

Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Associate Director, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


Fast AI

Charles E. Leiserson is the Edwin Sibley Webster Professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the associate director and chief operating officer for the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research centers on the theory and practice of performance engineering, where he develops algorithms and software to make computationally intensive tasks run quickly with minimal computing resources. His current focus is Fast AI. As computer performance due to semiconductor miniaturization dwindles with the end of Moore’s Law, Leiserson sees the opportunity to speed up applications by making software more efficient. His group is currently engaged in a major effort with IBM Research to develop fast, graph-based machine-learning applications for anti-money laundering and other applications.

His research contributions include the Cilk multithreaded programming language and runtime system, the fat-tree interconnection network, systolic architectures, cache-oblivious algorithms, and the Tapir compiler technology. His co-authored textbook, Introduction to Algorithms, has sold over 800,000 copies and is the one of the most cited publications in computer science. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Computing Machinery,  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His awards include an ACM-IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award, an IEEE Computer Society Taylor L. Booth Education Award and an ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award. He earned a BS from Yale University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.