Engineering associate dean honored with distinguished service award

January 23, 2023

By Mariah R. Lucas 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, the Penn State College of Engineering’s associate dean for innovation and the A. Robert Noll Chair Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering, was honored with the distinguished service award by the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA). 

The award, according to SIGDA, is given to two individuals annually “who have dedicated many years of their career in extraordinary services to promoting, leading or creating ACM or SIGDA programs or events.” The group works to “advance the skills and knowledge of electronic design automation professionals and students throughout the world.”

Narayanan accepted the award at the 2022 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design in November.  

In his more than 20 years as an ACM member, Narayanan served on SIGDA’s executive board from 2015 to 2021 as chair and past chair for three years each. He also helped organize conferences and served on editorial boards for ACM-related journals, and he was named a fellow of ACM in 2015. 

“In my role as chair and past chair, I focused on bringing industry and academic groups together to shape our field,” Narayanan said. “I sought to empower our entire community to embrace and grow in the emerging technological areas in design automation by creating a conducive environment for all our leaders and members to be more effective.”

During his time in leadership, Narayanan also aimed to promote interdisciplinary work, bringing new people and ideas together at the interface of design automation research. 

Narayanan emphasized the importance of mentorship in the field. 

“I was immensely fortunate to have been mentored, to have benefitted from others who served before me in SIGDA,” Narayanan said. “As a result, I am continuing to give back, to pay it forward, and I hope others will join behind me. I believe it’s important to transcend barriers, both institutional and national, and look at what is good for all members of a society.”

Narayanan earned his undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Madras in India and his doctorate in computer science and engineering from the University of South Florida. He has been a faculty member at Penn State for 25 years and became the College of Engineering’s dean for innovation on Jan. 1. He is the director of Penn State’s Center for Artificial Intelligence Foundations and Engineered Systems. In addition to his service to SIGDA, Narayanan is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Narayanan’s research interests include computer architecture, integrated circuits and systems, operating systems and cloud computing. 


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