Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Director at the National Science Foundation, working on programs related to technology, innovation and partnerships. Prior to this recent role, he was the Deputy Division Director of the Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) Division in the Directorate of Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at the NSF, where he oversaw the division's investments in the theory and foundations of computing systems and communications technologies, with an annual budget of nearly $200M. His current interests are in research policy, partnerships, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and advanced wireless networks (beyond 5G). He has brought in over $150M from external partners into NSF-funded research programs. He previously served as a Program Director at the NSF in the Networking Technologies and Systems (NeTS) program, where he managed mobile systems and wireless networking research across multiple funding programs with an annual budget of over $50M. At NSF, Thyaga is also leading the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research program, a $100M effort over the 2017 - 2024 timeframe. He serves 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. Dr. Nandagopal is also a co-chair of the NSF-wide Quantum Leap Steering Committee, that coordinates NSF investments in inter-disciplinary research in quantum computing, communications and sensing. He is an IEEE Fellow, and holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal works at the National Science Foundation in the Directorate of Computer & Information Science and Engineering (CISE). He serves as the Deputy Division Director of the Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) Division, effective Jan 2018. This division invests in foundational research on new algorithms, programming languages, computer architectures/hardware, electronic design, high-performance computing, information theory, communication networks, biological computing, computational biology, quantum information sciences and theoretical computer science. Dr. Nandagopal is the co-chair of the NSF-wide Quantum Leap Steering Committee, that coordinates NSF investments in inter-disciplinary research in quantum computing, communications and sensing. He also currently serves 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. He is an IEEE Fellow, elevated to this rank for the Class of 2016.
Dr. Nandagopal is keen on partnerships, bringing other public and private partners with aligned research interests to work with the National Science Foundation. He is directly responsible for over $100M in external funding that has flowed into NSF programs since 2016. He has worked with an array of over 30 companies with interests in 5G networks, quantum computing and artificial intelligence and has been instrumental in the creation of over 6 research programs. He has a great understanding of the issues of research integrity, intellectual property protections and the tradeoffs between short-term development priorities and long-term research investments.
Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal is 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, he manages the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program that aims to create four advanced wireless research platforms in cities across the United States before 2021. He previously served for 6 years as a Program Director in the Computer and Network Systems division, where he managed wireless networking and mobile computing research within the Networking Technologies and Systems (NeTS) program at NSF. At the National Science Foundation, he is has been involved in running 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.
Prior to his service at the NSF, Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal was at Bell Labs, the research arm of Lucent Technologies which later became Alcatel-Lucent in 2006. He was a Member of Technical Staff at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, in the Networking Research division for 10 years. During his time at Bell Labs, his diverse research interests spanned Wireless Mesh Networks, RFID systems, Networking in the Cloud, Energy-efficient Networks and Software Defined Networks. In this role, he 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 product emerged from the cutting-edge research on SDNs done in the Networking Research lab back in 2004. He received the Bell Labs President's Award twice on account of his work on this product.
Dr. Nandagopal received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. He has Masters degrees in Applied Mathematics and Computer Engineering from UIUC in 2000, and 2002. His undergraduate institution is the College of Engineering, Guindy, from where he earned a B. Engg. in Electronics and Communication Engineering in 1997. He is a resident of Northern Virginia. In 2016, he received the Young Alumni Achievement Award from the ECE Department at the University of Illinois. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Senior Member of the ACM.