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Pramod Varshney named director of CASE Center

January 16, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Kelly Homan Rodoski

Pramod Varshney, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Syracuse University's L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, has been named director of the Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) at Syracuse University, a Center for Advanced Technology supported by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR). His appointment was effective on Jan. 1.

Varshney, who has served as CASE's research director since January 2001, succeeds Gina Lee-Glauser, who had been CASE director since 2006. Lee-Glauser has returned to her role as the University's associate vice president for research and will continue to lead the University's technology transfer efforts.

Ed Reinfurt, executive director of NYSTAR, thanked Lee-Glauser for her contribution to advancing NYSTAR's mission through CASE: "I welcome our new director, Pramod Varshney, and look forward to his leadership in expanding partnerships in central New York."

Under Lee-Glauser's leadership, CASE's network of industry partners and economic impact for New York state increased dramatically. For the 2007-08 fiscal year, CASE was one of the top Centers for Advanced Technology statewide in economic impact, with a total impact of more than $70 million, including revenues generated and jobs created and retained in the state. A study of state economic development organizations conducted by SU's Maxwell School in fall 2008 also found that CASE was the second-most-influential organization in Central New York among the 70 groups tracked in the study.

"Gina brought a new level of dynamic outreach to the CASE Center, and the result has been a refreshing renewal of projects, partners and outlook," says Ben Ware, SU vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. "I am very grateful to her for her outstanding leadership of the CASE Center.

"Pramod Varshney has been the CASE research director and intellectual leader for years, and I am pleased that he is willing to accept the director's position," Ware says. "He has an international reputation that will bring immediate recognition to CASE Center research and technology transfer activities."

Varshney brings both depth and breadth of experience to CASE. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science (with highest honors), and master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, 1974 and 1976, respectively. He has been with SU since 1976 in the electrical engineering and computer science department, and served as associate chair of the department from 1993-96.

Varshney's research interests include distributed sensor networks and data fusion, communications, signal and image processing and remote sensing. He has published three books and authored or co-authored more than 140 journal papers and more than 350 conference papers. More than 40 students have completed their doctoral dissertations under his supervision. In 2000, he received the Third Millennium Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and SU's Chancellor's Citation for exceptional academic achievement.

He serves as a distinguished lecturer for the AES society of the IEEE. He was elected to be a fellow of the IEEE in 1997, an honor awarded only to the top 2 percent of the entire IEEE membership. He was a founding member of the board of the International Society of Information Fusion and served as its president in 2001.

Varshney is most widely known for his seminal work on the development of distributed detection theory and wrote the first and only book published on the topic. His work demonstrated the promise of distributed detection and data fusion, providing the impetus for the proliferation of sensor networks and pervasive sensing, which have become key technologies for defense, health care, transportation and many other sectors.

Varshney is active in many applied research activities in Central New York and beyond. He is engaged in intelligent control and information management research with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (Syracuse CoE). He also serves as adjunct professor in the Department of Radiology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. His work is currently supported by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, along with other key public agencies and private organizations.

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