The prestigious IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Awards were instituted in 1996. They are awarded annually to alumni of the institute in recognition of their professional or individual achievements or for service they have rendered to the community. The awards are presented annually.
Dr. Sridhar Ramaswamy obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT Madras in 1989, and later went on to complete his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science at Brown University, USA, obtaining his doctorate in 1994.
Dr. Ramaswamy's early research focused on database theory and systems, and resulted in a number of patents and publications on database systems and database theory in highly-regarded journals. He began his career at Bell Communications Research and later became a Scientist at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, where his innovations included the AQUA database that pioneered the new direction of giving very fast approximate answers to queries. Prior to joining Google, he held several roles at E.piphany, including Director of Engineering for E.piphany's Analytic Platform
Dr. Ramaswamy joined Google in 2003 as a software engineer in the ads infrastructure team. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the Search Advertising team to become Senior Vice President of Engineering in 2011. He is currently responsible for all of Google's Advertising and Commerce products, which generated over USD 40 billion in revenue in 2013. This success is largely realized through the power of algorithms and systems. Innovating in search and display advertising demands a blend of state-of-the-art computer science and microeconomic theory to deliver an experience that is effective for advertisers and relevant for users - a demand that Dr. Ramaswamy has satisfied in full measure.
In recognition of Dr. Sridhar Ramaswamy's prowess in blending technology and microeconomic theory, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Dr. T S Sudarshan obtained his B.Tech. in Metallurgy from IIT Madras in 1976, and later completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Engineering Science at Virginia Tech, USA. He worked at Ashok Leyland as a Senior Metallurgist and established a modern metallurgical laboratory and managed various research programs.
Dr. Sudarshan is currently the President and CEO of Materials Modification Inc., which is at the forefront of research, development and commercialization of advanced materials utilizing novel processing techniques. He has demonstrated technological leadership for over three decades, and has worked extensively throughout his career in the areas of nanotechnology and surface-engineering for which he is very well known throughout the world. He has patented and developed a self-lubricating automotive product that is used internationally, and Nanogen and Plasma Pressure Compaction for which he holds several patents. He has also developed products to control and stop bleeding - "GroKlot" for the US Army, "Silvamat" for mitigating burns and "Garad" suits for protection from gamma radiation. Through his leadership, he has raised over 60 million USD in funding for very high-risk, high-payoff advanced technology-related programs in several non-traditional areas.
Dr. Sudarshan is a Fellow of ASM International, USA; Fellow of International Federation on Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering, UK; and Fellow of Institute of Mining, Metals and Materials, UK. He was the winner of the R&D 100 Award for Nanogen in 1998, the Design News Award, and R&D 100 Award for Plasma Pressure Compaction in 1999. He was recognized as "Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer" by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1990. Dr Sudarshan has published over 170 papers, edited 29 books, is the editor of two international journals - Surface Engineering, and Materials and Manufacturing Processes - for more than 2 decades, and holds numerous patents.
In recognition of Dr. T S Sudarshan's professional accomplishments and entrepreneurial excellence, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Dr. Venkatraman Sadanand obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1978. He then completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics at the California Institute of Technology, obtaining his doctorate in 1983. He was an accomplished Professor of Economics for more than a decade, with a keen involvement in research and education. He received a number of awards for teaching, and published extensively in the area of Game Theory and Economic Competition in leading Economics journals including the Journal of Economic Theory.
Driven by his deep-seated desire to serve others in a direct capacity, Dr. Sadanand threw himself fully into medical studies and completed the M.D. program at the University of Toronto, chose the field of Neurosurgery, and then went on to subspecialize in the discipline of Pediatric Neurosurgery and epilepsy. He continues to teach and perform surgeries at hospitals in Canada, India and USA, while grooming the next generation of neurosurgeons. Currently, his research focus is in the areas of Biology of Brain Tumors, Brain Plasticity, Signal Processing to develop a 3-D map of the brain, and Health Economics. He has also been an innovator in the development of new surgical techniques, especially in the surgical and post-surgical treatment of epilepsy.
Besides his clinical, teaching and research work, Dr. Sadanand devotes time and energy to humanitarian services rendered through several organizations, providing free healthcare in many parts of the world by conducting free medical camps and free surgeries.
