- Vanderbilt University’s inaugural Vice Provost for Research, she is a distinguished researcher in high-performance computing and computational science and engineering and an academic research enterprise leader.
Indian American Padma Raghavan, Vanderbilt University’s inaugural Vice Provost for Research, and professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering has been appointed to serve in a key role on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. The committee, made up of distinguished scientists and engineers, evaluates the nominees for the award.
The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a presidential award to be given to individuals “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences.” In 1980, Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 506 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.
Raghavan is a distinguished researcher in high-performance computing and computational science and engineering and an academic research enterprise leader. She joined Vanderbilt and the provost team in February 2016. As vice provost for research, 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. She is married to Steve Simpson, a mathematician.