Alexander "Sasha" Rakhlin

Alexander “Sasha” Rakhlin receives 2019 Joseph A. Martore Award for Excellence in Teaching in IDSS

June 05, 2019

IDSS and SDSC are pleased to announce that the 2019 Joseph A. Martore Award for Excellence in Teaching in IDSS has been awarded to Alexander “Sasha” Rakhlin. The Martore Award recognizes outstanding contributions in education and is made possible by a generous gift from Joseph A. Martore (SB ’75, SM ’76), who serves on the IDSS External Advisory Board.

Professor Rakhlin has made several important contributions to instruction in statistics over the last academic year.

He is the first program head for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Statistics (IDPS) offered to current MIT doctoral students enrolled in Aeronautics & Astronautics, Economics, Mathematics, Political Science, and Social and Engineering Systems. Under his leadership, Brain and Cognitive Sciences recently joined the list of participating programs. Rakhlin has been a key figure in building relationships and strengthening the statistics community at MIT.

Rakhlin was the best- and most-reviewed instructor for 6.860/9.520 Statistical Learning Theory and Applications in Fall 2018. Statistical Learning Theory and Applications is significant to IDSS because it can be used to satisfy the Computation & Statistics requirement for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Statistics.

Finally, Rakhlin developed a new subject, Mathematical Statistics, first offered under an experimental subject number this Spring 2019 with a robust fifth-week enrollment of 78 students. It will be offered as 9.521/IDS.160 going forward, and will satisfy requirements in statistics for IDPS and for the Social and Engineering Systems Doctoral program.

Professor Rakhlin is an Associate Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and IDSS and a core member of the Statistics and Data Science Center. His research is in machine learning, with an emphasis on statistics and computation. He is interested in formalizing the process of learning, in analyzing learning models, and in deriving and implementing emerging learning methods. A significant thrust of his research is in developing theoretical and algorithmic tools for online prediction, a learning framework where data arrives in a sequential fashion.

We congratulate Professor Rakhlin on this much deserved award!

MIT Statistics + Data Science Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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