Alum Awarded Prestigious Prize in Information & Communication Science

After Erol Gelenbe ’68 graduated with his master’s and doctoral degrees from NYU Tandon, then known as the Polytechnic Institute, he has been no stranger over the years to prestigious awards honoring his foundational work in random neural networks and computer and network performance evaluation. In 2008, the Association for Computer Machinery’s (ACM) special interest group in performance evaluation selected him for their SIGMETRICS Achievement Award, and in 2010, he returned to Brooklyn to receive a significant honor from his alma mater when the school’s Alumni Association bestowed upon him the Distinguished Alumni Award, celebrating his immense contributions to computer science and mathematics, such as his development of G-networks which became a model for queuing network systems to analyze computer systems and has widespread applications such as traffic re-routing.

Gelenbe can now add another illustrious honor to his collection. This past December, the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) named Gelenbe the 2017 Mustafa Prize Laureate in Information and Communication Science and Technologies at an awards ceremony in Tehran, Iran. The biennial award, which was founded by MSTF in 2013 and includes $500,000 for the recipient, honors accomplished researchers and scientists working in the areas of life and medical sciences, information and communication science and technologies, nanoscience and nanotechnologies, as well as other scientific fields, and who also hail from countries and states that are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Gelenbe, who was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1945, attended the Middle East Technical University in Ankara where he received the Fulbright Fellowship to embark on his graduate studies in the United States. At NYU Tandon, then affectionately known as Poly, Gelenbe wrote his dissertation on stochastic automata under the tutelage of computer science professor and department chair Edward Smith. After graduating, Gelenbe was teaching at the University of Paris, and also founded and directed the Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computer Systems research group at the renowned INRIA research institution in France. It was at the INRIA that his research team created the commercial computer performance software QNAP, and he has since designed and invented numerous techniques, commercial software, and networks, such as an admission control technique for ATM networks and a neural network that can detect anomalies in brain scans.

Rather than rest on his laurels, Gelenbe continues to work on neural networks, merging his computational and mathematical expertise with areas such as network security, cloud computing, and biology. With numerous teaching positions that have taken Gelenbe around the globe, from the University of Michigan, the University of Paris, the University of Liege, and Duke University, Gelenbe is one of the world’s top researchers, inventors, and academics, having presided over numerous Ph.D. dissertations. Presently, Gelenbe is the Dennis Gabor Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College in London, and also founded the conference series International Symposium on Computer and Information Sciences (ISCIS).

To read more about Dr. Gelenbe's many accomplishments, visit:


Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018