In recognition of Dr. Sadanand's remarkable success in the engineering and medical professions, and his contributions in the service of his fellow humans, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Shri. Anil Ananthaswamy obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1985, and went on to complete his M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1987.
Shri. Ananthaswamy is a journalist, writer and author. His foray into writing began during his initial stint in the software industry, when he wrote a book on data communications and object-oriented programming. He found his passion and boldly ventured into a career in "Science Journalism". He obtained a Science Writing Graduate Certificate in 2000 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2005, he came up with the radical idea of combining science journalism and travel writing. This led him to different corners of the world, specifically to remote and inhospitable locations. In this grand adventure, he covered six continents, exploring a variety of exotic locations, ranging from the Atacama deserts in the Chilean Andes to the frozen recesses of Siberia. His experiences over a period of 3.5 years in extreme conditions resulted in a book called "The Edge of Physics" which combined the two genres of popular science and travel-writing and was published in 2010. "The Edge of Physics" was widely reviewed to critical acclaim by newspapers and magazines around the world, and has been variously described as "brilliant", "the ultimate physics-adventure travelogue", and "a wonder-steeped page-turner".
Shri. Ananthaswamy won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize instituted by the UK's Institute of Physics for his feature for New Scientist on the "Square Kilometer Array" (the world's biggest radio telescope) in 2012. In 2013, he won the best investigative journalism award for his long-form feature for MATTER magazine on "Body Integrity Identity Disorder", a neurological condition in which people feel that their limbs do not belong to them and go to great lengths to self-amputate.
Anil continues to write for New Scientist magazine and other outlets. He has specialized in writing about physics, neuroscience and climate change. Currently, he is working on his next book titled "Maladies of the Self", which explores the neuroscience of the sense of the self.
In recognition of Shri. Ananthaswamy's vast expertise, varied experiences, and his success in the less-trodden path of Science Journalism, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Shri. Kannan Lakshminarayan obtained his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1988. Kannan is a serial entrepreneur and innovator. He has founded a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He started the Sunbeam Group of Schools in Vellore in 1989. In 2001, he founded Vortex Engineering (P) Ltd. Vortex is a sustainable business that builds and delivers technology solutions targeted at financial inclusion, pioneering the concept of rural ATM machines. Through Vortex, he developed a range of ATMs -- Gramateller-Indi, Gramateller-Duo and EcoTeller -- all of them optionally solar-powered. Vortex has successfully deployed ATMs with leading banks across most states in India, especially in small towns and villages. The products and solutions are specially designed to suit conditions unique to the rural segment where power supply is erratic, literacy levels of end users are low, and the terrain is rough.
Kannan has developed a spinning machine to operate on a small-to-medium scale, which was thought to be impossible. These are now in use at many centers throughout India, and gave rise to a designer fabric called "Malkha". He founded Microspin Machine Works (P) Ltd. in 2011 to deliver this as a market-driven solution for cotton growers and small producers in the cotton value-chain. He also founded Skillveri Training Solutions (P) Ltd. in 2013 to develop affordable training simulators for different industrial skills, to address the skill-gap.
Kannan is an inventor holding six pending patents on ATM technologies and two patent-pending inventions on micro-spinning. He has also mentored several innovations under the aegis of Fractal Foundation, two of which are patent-pending. He has delivered a number of acclaimed one-off original solutions in the domains of energy, food processing and healthcare.
In recognition of Shri. Kannan's innovations and pioneering work in sustainable solutions for the rural environment, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Shri. Raju Venkatraman, popularly known as Raju, obtained his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering in 1981 from IIT Madras and completed an executive MBA, including a 3-tier training program, at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He also has a Diploma in Quality Education Systems from the General Motors Institute, USA.
Raju has always led from the front, right from starting his career with Cadbury-Schweppes. At Electronic Data Systems (EDS), he pioneered the innovation and application of Digital Imaging Technology. He led the team in integration of Raster Image Scanning and Tagged Image File Formats with files, compression techniques, optical disk storage, and early adoption of Ethernet communication. He was the founder of Vetri Systems, and a pioneer in Business Process Outsourcing in bringing work to India rather than getting the work done in USA. In this sector, his contributions include adoption of satellite technology for data transmission. He also initiated the movement of BPO to tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India, which opened up many job opportunities in those areas.
Currently as the MD and CEO of Medall Healthcare Private Limited, Raju is taking Healthcare Diagnostics, Wellness & Preventive Care to several small towns across the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra. Medall is partnering with several organizations, and also with IIT Madras in providing 24X7 counseling services for students at IIT Madras.
