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Padma Raghavan

Vice Provost for Research and Innovation
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 and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. 

As Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Raghavan oversees the advancement of the university’s research and innovation portfolio, ranging from technology transfer and commercialization across Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to the development of long-term strategic partnerships spanning higher education, government, and the private sector. 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 the Pathfinder project, a partnership with the U.S. Army to rapidly develop mission critical solutions. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 2016, Raghavan served as the Associate Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives, the founding Director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State.

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. Raghavan has received several recognitions including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, and elevation to Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also 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 on 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, which evaluates the nominees for the National Medal of Science award, which is the highest recognition the nation can bestow on scientists and engineers.

For appointments, please contact Alana Gilmore.