Three’s a charm, especially when they are prestigious academic fellowships.

Chang-Tien “C.T.” Lu, Dimitrios Nikolopoulos, and Naren Ramakrishnan, all faculty in the Department of Computer Science, have been elected to the 2024 class of fellows in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

To be named a fellow, IEEE members must demonstrate significant contributions to their field, show evidence of technical accomplishments and realization of significant impact to society, and a record of service to professional engineering societies, among other criteria.

Fewer than 0.1 percent of voting members in the institute are selected annually for this career milestone, according to IEEE.

"The elevation of Drs. Lu, Nikolopoulos, and Ramakrishnan to IEEE fellows is a testament to the outstanding research they have done during their careers at Virginia Tech, and I congratulate them all,” department head Cal Ribbens said. “Their work epitomizes the dedication to innovation and impact that our faculty strive for every day."

High-performance computing

Nikolopoulos is the John W. Hancock Professor of Engineering in Computer Science, where he has received numerous faculty and research awards and recognitions. For this honor with the IEEE, he was recognized for his contributions to dynamic execution environments and multiprocessor memory management.

He conducts research in computer systems and high-performance computing. Some of his prior research has been adopted in the OpenMP parallel programming standard, RedHat Enterprise Linux, several commercial system software products, as well as numerous experimental operating systems and programming languages for multicore and multithreaded servers.

In addition to his IEEE Fellowship, Nikolopoulos is a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery

He currently leads the PEARL (Performance and Resiliency) lab at Virginia Tech and serves as associate director of the Stack@CS Center for Computer Systems.

Nikolopoulos received his Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and doctoral degrees from the University of Patras in Greece.

Spatial informatics and urban computing

Lu is a professor of computer science based in Falls Church where he serves as program director for the department. He also is associate director of the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics and serves as curriculum lead for computer science at the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria.

IEEE recognized Lu for his contributions to spatial informatics and the field of urban computing, which employs techniques from computer science for sustainable development by balancing environmental, economic, and societal needs. He has developed several novel computational and mathematical models that help deliver detailed consumption information for water and energy conservation. 

Lu also pioneered a real-time traffic visualization system for evaluating highway traffic flows to support intelligent transportation systems and enable researchers to establish accurate traffic models. His work has directly contributed to ongoing smart city and smart transportation projects.

Lu has published more than 200 articles in top-rated journals and conference proceedings and edits a number of prestigious journals in the field. In addition to his IEEE fellowship, Lu has been named an Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Scientist and a faculty fellow in the College of Engineering.

Lu received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Event modeling and forecasting

Ramakrishnan is the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering, director of the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, and director of the Amazon-Virginia Tech Initiative in Efficient and Robust Machine Learning. He also serves as the lead for AI and machine learning at the Innovation Campus.

Ramakrishnan was recognized for his decade-long research program on modeling and forecasting significant societal events such as disease outbreaks, civil unrest, elections, mass migrations, and political crises. His work on forecasting came just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramakrishnan’s research has been featured in the National Institutes of Health outreach publication Biomedical Computation Review, the National Science Foundation's Discoveries series, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, Popular Science, Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate magazine, and ACM Technews. 

Ramakrishnan received his Ph.D. in computer sciences from Purdue University.

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