Anant Agarwal

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Anant Agarwal
Born Mangalore, India
Occupation Professor, researcher
Known for MOOC

Anant Agarwal is an Indian computer architecture researcher.[1] He is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he led the development of Alewife, an early cache coherent multiprocessor, and also has served as director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is the founder and CTO of Tilera, a fabless semiconductor company focusing on scalable multicore embedded processor design.[2] He also serves as the CEO of edX, a joint partnership between MIT and Harvard University that offers free online learning.[3]


Born in Delhi, he did his schooling in St. Aloysius Mangalore. Agarwal holds a bachelor's degree from Indian Institute of Technology Madras[4] and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.[2]


Agarwal is the CEO of edX, a worldwide, online learning initiative of MIT and Harvard. He is a leader of the Carbon Project, which is developing new scalable multicore architectures, a new operating system for multicore and clouds called fos, and a distributed, parallel simulator for multicore and clouds called Graphite. He is a leader of the Angstrom Project, which is creating fundamental technologies for exascale computing. He contributes to WebSim, a web-based electronic circuits laboratory. He led the Raw Project at CSAIL, and is a founder of Tilera Corporation. Raw was an early tiled multicore processor with 16 cores. He also teaches the edX offering of MIT's 6.002 Circuits and Electronics.

His previous projects include Sparcle, a coarse-grain multithreaded (CGMT or switch-on-event SOE) microprocessor, Alewife, a scalable distributed shared memory multiprocessor, Virtual Wires, a scalable FPGA-based logic emulation system, LOUD, a beamforming microphone array, Oxygen, a pervasive human-centered computing project, and Fugu, a protected, multiuser multiprocessor.


Agarwal received the 2001 Maurice Wilkes Award for computer architecture.[5] In 2007 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[6] In 2011 he was appointed Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In March 2016, he was awarded the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education in higher education[7] as an outstanding leader of the development of the Massive Open Online Course movement. In addition to that, he is also a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras.[8] He received Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India in 2017.[9]


  • Anant Agarwal and Jeffrey Lang (2005). Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 1-55860-735-8. 


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