Tomaso A. Poggio is the Eugene McDermott Professor in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT and the director of the new NSF Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at MIT, with managing partners at Harvard University and Cornell University.
He is a member of both the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and of the McGovern Brain Institute. He is an honorary member of the Neuroscience Research Program, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Founding Fellow of AAAI and a founding member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
Among the many honors he has received are the Laurea Honoris Causa from the University of Pavia for the Volta Bicentennial, the 2003 Gabor Award, the Okawa Prize 2009, and the AAAS Fellowship. He is one of the most cited computational scientists with contributions ranging from the biophysical and behavioral studies of the visual system to the computational analyses of vision and learning in humans and machines. With W. Reichardt, Poggio characterized quantitatively the visuo-motor control system in the fly. With D. Marr, he introduced the seminal idea of levels of analysis in computational neuroscience. He introduced regularization as a mathematical framework to approach the ill-posed problems of vision and the key problem of learning from data. In the last decade, Poggio developed an influential quantitative model of visual recognition in the visual cortex. The citation for the recent 2009 Okawa prize mentions his “…outstanding contributions to the establishment of computational neuroscience, and pioneering researches ranging from the biophysical and behavioral studies of the visual system to the computational analysis of vision and learning in humans and machines.” His research has always been interdisciplinary, between brains and computers. It is now focused on the mathematics of learning theory, on the applications of learning techniques to computer vision, and especially on computational neuroscience of the visual cortex. A former Corporate Fellow of Thinking Machines Corporation, he was a director of PHZ Capital Partners, Inc., and was involved in starting, or investing in, several other high tech companies including Arris Pharmaceutical, nFX, Imagen, Digital Persona and Deep Mind.