Naren Ramakrishnan, professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, was recently named the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The computer science department's honorifics committee nominated Ramakrishnan, and Barbara Ryder, the department head who holds the J. Byron Maupin Professorship, endorsed the recommendation.
"Dr. Ramakrishnan is a rare faculty member. He is an excellent researcher, a strong mentor, a respected leader, especially of our graduate program, and a consensus-building individual," Ryder said.
"He is a highly visible and very productive member of the data mining community. Data mining is a set of techniques for making sense of large volumes of data across areas as disparate as, for example, biological experimental findings, financial analysis, sensor data from traffic monitors, and epidemiological data from across the country," Ryder added.
At Virginia Tech, Ramakrishnan directs the Discovery Analytics Center where faculty and students study knowledge discovery problems in important areas of national interest, including intelligence analysis, sustainability, neuroscience, and systems biology.
Ramakrishnan has served as both program chair and general chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Conference on Data Mining, the premier research conference in data mining, which is held annually in different parts of the world.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1998, his work has been featured in the National Institutes of Health publication Biomedical Computation Review, the National Science Foundation's Discoveries series, and the Association for Computing Machinery's Technews. He serves on the editorial boards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Computer, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, and Knowledge and Information Systems.
Ramakrishnan is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER grant, the New Century Technology Council Innovation award, and the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research by Virginia Tech. In 2007, he was named one of Computerworld's "40 innovative IT people to watch, under the age of 40," for his research on the data mining concept of "storytelling." The National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of Naval Research, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard Labs, NEC Labs, and Advance Auto Parts have funded Ramakrishnan's research.
Ramakrishnan is a distinguished scientist of the Association for Computing Machinery, and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Computer Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He received his master's degree from Anna University in India and a Ph.D. from Purdue University, which named him a "40 under 40" alumnus in 2010.
The Raytheon Corporation created the Thomas L. Phillips Endowed Professorship in 1992 in honor of its retired chief executive officer (1968-1991) and chair of its board of directors (1975-1991). He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in 1947 and in 1948, respectively. He joined Raytheon upon his graduation as an electronics design engineer.