President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. Raghavan is Vanderbilt University’s vice provost for research and a professor of computer science.
The President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science comprises distinguished scientists and engineers who evaluate nominees for the National Medal of Science, a Presidential Award to recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, social and behavioral sciences.
“This is an extraordinary and well-deserved opportunity for Padma Raghavan, who continually inspires Vanderbilt to reach upward and outward in our pursuit of the highest-caliber scientific inquiry and innovation,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver said. “With this appointment, her vision and expertise will also shape science and discovery on a national scale.”
Since its establishment in 1959, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 506 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development, according to the announcement.
“I am honored to be among my peers who have been included in this group and grateful to the Biden administration for my inclusion. Science shapes our society, and to be a part of the group recognizing the brightest minds in our nation is a privilege,” Raghavan said. “Without a doubt, the most exciting facet of this selection will be in reviewing some of the best science over the last several decades.”
Raghavan was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2013 in recognition of her contributions to the development of energy-efficient supercomputing. She also serves on editorial boards of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the advisory boards of the Computing and Information Science and Engineering Directorate and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure of the National Science Foundation. Raghavan also has served on multiple committees of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, including technical advisory boards for the Army Research Laboratory on Computational Science and Information Sciences.
Before joining Vanderbilt in 2016, Raghavan served as the associate vice president for research and strategic initiatives at Pennsylvania State University, where she also was the founding director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences and distinguished professor of computer science and engineering.
As vice provost for research at Vanderbilt, she is responsible for advocating for and overseeing research across Vanderbilt’s ten schools and colleges, and for the development of the university’s trans-institutional research. Additionally, she oversees several trans-institutional research centers and institutes.
In 2002, Raghavan won a Maria Goeppert Mayer Distinguished Scholar award, funding her to visit Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. She was a Computing Research Association CRA-W Distinguished Lecturer in 2010 and became a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (EEE) in 2013.
She received her Ph.D. in computer science from Penn State. Before returning to Penn State in August 2000, she served as an associate professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee and as a research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314