Laurent El Ghaoui graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France) in 1985, and obtained his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University in March 1990. Laurent was a faculty member of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (Paris, France) from 1992 to 1999, and held part-time teaching appointments at Ecole Polytechnique in the Applied Mathematics Department, and at Université de Paris-I (La Sorbonne) in the Mathematics in Economy program. He joined the Berkeley faculty in April 1999 as an Acting Associate Professor, and obtained his tenure in May 2001. Laurent was on leave from UC Berkeley from July 2003 to September 2006, to work for SAC Capital Management, a hedge fund based in New York and Connecticut. Since then he has been back full time at UC Berkeley in the EECS Department. Laurent teaches optimization and Optimization Models.
In 2017, Laurent co-founded the company SumUp Analytics, which provides high-speed streaming text analytics for business applications.
Laurent is the recipient of a Bronze Medal for Engineering Sciences, from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), a CAREER award, an Okawa research grant, and a Google research grant. He is also the co-recipient of a SIAM optimization prize.