Padma Raghavan is the Associate Vice President for Research and the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Pennsylvania State University, where she is also a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. Raghavan is the founding Director of the Penn State Institute for CyberScience, the coordinating unit on campus for developing interdisciplinary computation and data-enabled science and engineering. Raghavan received her Ph.D. in computer science from Penn State. Prior to joining Penn State in August 2000, she served as an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Tennessee.
Raghavan specializes in high-performance computing and computational science and engineering. In her professorial role, Raghavan is deeply involved in education and research, with 46 Masters and Ph.D. theses supervised and approximately 100 peer-reviewed publications in three areas: scalable parallel computing; energy-aware supercomputing; computational modeling and knowledge extraction. She has earned several awards including an NSF CAREER Award (1995), the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Distinguished Scholar Award (2002, University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory), and selection as an IEEE Fellow (2013). Raghavan's contributions predominantly concern 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.
Raghavan serves on several editorial boards at SIAM (Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): SIAM Series on Computational Science and Engineering; SIAM Series on Software Environments and Tools; Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing; and the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. Recently Raghavan co-chaired the Technical Papers committees for two large conferences: Supercomputing 2012 and the 2011 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering. She also serves on various advisory and review panels: the National Research Council's Committee on Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure; the National Academies Panel on Information Science at the Army Research Laboratory; the review committee for the Computation Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; the Board of Trustees of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computing; and the Computer Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing.