Sertac Karaman

Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sertac Karaman is the Charles Stark Draper Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (since Fall 2012). He has obtained B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and and in computer engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, in 2007, an S.M. degree in mechanical engineering from MIT in 2009, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science also from MIT in 2012. His research interests lie in the broad areas of robotics and control theory. In particular, he studies the applications of probability theory, stochastic processes, stochastic geometry, formal methods, and optimization for the design and analysis of high-performance cyber-physical systems. The application areas include driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, distributed aerial surveillance systems, air traffic control, certification and verification of control systems software, among many others.

email: {firstname} at {mit} dot {edu}

  • Manuscript (May 1, '16) Our new manuscript analyzes traffic intersections with no traffic lights for autonomous vehicles. Link

  • Course Material (April 20, '16) Our material for teaching control systems with Parrot Drones is now available open source. Link

  • Course Material (April 20, '16) All materials for the RACECAR courses are now available open source, including the hardware designs. Link

  • Course (February 1, '16) MIT's robotics course, Robotics: Science and Systems is now teaching with mini race cars.

  • Course (January 1, '16) Another IAP hackathon with the racecars is on.

  • Course (August 30, '15) Our course will MIT students how drones fly. We will give each student one Parrot mini drone to keep until the end of the semester. With our software, the students will program the drones from Matlab/Simulink. Link

  • Article (August 20, '15) New article in the MIT AeroAstro Annual Magazine discusses our new class that involves racing with fully-autonomous mini racing cars, with potential implications on pedagogy. Link
    More information at:

  • Publication (July 25, '15) Our paper on utilizing tensor decomposition methods to design a polynomial time algorithm for low-rank stochastic optimal control design problems appeared at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference. Link

  • Event (June 5, '15) We participated in the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) with our automated vehicle  concept for mobility on demand and logistics. Link

  • Workshop (April 20, '15) We have organized the 2nd workshop NSF Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) workshop for early-career scientists in Seattle during the CPS Week. This year, the workshop focused on smart cities. Link

  • Media Coverage (February 1, '15) Our short course involving autonomous mini racecars competing in MIT's tunnels appeared in MIT News and elsewhere. Link
    More information at:

Postdoctoral Fellow Position: (Sponsor: NSF)

We are looking for a postdoctoral scholar interested in working on network science to develop the mathematical foundations autonomy-enabled transportation networks. The overarching goal of this project is to understand the potential of impact of autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars and delivery drones, in urban centers.


Postdoctoral Fellow Position: (Sponsor: Toyota)

We are looking for postdoctoral scholar to work with us on the MIT-Toyota partnership. This project aims is to develop the next-generation driver assistance systems that can make ground transportation much safer than it is today. The overarching goal is to build a car that will never cause a crash. Our focus is on developing the planning and control algorithms that can enable this big leap forward.


MEng students and UROPs position:

We are looking for UROP and MEng students who can build autonomous vehicles or agile drones. If you are an MIT undergraduate or an MEng student looking for a research project, please send an email to with a short CV, transcript, and your research interest.


Graduate students:

Prospective students: If you are interested in joining our group, please consider applying to our doctoral program in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

MIT students: If you are already admitted to MIT (department does not matter), and you are considering joining our group, please send an email to Please include a short CV, transcript, and your research interests.