Indian-American appointed to prestigious chair in engineering at Penn State

Vijay Narayanan, distinguished professor of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering was appointed to the A. Robert Noll Chair in Engineering by the Penn State College of Engineering, July 2. (Photo:

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

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 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.

A graduate in computer science and engineering from the University of Madras, with a doctorate in the same from University of South Florida, 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. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1998.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Professor Narayanan the Noll Chair in Engineering,” Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, are quoted saying in a press release. “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.”

“I am fortunate to have had the freedom and support to pursue my research ambitions both at home and work,” said Narayanan. “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.”

Narayanan 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.

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’ (IEEE) Micro Magazine as a major technological breakthrough in computer architecture.

The University said Narayanan has throughout his career, 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.



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