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Pramod Varshney named Distinguished Professor in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science
Pramod Varshney named Distinguished Professor in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer ScienceSeptember 27, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Pramod K. Varshney, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS), has been appointed a Distinguished Professor by Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina.
“Dr. Varshney is highly deserving of this honor, as his distinguished scholarship has had a significant impact in engineering around the globe,” says Spina. “He pioneered a large fraction of data fusion algorithms that engineers use to solve a wide range of important practical problems. Beyond his international stature, Pramod is a true Syracuse treasure who has contributed significantly to the L.C. Smith College.”
“Pramod is a wonderful scholar whose research in data fusion is of central importance to our information-based society. All recognize society’s need for data fusion, and few have the scholarship to do this precisely, accurately and reliably,” says Shiu-Kai Chin, interim dean of LCS. “Pramod is one of the very few with a deep understanding of this important field. Besides being a distinguished scholar, Pramod is a superb colleague with much wisdom that is a blend of scholarly insight, high standards, compassion and kindness. We in the L.C. Smith College are proud to see him recognized as a Distinguished Professor.”
Varshney, who has been a member of the Syracuse University community since 1976, is one of the world’s foremost experts in the area of information and data fusion. A native of India, he came to the United States to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and a Ph.D. there in just six years and came to SU as an assistant professor at age 24.
He began working in data fusion in the 1980s, when the field was new, and is now regarded as one of its pioneers. Data fusion is the integration of information from different sources — whether they be sensors such as radars and cameras, or humans — into a single, unified result. While most of his early work in data fusion was used by the military, Varshney’s recent work, including image processing and remote sensing, has been used in a myriad of ways — by NASA, in studying indoor air pollution, in the medical field and even in agriculture.
Varshney is a much-sought advisor for students working on graduate degrees. In his 30-plus years at SU, 40 students have earned their doctorates under his tutelage; another 10 are now in progress. He has written or edited three books, including “Distributed Detection and Data Fusion” (Springer-Verlag, 1997), which is considered an important landmark for the field of data fusion. He has also published more than 450 papers in leading journals and conferences and served as a consultant to several major companies.
In addition to his role as a professor, Varshney serves as research director of the CASE Center at SU, and leads the information management and intelligent control efforts for the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. He is also an adjunct professor of radiology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
Varshney was named a fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1997 and received a Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement from SU as well as the Third Millennium Medal from the IEEE in 2000. He serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Aerospace and Electronic Systems (AES) society of the IEEE. He also served as president of the International Society of Information Fusion in 2001.