F. Thomson Leighton

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Frank Thomson Leighton
Tom Leighton, CEO, Akamai.jpg
Born 1956 (age 59–60)
Nationality American
Fields Applied Mathematics
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Akamai Technologies
Alma mater Princeton University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Gary Miller
Doctoral students Peter Shor, Mohammad Hajiaghayi, Robert Kleinberg

Frank Thomson "Tom" Leighton is a professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the CEO of Akamai Technologies.[1] He has served as the head of the Algorithms group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory since 1996, and co-founded Akamai with student Daniel Lewin in 1998. He served on the Presidential Informational Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), during which time he served as the chair of subcommittee on cybersecurity.[2] In 1974, while a senior in high school, he was named one of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalists (now the Intel STS), going on to take home the 2nd place award behind Eric Lander, now a colleague of Leighton's at MIT. Leighton received his B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1978, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 1981. He has an Erdős number of 2.[3] His brother David T. Leighton is a full professor at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in transport phenomena.[4] He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) and of the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE), and he has participated in the Distinguished Lecture Series at CEE's flagship program for high school students, the Research Science Institute (RSI). Leighton's father was a friend and Navy colleague of RSI founder Hyman G. Rickover.

Awards and honors[edit]

He was the first winner of the Machtey Award in 1981 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2008, he was appointed as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[5]



  1. ^ Erik Nygren, Ramesh Sitaraman, and Jennifer Sun. "The Akamai Network: A Platform for High-Performance Internet Applications, ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, Vol. 44, No.3, July 2010." (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Akamai Biography". 
  3. ^ Leighton wrote "Guessing Secrets" (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi= with Fan Chung and Ronald Graham; Graham wrote "Old and new problems and results in combinatorial number theory" (http://www.math.ucsd.edu/~ronspubs/80_11_number_theory.pdf) with Erdös
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-27.

External links[edit]