Raju has been honored with the AIIM Excellence Award. He has been recognized as one of the top 50 entrepreneurs in Michigan for the years 1994 and 1995, and was the recipient of the "American Dreamers" award from Crain's Business Magazine for the year 1999. For close to two decades, Raju has been associated with Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). He is the Chairman for TiECON 2013 Chennai Chapter, and also Senior Vice President, MMA (Madras Management Association). He passionately believes in mentoring young entrepreneurs, and plays basketball with equal passion.
In recognition of Raju Venkatraman's contributions as an entrepreneur, leader and manager, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Prof. Ramesh Govindan obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT Madras in 1987, and later completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, obtaining his doctorate in 1992.
Prof. Govindan has made seminal contributions to several sub-fields in computer networking, including internet routing and networked sensing. He was one of the earliest researchers to study the internet packet routing system, and was also among the first researchers to map the Internet. His "Mercator" network-mapper produced extensive views of the internet backbone at the time. He also devised novel methods to improve the accuracy of these maps.
Prof. Govindan's most recent contributions have been in the area of wireless networked sensing. Two of his early papers in the field of "Directed Diffusion and Geographic Hash-Tables" proved seminal and illustrated both the challenges posed by wireless networks of sensors, and the opportunities for novel designs. Subsequently, his Group made fundamental contributions to geographic routing in wireless and sensor networks, exploring a novel network architecture called "Tenet" for wireless sensing that factors in network functionality in a manner that promotes code reuse and simplifies application development.
Prof. Govindan is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the winner of many Best Paper awards. Until recently, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing.
In recognition of Prof. Ramesh Govindan's academic excellence and research contributions in the field of Computer Networking and Network Sensing, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Professor Anant Agarwal obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1982, and went on to do his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, USA, obtaining his doctorate in 1987.
Prof. Agarwal has been a faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since January 1988. He is currently the President of edX, a worldwide, online learning initiative of MIT and Harvard University. This transformative online learning platform is designed to offer courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories and student-paced learning. Anant is a visionary, and a strong proponent of the blended learning model and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) which can help revolutionize education.
Prof. Agarwal has taken other innovative technologies out of academia and into start-ups. He is the founder of Tilera Corporation, which created the "Tile" multicore processor. In his research, he led the "Carbon Project", which developed new scalable multicore architectures, a new operating system for multicore and clouds called "fos", and a distributed, parallel simulator for multicore and clouds called "Graphite".
Prof. Agarwal has won numerous honors for his teaching, research and entrepreneurial successes. His work on Organic Computing was selected by Scientific American as one of 10 "World-Changing Ideas" in 2011. He has been named as Forbes list of top 15 education innovators in 2012. He has won many teaching honors at MIT, including the Smullin and Jamieson awards.
In recognition of Prof. Anant Agarwal's outstanding career in multiple roles as a superb teacher, visionary in education, researcher and path-breaking technologist, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.
Dr. Anand Rajaraman obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Madras in 1993 and went on to do his M.S and Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA.
Anand is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and an academic. He is the co-founder of Cambrian Ventures, a venture capital firm. His investments include Facebook, Aster Data Systems, Neoteris, India Infoline, YouSendIT, and several others. Anand was the co-founder and CTO of Junglee Corp., and played a key role in developing Junglee’s award- winning Virtual Database technology. Later, when Junglee was acquired by Amazon.com, Anand helped in the transformation of Amazon.com from a retailer into a retail platform.
As an academic, Anand’s research has focused at the intersection of database systems, the World-Wide-Web, and Social Media. His research publications have won several awards at prestigious academic conferences, including two retrospective 10-year Best Paper Awards at ACM SIGMOD and VLDB. Anand co-teaches a popular course on Data Mining at Stanford University. His textbook “Mining of Massive Datasets”, co-authored with Jeff Ullman, was published in 2011 and has been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Anand Rajaraman has been named in the list of 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2012. He was the finalist at the Computer World Smithsonian Award for Innovative Technology in Business in 1998. He was also the President of India Gold Medal winner at IIT Madras as Bachelor’s graduate with the best academic record.
In recognition of Dr. Anand Rajaraman’s innovative contributions as an entrepreneur and as an academic, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.