Vijay Narayanan

Indian American academic Vijay Narayanan has been named chair of engineering at Penn State University. (Penn State photo)

Vijay Narayanan, distinguished professor of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering at Penn State, has been appointed to the A. Robert Noll Chair in Engineering by the College of Engineering, the university announced in a July 2 news release.

The A. Robert Noll Chair in Engineering provides support for a distinguished faculty member in the College of Engineering to continue and further scholarly excellence through contributions to instruction, research and public service.

The chair was established in honor of Penn State alumnus A. Robert Noll, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1929, the university said.

"I am fortunate to have had the freedom and support to pursue my research ambitions both at home and work,” said Narayanan in a statement. “I would like to thank all my students, mentors, colleagues, sponsors and family for their support through the years. My goal is to leverage this chaired funding to transition some of the research ideas to benefit our community and draw in a new generation to the computing field,” the Indian American professor added.

Narayanan is internationally recognized for the quality of his research in areas of power-aware and reliable systems, embedded vision systems, nanoscale devices and interactions with system architectures, reconfigurable systems, computer architectures, network-on-chips, and domain-specific computing, according to the university.

He is the lead principal investigator of a $10 million Expeditions in Computing award from the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering for the project "Visual Cortex on Silicon.”

Through the project, Narayanan and his team of researchers developed a Third Eye device, which was featured on the Big Ten Network and demonstrated at the 22nd annual Coalition for National Science Funding Capitol Hill Exhibition, Penn State noted.

In addition, Narayanan serves as thrust leader on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Joint University Microelectronics Program’s Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence and a principal investigator in the Center for Research in Intelligent Storage and Processing in Memory.

His work on low energy devices has the potential to significantly influence rapidly evolving internet of things technologies and was recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Micro Magazine as a major technological breakthrough in computer architecture, according to the news release.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Professor Narayanan the Noll Chair in Engineering,” said Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, in a statement. “Professor Narayanan is a true scholar and educator, dedicating his life to the intellectual growth of our students while impacting society with his research. For decades to come, people around the world will benefit from his accomplishments and contributions.”

Throughout his career, Narayanan has provided service to both Penn State and external organizations in multiple capacities, such as assisting student groups, helping to organize conferences, and being an active member of multiple committees and professional societies, the release said.

Narayanan joined the Penn State faculty in 1998. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Madras and a doctorate degree in computer science and engineering from the University of South Florida.

He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and IEEE and has received the 2017 Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference Best Paper Award, the 2017 IEEE Transactions on Multi-Scale Computing Systems Best Paper Award, the International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture 2015 Best Paper Award, and the 25 Years of Field-Programmable Logic and Applications Most Influential Papers Award.

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