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Associate Professor Fadel Adib Granted Tenure — MIT Media Lab – MIT Media Lab

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MIT Media Lab

Jimmy Day
by Alexandra Kahn
Nov. 29, 2022
Congratulations to Media Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Fadel Adib, who has been granted tenure. The youngest faculty member within the history of the School of Architecture and Planning to receive tenure, Professor Adib heads the Signal Kinetics research group at the Media Lab, and holds a joint appointment in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
His research is focused on the invention of new wireless technologies to interconnect, sense, and perceive the physical world in ways that have not been possible before. His work shows the feasibility of powerful new sensing capabilities, opening new opportunities in key areas such as climate, ocean conservation, health, logistics, and commerce.
“We are absolutely delighted that Fadel Adib is now a tenured member of our faculty,” notes Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media, and Academic Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. “Not only is his research in large-scale, systemically complex wireless sensing of the highest technical quality, it also demonstrates—time and again—a visionary approach to radical uses for existing technologies such as RF sensing, as well as brand new techniques and powerful applications for long-term data collection and analysis (due to his batteryless devices) on multiple scales, from outer space to inside the body. In addition, Fadel has applied his innovative thinking to the cultivation of creative research communities, and has become a leader at the Media Lab and in the Media Arts and Sciences program in supporting new models for faculty/student interaction and for general student support. We look forward to following and supporting Fadel’s brilliant research and cultural contributions for many years to come.”
Following the completion of his master’s and PhD degrees at MIT in 2016, Professor Adib accepted a faculty appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he founded the Lab’s Signal Kinetics research group. Two years later, he accepted a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In the ensuing years, he and his research team have made significant contributions to ocean research in the form of underwater backscatter networking; batteryless underwater communications nodes; and finding viable solutions to the challenges of underwater-to-air communications. Professor Adib has also made important contributions in novel contactless sensing with applications that include health monitoring, food safety sensing, and robotics. In addition, his work has expanded batteryless connectivity deep into the human body, enabling novel health applications such as batteryless micro-implants.
“It’s truly an honor to congratulate and welcome Fadel as a tenured member of the Media Lab’s faculty,” notes Dava Newman, Director of the MIT Media Lab and Apollo Professor of Astronautics at MIT. “His energy, enthusiasm, and creativity are all assets to our community. Fadel’s work exemplifies one of the things that makes the Media Lab so special—we don’t create technology in a vacuum, we innovate with an eye to the ways it can help people, society, our vital oceans, and the planet. Fadel’s research wonderfully illustrates how the Media Lab’s transdisciplinary approach is helping to solve hard problems across domains and scales.”
Professor Adib received his undergraduate degree from the American University of Beirut (2011) in his birth country of Lebanon. He earned his master’s (2013) and PhD (2016) at MIT, winning the best master’s and best PhD thesis awards in computer science at MIT. In addition to holding the Doherty Chair in Ocean Utilization at MIT, he has also received prestigious early-career faculty honors, including the CAREER Award (2019) from the US National Science Foundation; the Young Investigator Award (2019) and the Early Career Grant (2020) from the Office of Naval Research; the Sloan Research Fellowship (2021); the Google Faculty Research Award (2017); the Technology Review 35 under 35 award (2014); and most recently, the ACM SIGMOBILE Rockstar Award (2022).
Fadel Adib, Swarun Kumar, Omid Aryan, Shyamnath Gollakota, and Dina Katabi. 2013. Interference alignment by motion. In Proceedings of the 19th annual international conference on Mobile computing & networking (MobiCom '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 279-290.
Jue Wang, Fadel Adib, Ross Knepper, Dina Katabi, and Daniela Rus. 2013. RF-compass: robot object manipulation using RFIDs. In Procs of the 19th annual international conference on Mobile computing & networking (MobiCom '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 3-14.
Haitham Hassanieh, Fadel Adib, Dina Katabi, and Piotr Indyk. 2012. Faster GPS via the sparse fourier transform. In Proceedings of the 18th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking (Mobicom '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 353-364.
Shyamnath Gollakota, Fadel Adib, Dina Katabi, and Srinivasan Seshan. 2011. Clearing the RF smog: making 802.11n robust to cross-technology interference. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2011 conference (SIGCOMM '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 170-181.

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