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Govindaraju named SUNY Distinguished Professor

Release Date: November 18, 2010

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Venugopal Govindaraju has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the State University of New York system.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Venugopal Govindaraju of Williamsville, University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank in the State University of New York system.

Govindaraju was one of four SUNY faculty members appointed a Distinguished Professor or Distinguished Teaching Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its Nov. 17 meeting.

The rank of distinguished professor is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor.

The distinguished professorship recognizes and honors individuals who have achieved national or international prominence in their fields.

The founding director of UB's Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) and the associate director of the Center for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR), Govindaraju has been the author or co-author of more than 325 scientific papers and principal or co-principal investigator of more than $55 million in research projects.

Since its founding in 2003, CUBS has attracted approximately $10 million in federal and industry funding covering biometrics, security, document recognition and retrieval. The center advances machine-learning and pattern-recognition technologies to build engineered systems for both civilian and homeland-security applications. It develops new methods for customizing devices that use data from physical biometrics, such as fingerprints, hand geometry and iris scans; behavioral biometrics, such as signature, voiceprint and gait; and chemical biometrics, such as DNA and body odor.

As a computer scientist specializing in pattern recognition, Govindaraju's research, and that of his colleagues in UB's Center of Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition, into getting machines to recognize and understand handwriting was at the core of the first handwritten address-interpretation system used by the U.S. Postal Service. He also was responsible for technology transfer to Lockheed Martin and Siemens Corp. for the system's deployment by the U.S. Postal Service, Australia Post and UK Royal Mail.

Govindaraju has given more than 100 invited talks around the world and has supervised the dissertations of 20 doctoral students. He has served on editorial boards of premier journals in his field and has chaired several technical conferences and workshops.

He has won numerous awards, including the prestigious MIT Global Technovator Award in 2004 and the 2010 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, given to recognize outstanding and innovative contributions to computer and information science and engineering or computer technology.

He also is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the IEEE and the IAPR, the International Association of Pattern Recognition.

A recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, he is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and earned master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from UB.

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Ellen Goldbaum
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