Professor Guttag received a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University in 1971, and a master's degree in applied mathematics from Brown in 1972. In 1975, he received a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California from 1975-1978, and joined the MIT faculty in 1979.
From 1993 to 1998, Professor Guttag served as Associate Department Head for Computer Science of MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. From January of 1999 through August of 2004, Professor Guttag served as Head of that department.
Professor Guttag's current research is centered on the application of advanced computational techniques to medicine. Current projects include prediction of adverse medical events, prediction of response to therapies, non-invasive monitoring and diagnostic tools, and tele-medicine. He has also done research, published, and lectured in the areas of sports analytics, financial analytics, software defined radios, software engineering, mechanical theorem proving, and hardware verification.
Professor Guttag is a Fellow of the ACM and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.