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Padma Raghavan

Vice Provost for Research and Innovation
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Computer Science

Computer Science

Intellectual Neighborhoods

Research Focus

Raghavan's research predominantly concerns enhancing the parallel performance, energy efficiency and reliability of computations that involve high-dimensional sparse and unstructured data including matrices, and graphs. Sparse representations of data arise from many different contexts, for example, from largely local connections in a system represented as a sparse graph or network or from partial differential equations models where the number of nonzeroes in an associated matrix is bounded by a small constant times its dimension. Algorithms that exploit sparsity can deliver performance improvements by constant factors to orders of magnitude. Consequently, they enable the solution of larger or more complex problems for computation and data-enabled science and engineering "at scale" in a variety of disciplines.

A current curriculum vitae (with publications) is here.


Padma Raghavan is the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University.

In her faculty role, Raghavan specializes in high-performance computing (aka supercomputing), with a focus on new algorithms to achieve parallel processing at scale, enable fault-tolerant and energy-efficient computing, and gain scientific insights through computational modeling and simulation. She has authored over one hundred peer-reviewed publications and supervised nearly fifty M.S and Ph.D. theses. Raghavan has garnered widespread recognition for her contributions to the field, including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, the Maria Goeppert Meyer Award from the Department of Energy, Argonne National Lab, and the University of Chicago, and elevation to Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is active in the profession, currently serving on the advisory committees of the Computing and Information Science and Engineering Directorate and the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Governors of UT-Battelle, which operates the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2022, Raghavan was appointed to a two-year term on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science; this committee evaluates the nominees for the National Medal of Science award, which is the highest recognition the nation can bestow on scientists and engineers.

As Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at Vanderbilt, Raghavan oversees the advancement of the university’s research and innovation portfolio, including technology transfer and commercialization spanning the university and medical center, as well as the development of strategic partnerships. Examples of these partnerships include Ancora Innovation, a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Deerfield Management to accelerate the development and delivery of life-changing therapeutics, and Army Pathfinder, a partnership with the U.S. Army to rapidly develop mission critical solutions.

Raghavan joined Vanderbilt University in 2016 from the Pennsylvania State University, where she served as the Associate Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives, the founding Director of the university-wide Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, previously known as the Institute for CyberScience, and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.

For appointments, please contact Alana Gilmore.