Hari Balakrishnan is the Fujitsu Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He is well known for his contributions to computer networks and networked computer systems, including overlay and peer-to-peer networks, Internet routing and congestion control, wireless and sensor networks, network security, and distributed data management. The RON overlay network, the Chord distributed hash table, the Cricket indoor location system, the Infranet anti-censorship system, various improvements to Internet routing (BGP), the Congestion Manager and binomial congestion control, the Snoop wireless TCP protocol, and approaches to spam control and denial-of-service protection are some of his noteworthy contributions. His current research includes high-performance wireless protocols and the CarTel mobile sensor computing system for vehicular applications. In 2003, he co-founded StreamBase Systems, commercializing research from the Medusa/Aurora project in collaboration with Mike Stonebraker, Stan Zdonik, and others.
Balakrishnan was elected as Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 2008 and as a Fellow of the Sloan Foundation in 2002, and received MIT’s prestigious Edgerton prize for research and teaching excellence in 2003. His PhD thesis on reliable data transport over wireless networks won the ACM doctoral dissertation award for best thesis in computer science in 1998.
Balakrishnan was born in Nagpur, India, and was raised in Bombay (Mumbai) and Chennai. He received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1993 and his doctoral degree in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1998. He has been at MIT since 1998. His father, V. Balakrishnan is a physics educator and researcher in theoretical physics, his mother, Radha Balakrishnan, is also a theoretical physicist, and his sister, Hamsa Balakrishnan, is a faculty member at MIT in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
He is a member of the Scientific Council of IMDEA Networks since 2007.