Sertac Karaman

Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics,

Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems,

Institute for Data, Systems and Society,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Sertac Karaman is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (since Fall 2012). He has obtained B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering 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 of his research include driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles, distributed aerial surveillance systems, air traffic control, certification and verification of control systems software, and many others. He is the recipient of an IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award in 2017, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2017, Army Research Office Young Investigator Award in 2015, National Science Foundation Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2014, AIAA Wright Brothers Graduate Award in 2012, and an NVIDIA Fellowship in 2011.

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

News & Updates

  • 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:


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.