A lineup of three portrait photos.

MIT’s new Institute Professors, from left: Sallie “Penny ” Chisholm, Ron Rivest and Marcus Thompson. (Photos by Richard Howard,  Dominick Reuter and Bryce Vickmark).

Chisholm, Rivest, and Thompson appointed as new Institute Professors
Biologist, computer scientist, and musician awarded MIT’s highest faculty honor.
Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office | June 29, 2015

A marine biologist who studies tiny ocean organisms, a computer scientist who developed a global security standard, and an acclaimed violist who has performed with renowned orchestras have been awarded MIT’s highest faculty honor: the title of Institute Professor.

Sallie “Penny” Chisholm, Ron Rivest, and Marcus Thompson join a small group of Institute Professors at MIT, now numbering 13, along with 10 Institute Professors emeriti. Their new appointments are effective July 1, making them the first faculty members to be named Institute Professors since 2008.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif says, “Although our new Institute Professors were chosen as individuals, it is interesting to consider them together: Penny Chisholm, a pioneering field scientist whose discoveries revolutionized our understanding of the oceans; Ron Rivest, a brilliant theorist and problem-solver who ranks as one of the founding fathers of modern cryptography; and Marcus Thompson, among the most celebrated string performers in the United States today.

“Their fields could not be more different,” Reif says. “Yet each is an explorer, creator, and teacher of the first order. Together they reflect the standard of faculty excellence that is a signature of MIT.”

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OCW is pleased to share courses from all three of these distinguished professors.

Courses by Sallie “Penny” Chisholm

Courses by Ron Rivest

Courses by Marcus Thompson