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.
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.
Dr. Hari Balakrishnan 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 University of California, Berkeley. His Ph.D. thesis on reliable data transport over wireless networks won the ACM doctoral dissertation award for best thesis in Computer Science in 1998.
Dr. Balakrishnan joined the EECS faculty at MIT in 1998, received tenure in 2003, and was promoted to a full professorship in 2006. He has been a leading researcher and educator in Computer Science for more than a decade now, and has made important contributions to communication networks and networked computer systems. His research has pioneered new areas of study in the field, and has led to commercial products and standards. He is a gifted teacher who has won three of MIT’s competitive teaching awards, viz. the Jamieson Award in 2012, Junior Bose Award in 2002, and the Spira Award in 2001. He has also been awarded MIT’s prestigious Harold Edgerton prize. He has been Fujitsu Chair Professor since 2011. Dr. Balakrishnan was elected a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in 2008, and a Fellow of the Sloan Foundation in 2002.
Dr. Balakrishnan developed the Snoop protocol, the first system to provide high TCP throughput over error-prone wireless links. He also developed new methods for TCP over asymmetric and low bandwidth networks. The RON overlay network, the Chord distributed Hash table, the Cricket indoor location system, the Infranet anti-censorship system, various improvements to Internet routing, the Congestion Manager, and binomial congestion control, and a large number of cross-layer wireless protocols are some of his other noteworthy contributions. He is one of the most-cited authors in all of Computer Science. Dr. Balakrishnan has also co-founded and/or provided consultation for many MIT Spin-off’s such as Stream Base Systems, Merali Networks (acquired by Cisco), Sandburst (acquired by Broadcom), and Cambridge Mobile Telematics.
In recognition of Dr. Hari Balakrishnan’s academic excellence and research contributions in reliable communication Systems, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. Kumar Sivarajan obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1987, and went on to do his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA.
Dr. Kumar Sivarajan is one of the pioneers in the field of optical networking. He has made fundamental research contributions to the architecture of optical networks in a series of papers published in IEEE Transactions from 1990 onwards. Optical networking was just emerging at that time, and Kumar’s work comprehensively covered all aspects of optical network design including topology design, routing and wavelength assignment. His seminal paper on routing and wavelength assignment in all-optical networks also won the IEEE Communication Society Bennett Prize and IEEE WRG Baker Prize.
A Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a winner of numerous prestigious awards for his research and academic work, Dr. Sivarajan is also the co-author of “Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective”, the most widely used textbook in the field. As the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Tejas Networks, Dr. Sivarajan guides the development of the next-generation of optical transmission products at Tejas. Tejas is India’s first optical networking start- up, and one of the very few telecom product companies in India. Prior to co-founding Tejas, Kumar served as a faculty member with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and with the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, New York.
In 2004, he was conferred the “Global Indus Technovator” award in InfoTech by The Indian Business club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. He is also a recipient of the IEEE Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Fellowship and Swarnajayanthi Fellowship from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. In 2010, Kumar received the Techno-Visionary Award from the Indian Semiconductor Association.
In recognition of Dr. Kumar Sivarajan’s pioneering contributions and innovations in the field of optical networking, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. Ramanathan Guha obtained his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1986 and went on to do his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford.
Dr. Guha has made seminal contributions that have revolutionized the use of the web, and created structures that have enabled us to organize the vastly different data formats that exist on the web. Working together with the W3C, Dr. Guha was responsible for creation of the RDF family of standards that form the basis for metadata on the web. He is the inventor of RDF feeds, which enable frequently updated pieces of information, encompassing everything from weather to news, to be pushed to users. Dr. Guha is also the (co)author of over 40 research papers and a book on Artificial Intelligence.
He has been instrumental in assisting the Indian Government’s NPTEL (National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning) program by working with IIT Madras in setting up the NPTEL channel on YouTube.
Dr. Guha spearheaded the creation of Schema. Org, a cross-industry initiative that includes the major search engines as members. Schme.org develops schemas for marking up web pages so that search engines and other applications can extract the structured data that underlie the web pages. He has created many products that are in use by millions of people every day. The most widely used of these is Google,s Custom Search Engine, Which enables anyone to create their own search platform. He is the co-founder of two companies: Epinions, a consumer reviews website, and Alpiri, a company that pioneered the use of knowledge bases in search. He is currently a Google Fellow-the highest honour awarded by Google Inc. to its technical staff.
In recognition of Dr. Ramanathan Guha’s technical innovations in web usage and search algorithms, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. S. Gopalakrishnan obtained his B.E in Civil Engineering from Visveswariah College of Engineering, University of Bangalore in First class with Distinction. At IIT Madras, he obtained an M.Tech in Applied Mechanics and was a Gold Medalist. He went on to complete his Ph.D in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, Indiana, USA.
