The LIDS 80th anniversary celebration welcomed over 400 people from around the world, bringing together LIDS alumni and students, members of the MIT community, friends of the lab from academia, government, and industry, and many others working in the field. Together with an impressive set of speakers, the celebration was an inspiring reminder of the lab’s tremendous history and impact, as well as the many ways LIDS is poised to continue leading the field.
In addition to the outstanding technical program, which highlighted the rigor and interdisciplinary nature of LIDS-style research, the event held a strong focus on LIDS community. Appreciation of the lab’s welcoming spirit, intellectual freedom, and deeply impressive faculty and alumni were common threads throughout the celebration. In particular, we took the occasion to honor Michael Athans, Dimitri Bertsekas, Dave Forney, Bob Gallager, Sanjoy Mitter, and Alan Willsky, which gave us the opportunity to reflect on the lab’s remarkable roots while looking toward an exciting future.
We also received much positive feedback about the celebration. Attendees were struck by the depth and breadth of LIDS connections, and reported having a wonderful time — noting that the event was not only exceedingly well organized, but one of the most enjoyable conferences they had attended.
The purpose of the LIDS@80 event was to celebrate the LIDS community and accomplishments, reminisce about the good old times, and share insights and enthusiasm for the present and future. The celebration featured a variety of talks and discussions about the past, present, and future of our field. It also provided many opportunities for alums to reconnect with each other, and to connect with current LIDS students, staff, and faculty. The LIDS@80 celebration consisted of four half-day sessions, focused on the following themes:
- Systems, Optimization, and Control
- Communications, Information Theory, and Networks
- From Data to Inference and Machine Learning
LIDS, founded in 1940 as the Servomechanism Lab, is the oldest continuing lab at MIT. In its nearly eighty years of existence, the faculty, students, and researchers at LIDS have conducted important fundamental research, laying the foundations for technologies that have changed the world. Today LIDS remains as vibrant as ever. Many of the spectacular recent advances in data science and machine intelligence are all about systems that process information, and then make inferences and decisions. LIDS-type research provides much of the methodological core that underlies such developments, illustrating, once again, that despite tremendous changes in the technological landscape, many of the fundamental ideas and tools are timeless.
Sertac Karaman, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT
Yury Polyanskiy, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Devavrat Shah, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Caroline Uhler, Henry L. and Grace Doherty Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Eytan Modiano, Associate Director, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, MIT
John Tsitsiklis, Director, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, MIT Administrative and Organizational Support
Jennifer Donovan, Communications and Events Officer, LIDS
Francisco Jaimes, Assistant to the Director, LIDS
Richard Lay, Administrative Officer, LIDS
Dorothee Unger-Lee, Program Manager, IDSS
And many other LIDS and IDSS staff members Contact
All questions about the LIDS@80 celebration can be sent to email@example.com.
This celebration was made possible through alumni gifts and the generous support of its sponsors: