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Panchanathan to facilitate ASU research opportunities

February 4, 2009

Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan has been appointed Deputy Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, a newly created position at ASU. R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs established the position to help facilitate, advance and grow ASU research opportunities.

“Panch will be a key advisor to President Crow and myself for the development of strategies to advance ASU’s research agenda with the public and private sectors,” Shangraw said. “He’ll also act as liaison with ASU’s faculty by providing guidance and assistance aimed at strengthening their ability, enhancing their research portfolios and showcasing their research impact.”

In his new role, Panchanathan expects to focus most of his time and energy in helping to advance strategic research initiatives for ASU while continuing to be engaged in research and mentoring graduate students.

“In the middle of this economic crisis, advancing research becomes even more important to serve as an economic engine. ASU is endowed with outstanding faculty with excellent research credentials,” says Panchanathan. “We are uniquely positioned to tackle larger problems that impact society both locally and globally. As I begin this journey, I welcome faculty and interdisciplinary groups to enlighten me and engage me in their research so that I can best serve them.”

Panchanathan came to ASU in 1997 as a faculty in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. He founded the Research Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) in 2001, which focuses on designing diagnostic, rehabilitative and assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities. He served as chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department (2002-2008) and was one of the ASU representatives in the creation of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix. He also founded ASU’s School of Computing and Informatics (SCI) and the Department of Biomedical Informatics in 2006, and served as the founding director of SCI until his recent appointment.

“I have enjoyed envisioning new initiatives and building them by leveraging our faculty expertise and attracting new faculty to these initiatives” says Panchanathan. “I am excited by the opportunity to advance our research strategy based on our faculty expertise and linking them to federal, state and industry opportunities. It is a privilege to play a part in realizing the ambitious goals set forth for our research enterprise by President Crow and Vice President of Research Shangraw.”

At a recent farewell luncheon hosted by his SCI colleagues, Rao Kambhampati extolled Panchanathan’s positive spirit. “They say that part of being a winner is acting like one. This we managed to do in spades under Panch,” Rao said. “The good news is that all that acting apparently did manage to change us for the better.”

Panchanathan has continued an active role in research. He has published more than 300 papers in refereed journals and conferences and mentored more than 100 graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and scientists who occupy leading positions in academia and industry. He has been a scientific advisor to start-up companies, has a number of patents/disclosures, and also co-founded a start-up company, MotionEase, Inc.. CUbiC’s iCARE won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year award in 2004.

Panchanathan is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). He is the editor-in-chief of the IEEE’s Multimedia Magazine and is an editorial board member for a number of other journals. President Crow has appointed Panchanathan as a Foundation Chair of Computing and Informatics at ASU.

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