Thyaga Nandagopal

Thyaga Nandagopal

Program Director
Division of Computer and Network Systems
National Science Foundation

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I work at the National Science Foundation in the Directorate of Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE).  I have been a Program Director in the Computer and Network Systems division since 2012.  I manage wireless networking and mobile computing research within the Networking Technologies and Systems (NeTS) program at NSF.  I also serve as the co-chair of the Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Senior Steering Group (WSRD SSG), which co-ordinates spectrum-related research and development activities across the Federal government.  I am an IEEE Fellow, elevated to this rank for the Class of 2016. I am spearheading the $400 million NSF Advanced Wireless Initiative that was announced on July 15, 2016, as part of an White House effort in this space. As part of this effort, I manage the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program that aims to create four advanced wireless research platforms in cities across the United States over the next five years.

At the National Science Foundation, I help manage various other programs, in addition to the NeTS and PAWR programs noted above, that relate the core mission of pushing the frontiers of computing and communications research. Some of these programs are: CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI), Expeditions in Computing, Algorithms in the Field (AitF), Spectrum Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, and Security (SpecEES), Industry/University Collaborative Research Centers (I/UCRC), and Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

In my past life, between 2002 and 2012, I was with Bell Labs, the research arm of Lucent Technologies which later became Alcatel-Lucent in 2006.  I was a Member of Technical Staff at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, in the Networking Research division. My research interests dealt with Networking in the Cloud, Green Networking and Software Defined Networks. In this role, I helped pioneer the development of the first commercial carrier-grade Software Defined Network Platform (ALU 9980 AINP) between 2006 and 2008, with industry-leading features such as service-chaining, and network function virtualization. This work was based on our research dating back to 2004. In addition to this, I have worked extensively on wireless ad hoc/mesh networks, sensors/RFID systems with specific focus on algorithms for enabling efficient operations of these systems.  

I received my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. I previously received my Masters degrees in Applied Mathematics and Computer Engineering from UIUC in 2000, and 2002 as well. My undergraduate institution is the College of Engineering, Guindy, from where I earned my B. Engg. in Electronics and Communication Engineering in 1997. I am an IEEE Fellow, and a life member of the ACM.