Laurent Demanet

Director, Earth Resources Laboratory (ERL)
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Primary Appointment - Mathematics

Contact Info:

Office Phone






Joshua Kastorf (ERL)


Jaden Nazarian (Math)

Applied mathematician specializing in seismic imaging and wave propagation to visualize Earth's subsurface structures.

My Research Interests

As director of MIT’s Earth Resources Laboratory, I use applied mathematics and scientific computing to visualize the structures beneath Earth’s surface. Through the study of inverse problems, my group aims to answer real-life questions in seismic imaging in order to build the best possible models that can explain and map Earth’s geological structures, and how they change over time. We often have to extract information from indirect, incomplete, and noisy data, so we employ numerical algorithms and machine learning to help infer what’s happening beneath the surface, and to quantify the uncertainty of our predictions. Our work has implications for environmental monitoring, geological carbon sequestration and hydrogen storage, water resources and geothermal energy, and understanding any seismic hazards which may be induced by these activities.

Topics I investigate:

  • Inverse problems
  • Analysis and algorithms for wave propagation and scattering
  • Signal processing and applied harmonic analysis
  • Geophysical imaging
  • Scientific computing and machine learning for geophysics

Biographic Sketch

Laurent Demanet joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Mathematics in 2009 and currently holds a joint appointment in EAPS, where he is Director of the Earth Resources Laboratory. After completing his undergraduate studies in mathematical engineering and theoretical physics at Universite de Louvain, Belgium, he went on in 2006 to earn a PhD in applied and computational mathematics at Caltech under Emmanuel Candes—for which he was awarded Caltech’s William P. Carey Prize for best dissertation in the mathematical sciences. Laurent held the Szegö Assistant Professorship at Stanford University from 2006-09 before coming to MIT. His work has garnered recognition including, in 2011, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the Air Force Young Investigator Award, and a 2012 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. He also held the Class of 1954 Career Development Professorship at MIT from 2013-16.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2012 • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2011 • Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship
  • 2011 • Air Force Young Investigator Award