L. Rafael Reif

#6,249
Most Influential Person

Venezuelan-born American electrical engineer, writer and academic administrator

Why Is L. Rafael Reif Influential?

Leo Rafael Reif is the current president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an electrical engineer. He studied electrical engineering at the Universidad de Carabobo before earning a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

While teaching at MIT, he conducted research on the development of microelectronics fabrication methods that reduced economic impacts and 3D integrated circuit technologies. He is a pioneer in the field of micro and nanotechnologies and holds or shares more than a dozen patents.

After years of teaching, he became provost at MIT. In this new role, he led the institution’s foray into online learning, developing massive open online courses (MOOCS). His work eventually led to edX, a collaborative effort between MIT and Harvard University that has had 24 million unique students take free online courses. His work on MIT’s online courses earned him a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award, and he has been named among the most influential individuals of Hispanic heritage working in the technology field.

He also created MIT’s Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, which is a research environment that studies artificial intelligence through an ethical and philosophical lens. He is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of the Electrochemical Society.

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According to Wikipedia, Leo Rafael Reif is a Venezuelan-American electrical engineer, writer and academic administrator. He is the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, succeeding Susan Hockfield on July 2, 2012. Reif previously served as the Institute's provost, as the head of MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and as the director of the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

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