Vice Provost Michelle Effros is the George Van Osdol Professor of Electrical Engineering. Her research focuses on information theory, specifically on mathematical models of communications systems. For example, she says, cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hotspots work inefficiently because such systems cannot predict how many connected devices they will need to manage at any given point in time. The Effros lab researches the theories behind algorithms that could help such systems operate far more efficiently. "Given how the number of devices using these systems is growing, we'd like to be able to get to those limits of what is possible," she says. Meanwhile, she is also stepping into neuroscience to use the same mathematics her lab applies to technological communications to study biological systems like the human brain.
As Vice Provost, Effros oversees several programs, including the Committee on Undergraduate Education; accreditation; the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center; Student-Faculty Programs; the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach; and the Innovation in Education Fund. Michelle seeks to continue Caltech's traditions of excellence and to help foster new possibilities for teaching and research that will yield even greater success for both students and faculty.
Originally from New York, Effros received her undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. She came to Caltech in 1994 as an assistant professor and was named the Van Osdol Professor in 2013.
More information on Dr. Effros' research can be found on her website.