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Mario Sznaier

Dennis Picard Trustee Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering



  • 414 Dana Research Center
  • 617.373.5364

Research Focus

Robust control, control oriented identification, semi-algebraic  optimization, information extraction from high volume data streams, dynamics-enabled machine learning


Mario Sznaier received the Ingeniero Electronico and Ingeniero en Sistemas de Computacion degrees from the Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay and the MSEE and Ph.D degrees from the University of Washington. From 1991 to 1993 he was an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. In 1993 he joined the Pennsylvania State University, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and to Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2001. In July 2006 he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, as the Dennis Picard Trustee Professor. He has also held visiting appointments at the California Institute of Technology in 1990 and 2000 and currently holds an appointment at Penn State as Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering. His research interest include Multiobjective Robust Control; Dynamic Vision and Imaging, Control Oriented Identification, Robust Model (In) Validation and Application of Dynamical Systems Theory to Physics. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the journal Automatica and as a member of the board of governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society.

Honors & Awards

  • IEEE Control Systems Society Distinguished Member Award

Research Overview

Robust control, control oriented identification, semi-algebraic  optimization, information extraction from high volume data streams, dynamics-enabled machine learning

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • B. Yilmaz, C. Lagoa, M. Sznaier “An Efficient Atomic Norm Minimization Approach to Identification of Low Order Models”, 2013 IEEE 52nd Annual
    Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, 5834-5839
  • M. Ayazoglu, B. Yilmaz, M. Sznaier, O. Camps “Finding Causal Interactions in Video Sequences, IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision”, Sydney, 2013
  • C. Dicle, O. Camps, M. Sznaier “The Way They Move: Tracking Multiple Targets with Similar Appearance”, IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision,
    Sydney, Australia, 2013
  • K. Bekiroglu, M. Sznaier, C. Lagoa, B. Shafai “Vision Based Control of an Autonomous Blimp with Actuator Saturation Using Pulse Width Modulation”, Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications, 2013, 1036-1041
  • Y. Cheng, Y. Wang, M. Sznaier “Worst Case Optimal Estimators for Switched Linear Systems”, Proceedings of the 52nd IEEE Conference on Decision and
    Control, 2013, 4036-4041


Nov 26, 2018

Sznaier Selected as IEEE Fellow

ECE Professor Mario Sznaier has been elevated to an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to identification of switched systems and multiobjective control. IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. The total number selected in any one year […]


Nov 15, 2018

Sznaier co-PI for $7.5M DOD UAV Grant

ECE Professor Mario Sznaier is a co-PI for a $7.5M DOD grant, in collaboration with The University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University, for a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project aimed at developing artificial intelligence for UAVs.


Aug 30, 2018

Creating Personalized Behavior Monitoring Systems

ECE Professors Octavia Camps and Mario Sznaier, in collaboration with Constantino Lagoa and David Conroy from Pennsylvania State University, were awarded a $500K NSF grant for "Data Driven Control of Switched Systems with Applications to Human Behavioral Modification". Abstract Source: NSF Dramatically increasing health care costs threaten the nation's economy. Over 80% of those costs are […]


Jul 31, 2018

Neural Network Modules for Computer Vision Systems

ECE Professors Octavia Camps and Mario Sznaier were awarded a $500K NSF grant for "Dynamic and Statistical Based Invariants on Manifolds for Video Analysis." Abstract Source: NSF Computer vision systems can benefit society in many ways. For example, spatially distributed vision sensors endowed with activity analysis capabilities can prevent crime, help optimize resource use in […]


May 01, 2018

Faculty and Staff Awards 2018

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2017-2018 academic school year.

Jul 28, 2016

$2.5M NSF grant for Critical Infrastructure Resilience

ECE professors Mario Sznaier, Octavia Camps, Ali Abur, & Edmund Yeh, MIE assistant professor Jacqueline Griffin, CEE professor Jerome Hajjar, COS professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, CCIS professor Stacy Marsella, and Kostas director Peter Boynton were awarded a $2.5M NSF grant for the “Identification and Control of Uncertain, Highly Interdependent Processes Involving Humans with Applications to […]

May 10, 2015

ECE Professor Octavia Camps' Airport Security Research Featured In NYTimes

ECE Professor Octavia Camps' work on video surveillance and airport security programs has been featured in a recent New York Times article, titled "Airport Security Advances Clash With Privacy Issues."



Apr 15, 2015

ECE Accepted High School Senior Open House Attracts Over 300 Students

Northeastern hosted an Open House for high-school seniors who have been accepted into our program. Between the two dates, over 300 visited the department and toured the labs.  


Sep 19, 2014

Home Secretary Visits ALERT

Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May visited ALERT’s Robust Systems Lab & Advanced Imaging Technology Lab before serving as a keynote speaker on human trafficking and slavery .

Aug 08, 2014

Modeling Nonlinear Data

ECE Professors Octavia Camps, Mario Sznaier, & CEE Associate Professor Ferdinand Hellweger were awarded a $380K NSF grant to use OUR Charles to generate models of high volume nonlinear data steams.

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