Prof. Devavrat Shah

Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Member, Statistics and Data Science Center
Principal Investigator, MIT Institute for Foundations of Data Science
Adjunct Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Primary DLC

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

MIT Room: 32-D670


Max Taylor

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Network Algorithms
Stochastic Network Analysis
Gossip and Message-Passing Algorithms
Graphical Models and Network Inference
Scaling Laws for Networks\nStatistical Inference
Machine Learning

Research Summary

Professor Shah’s research is driven by a desire to engineer a socially integrated network where a typical user may connect through a smart-phone, socialize through Facebook, learn from Wikipedia and help bring socio-political change through Twitter. Such a “social network” is in dire need of better network infrastructure; a typical user is anxious for help to be able to cope with the information overload; and scalable computational systems are required to process large amounts of data. As a network theorist, his contributions towards addressing these challenges involve designing better wireless access network and processing social data and scalable algorithms that can operate in data center like facility.

His work has received broad recognition including Rising Star Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group for the computer systems performance evaluation community (SIGMETRICS), the Erlang Prize from the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS in addition to paper prize awards including the Best Publication Award from the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS, Best Paper Award from Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society of INFORMS, NIPS Best Paper Award and ACM SIGMETRICS Best Paper Award. He received NSF CAREER Award and he is distinguished young alumni of his alma mater IIT Bombay. He founded the machine learning start-up Celect, Inc. which helps retailer with optimizing inventory by accurate demand forecasting.

Recent Work

  • Video

    Devavrat Shah

    May 5, 2017MIT Faculty Feature Duration: 29:28

    Professor of Electrical Engineering

    Devavrat Shah - 2016 Japan

    January 29, 2016Conference Video Duration: 48:43

    What Do Your Customers (Dis)Like?: Let Their Data Decide

    We live in the era where almost everything we do is recorded somewhere. Naturally such massive amounts of social data contains wealth of information about us. This presents us with a huge opportunity to utilize it for operating businesses efficiently, making meaningful policies and better social living. In this talk, I will discuss how we can utilize social data for predicting preferences of a business's customers accurately. We will discuss such a desirable, scalable data processing system for predicting customer preferences that we have built and deployed. We will describe success stories of this technology in the retail industry.