The science of information and decision systems encompasses a substantial and exceptionally pervasive set of interrelated disciplines ranging not only from signal and image processing to embedded control systems; but also to the analysis, design, and optimization of complex distributed systems and networks. Thanks both to the richness of the challenges throughout engineering and the physical, biological and social sciences and the continuing developments of the foundations of our disciplines, the information and decision sciences stand today as an exciting, continually evolving, and critical domain of intellectual inquiry.
MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, the oldest continuing laboratory at MIT, has played and continues to play a major role in the development of our field. LIDS responds to critical national and societal needs; develops fundamental and path-breaking advances in theory, methodology, and practice; and serves as a focal point for activities involving the best across MIT, the nation, and the world. Consistent with that history and mission, we are excited to have hosted this major event -- a symposium aimed at articulating a picture of the challenges and ideas that will shape the future directions and potential areas of impact of research in the science of information and decision systems. This meeting brought together leading researchers from all around the world who have been influential in shaping the vision of and leading this field. The community of leaders who participated included many of the most recognized names in the field, as well as some of the rising stars in our field.
The meeting consisted of several panel-oriented sessions, which provided both context and history as well views toward the challenges of the future. These sessions focused on core disciplines, including Systems and Control; Networks and Networked Systems; Estimation, Inference and Learning; and Optimization and Decision Sciences, although considerable attention was placed on challenges that cut across these disciplines. In addition, as part of these themes we took this opportunity to honor one of the major intellectual leaders of our field, Prof. Sanjoy Mitter, who officially retired in 2009. Some of the most well-known and respected senior leaders of our field were invited to present their vision for the future as part of that session honoring Prof. Mitter.
As a particular outcome of the symposium, we invited some of the participants to produce a set of position papers. These papers address new and exciting formulations and highlight their practical relevance. These papers, together with all the presentations, are publicly available to our community.
As the agenda makes clear, this event brought together an unprecedented set of intellectual leaders and offered an exceptional and exciting opportunity for all of us in the fields that span the domain of information and decision systems.