Krishna Rajagopal, the William A.M. Burden Professor of Physics, was appointed dean for digital learning, effective September 1, 2017. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1997 following fellowships at Harvard University and Caltech. He served as associate head for education in the Department of Physics from 2009 to 2015 and as chair of the MIT Faculty from 2015 to 2017.

Professor Rajagopal is a theoretical physicist who asks how the quarks that in ordinary matter are found confined within protons and neutrons behave in extraordinary conditions, as for example in the trillions-of-degrees-hot quark soup that filled the universe microseconds after the Big Bang, conditions that provide a testbed for understanding how a complex world can emerge from simple underlying laws.

He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2004 and before that was a Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. He has mentored more than two dozen PhD students and postdocs and was named the 2017 Outstanding UROP Faculty Mentor. He is a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow and won the Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2011 and the Buechner Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1999.

Professor Rajagopal grew up in Toronto, graduated from Queen’s University in 1988, and completed his doctorate at Princeton in 1993.