Cynthia Barnhart


Cynthia Barnhart


A member of the Institute’s faculty since 1992, Barnhart has a distinguished record of service to her students and community. She is a Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering and a professor in Operations Research at MIT Sloan. She previously served as associate and acting dean of the School of Engineering and co-directed both the Operations Research Center and the Center for Transportation and Logistics. Barnhart was Chancellor of MIT from 2014 until 2021.

Her teaching and research are in the areas of large-scale optimization and analytics, with a focus on applications in transportation and logistics systems. She has supervised scores of graduate and undergraduate theses across a range of disciplines, and has published widely in the flagship journals of her field.

Barnhart came to MIT in 1984 to pursue graduate work in transportation and operations research, earning her SM in transportation in 1985 and her PhD in 1988. An INFORMS Fellow and elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, she has received honorary doctorates from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2014) and the University of Toronto (2016).