Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: W. Eric L. Grimson, B.Sc., Ph.D
Convocation date: May 31, 2016
Discipline / contribution: Mathematics ; Physics; Medical Engineering
Citation / biographical information:
W. Eric L. Grimson, the Bernard M. Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, has served as the chancellor for academic advancement at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since fall 2013. As one of the institute's senior academic officers, Professor Grimson is a central advisor to President Rafael Reif on the institute’s fundraising campaign's shape and strategy, and serves as his representative to alumni, parents, students and Institute partners.
A member of the MIT faculty since 1984, Professor Grimson previously served as chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In this role, he had oversight responsibility for graduate and undergraduate education at MIT, student life, student services, curricular developments, and other areas that impact student experience. Together with the provost, he acted as advisor to the president in areas of strategic planning, faculty appointments, resource development, and institute resources and buildings. Professor Grimson has also served as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Professor Grimson is internationally recognized for his research in computer vision, especially in applications in medical image analysis. He and his students have applied computer vision methods to medical image analysis, built systems used to help surgeons plan and execute minimally invasive surgeries, and designed methods to measure changes in brain structures caused by diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.
Professor Grimson has been actively engaged with students throughout his career. For 25 years he lectured Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, and more recently, Introduction to Computer Science and Programming, Introduction to EECS, and an MITx online MOOC version of Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. In all, Professor Grimson has taught some 11,000 MIT undergraduates and served as the thesis supervisor to almost 50 MIT Ph.Ds. Through the online course, he has reached nearly 500,000 learners worldwide.
Professor Grimson is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and holds a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from Dalhousie University. He received a B.Sc. (High Honours) in Mathematics and Physics in 1975 from the University of Regina, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1980.
Degree received: Doctor of Science
Degree presented by: Peta Bonham-Smith

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