In Memory of Nagarajan “Ranga” Ranganathan

November 27, 2018


Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Nagarajan “Ranga” Ranganathan died on October 25, 2018, age 57, following an extended illness. He was professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida and was the senior faculty member in the Computer Engineering program. He joined USF as an Assistant Professor in 1988 and shaped the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in many different aspects. Dr. Ranganathan was a man of great character and leadership in his field and in the Department. He had a very warm and modest personality. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and the many students who received an excellent and inspired education.
Dr. Ranganathan received the BE (Honors) degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Regional Engineering College (National Institute of Technology) Tiruchi, University of Madras, India, 1983, and the PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida, Orlando in 1988.
Dr. Ranganathan developed many special purpose VLSI circuits and systems for computer vision, image and video processing, pattern recognition, data compression, and signal processing applications. He and his students developed several VLSI CAD algorithms based on decision theory, game theory, auction theory and Fuzzy modeling. He co-authored over 295 papers in refereed journals and conferences, five book chapters, and co-owned eight U.S. patents. He edited three books. Dr. Ranganathan served on the editorial board and steering committee for many IEEE and ACM journals, he was the editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems from 2003 to 2007.
Dr. Ranganathan graduated 31 PhD students in his 30 years at USF. His students have successful careers in industry and academia in leadership positions. Many of his PhD graduates are now at Intel. Six of his PhD graduates were awarded an Outstanding Dissertation prize by the USF Graduate School. Vijaykrishnan Narayanan, graduated in 1998, is now a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Penn State University. Dr. Ranganathan was very proud of the accomplishments of his students.
In 2007 Dr. Ranganathan was conferred the highly prestigious USF Distinguished University Professor title. He was elected as a Fellow of IEEE in 2002. He was elected Fellow of AAAS in 2012. He received the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2009, the USF President's Faculty Excellence Award in 2003, USF’s Theodore-Venette Askounes Ashford Distinguished Scholar Award in 2003, and the USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award in 2002. He was also a co-recipient (with his students) of three Best Paper Awards at the International Conference on VLSI Design (in 1995, 2004, and 2006), and awarded SIGMA XI Scientific Honor Society Tampa Bay Chapter Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award in 2004.