Dr. Gopalakrishnan is an acknowledged expert in Spectral Finite Element Methods (SFEM), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Wave Propagation in Structures. He has helped SFEM grow both nationally and internationally, and has won many honors. He has authored the only book in the area of SFEM. He is invited by many universities to develop collaborative research in SHM, and is the Chairman of the Aerospace and SHM-related Project Assessment and Review Committee under the National Program on Micro and Smart Systems (NPMASS), Government of India, whose mandate is to develop micro devices and SHM products for Aerospace and defense laboratories, and for national programmes. He is currently managing about Rs. 60 crores worth of projects. He also serves on many national and international councils and committees related to Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering and research.
He has been associated with the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IISc, Bangalore for the last fifteen years. He is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineers, a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and has also received Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. He was awarded the Satish Dhawan Young Scientist Award in Aerospace Sciences by the Government of Karnataka in 2004. In 2005, he received the Biren Roy Trust Award from the Aeronautical Society of India for outstanding contribution in the field of Smart Structures and Structural Health Monitoring.
In recognition of Dr. Gopalakrishnan’s academic excellence and research contributions in SFEM, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. Sailesh Krishna Rao obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1981, his M.S. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, CA, USA.
For the first twenty years after education, Sailesh was primarily involved in the creation of new communications technologies in support of the Internet revolution. During this phase, he worked at AT&T Bell laboratories, and was the founder and President of Silicon Design Experts, Inc. where he led the specification and development of the world’s first single-chip real time MPEG video encoder. He was also the founder and CTO of Phyten Technologies. Dr. Sailesh’s technical contributions have been path-breaking. During 1996-1999, he developed the Gigabit Ethernet on Copper standard, 1000BASE-T, which is deployed in internet datacenters and computers even today. He has made over 50 standards contributions to the ATM Forum and IEEE 802.3 CSMA/CD Working group. He has 10 US patents and 3 Canadian patents and won the Intel Principal Engineer award in 2003. He has won 5 Exceptional Contribution awards from AT&T Bell Labs and also received the AT&T Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff Award in 1990.
In 2005, while watching a presentation by former Vice President, Al Gore, Sailesh became deeply alarmed by the global environmental crisis and has since devoted his time to this cause. He founded Climate Healers, a non-profit organization established with an objective facilitate re-forestation while minimizing fossil fuel use for cooking and lighting systems in low-income neighborhoods throughout the world. His recent book, “Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies”, calls on us to undo the damage done by the human species in its present Caterpillar stage of existence. In 2008, he received the Karamveer Puraskaar Global Indian Award presented by the Indian Confederation of NGOs.
In recognition of Dr. Sailesh Krishna Rao’s technical excellence and contributions towards environmental solutions, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. Shankar Ramamurti obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1969, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from University of California, Berkeley in 1974.
Dr. Ramamurti is a distinguished Particle-and Condensed Matter Physicist and a Chaired Professor at Yale University. He is also the first Indian after Nobel-Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar to be awarded the Harvard Junior Fellowship. In 2009, Dr. Ramamurti was awarded the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society for “Innovative applications of field theoretic techniques to quantum condensed matter systems”.
Dr. Ramamurti is dedicated to teaching and has published more than hundred journal publications and three books. He has designed and taught a one semester course in Physics aimed at freshmen and sophomores for more than a decade. The book he wrote based on this course, “Basic Training in Mathematics”,now serves as the textbook on the subject in many institutions worldwide. His courses in Physics have been video-taped and made available online as part of Yale’s Open Courses funded by the Hewlett Foundation. These lectures are used worldwide and serve as core material for some courses.
Dr. Ramamurti was elected as Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2001. His contributions in Statistical Physics, Particle Theory and, more recently the fractional quantum Hall-effect are outstanding.
In recognition of Dr. Shankar Ramamurti’s academic excellence and research contributions in the field of particle and condensed-matter physics, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.
Dr. Venky Harinarayan obtained his B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Madras in 1988 and went on to do his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford, USA.
Venky is an investor, entrepreneur and leader in search and e-commerce. He is the co-founder of Cambrian Ventures and Kosmix. He also co-founded Junglee Corp., which pioneered Internet comparison shopping. Junglee was acquired by Amazon.com Inc. in 1998. Venky helped to create Amazon.com’s marketplace business, which was a disruptive and controversial idea that had never been done before. Marketplace is currently Amazon.com’s most profitable and fastest-growing business. Venky was also the inventor of the concept underlying Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk. He helped create search advertising startup Efficient Frontier, and is a Board member and founding investor. Efficient Frontier is among the largest search-engine and social-media marketing agencies. It applies advanced portfolio management theory to online advertising.
Venky has authored multiple technical papers, one of which received the ACM SIGMOD’s best award in 1996 and also received the 2006 ACM SIGMOD Test of Time Award.
Venky is an active angel investor in India and Silicon Valley. He is one of less than 5 angel investors in facebook. He is also a Board member in TutorVista, based out of Bangalore, which has been acquired by Person LLC in 2001.
In recognition of Dr. Venky Harinarayan’s pioneering contributions and innovations in the field of e-commerce, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer on him this award.