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Romanian scientist Daniela Rus to head MIT’s largest department

Romanian Daniela Rus will lead the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at prestigious US sciences university MIT- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is the university’s largest interdepartmental laboratory and her new position, announced end- May, comes after years of leading roles in the department. She is the first woman to lead this department.

Daniela has worked extensively in robotics and has led some eye-catching science fiction made fact projects. “Rus’ group has built robots that can tend a garden, bake cookies from scratch, cut a birthday cake, fly in swarms without human aid to perform surveillance functions — and dance with humans. (She orchestrated such a performance last summer with the Pilobolus dance company in New York,)” reads the MIT notice. She replaces Anant Agarwal, who is now president of edX, an online learning initiative of MIT and Harvard University.

Daniela Rus has clocked up an impressive list of academic honors, she was awarded a PhD by Cornell University in 2002 after emigrating to the US with her family in the 1980s.

She now leads 900 scientists across eight departments at MIT, with research focused in three areas: artificial intelligence, systems and theory. The projects receive funding from U.S. government agencies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and others; as well as corporate sponsors such as Boeing, Cisco, DuPont, Microsoft, Nokia, NTT, Pfizer, Quanta, SAP, Shell and Toyota.

More about Daniela Rus’ group projects here.

Liam Lever, liam@romania-insider.com

(photo source: MIT)