L. Rafael Reif
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical engineer; Academic administrator; Educator
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Educational and Academic Leadership
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts~President. Focusing MIT’s strength in interdisciplinary problem-solving to tackle great global challenges, including using digital learning to make education more effective and accessible; working to accelerate the pace and increase the impact of innovation; making progress on environmental issues from climate change to the supply of fresh water and food; and fostering the convergence of the life, engineering, and physical sciences to achieve breakthrough solutions in human health. As Provost, forged innovative alliances that expanded MIT research and education activities around the world. Guided MIT through global financial crisis, strove to increase faculty diversity and spearheaded MIT's latest experiments in online learning, MITx and edX (run jointly with Harvard). As leader of MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department, led a restructuring of the undergraduate curriculum to integrate EE and CS education, with team-oriented, hands-on engineering experience, a model for many leading universities. Influential in the design of the Focus Center Research Program, a partnership among U.S. semiconductor companies, the Department of Defense, and universities, in which university leadership ensures a long-range focus. As a faculty member, made key contributions to the creation of thin semiconducting films, which are important for thin film transistors, used in displays and other applications. Work on low-temperature, large-grain polycrystalline silicon films, and on epitaxial growth by chemical vapor deposition of silicon and silicon-germanium alloys, has had significant impact. Most important contributions were in developing the technology of three-dimensional integration, which will be important for continuing the expansion of electronics.