Robert J. Fornaro
North Carolina State University
"For outstanding teaching and mentoring of undergraduate students in award-winning engineering projects"
Robert J. Fornaro is a Professor of Computer Science (CSC) at North Carolina State University (NCSU). In his early years at NCSU, along with teaching responsibilities, Dr. Fornaro was PI or CoPI on a variety of research projects involving real-time operating systems and data communications. Applications of these systems ranged from digital terrain mapping for the US Air Force, to high-performance multi-processor architectures for real-time control in the NCSU Precision Engineering Center. His teaching and research activities have focused on operating systems, development of application software for wireless sensor systems, and software engineering process. He also served for 11 years as Director of the CSC Undergraduate Program at NCSU. In 1994, along with Dr. Alan Tharp, he formed the Senior Design Center. The Center's mission is to educate students by providing a real-world software development problem and by teaching and integrating the principles of software engineering, teamwork, and professional communication in the solution of that problem. Local industries have supported the Center since its inception. In 2003, 2005, and 2006 Dr. Fornaro mentored award-winning project teams in the IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC). The awards in 2005 and 2006 were the only time in the history of the CSIDC that students from any university in the world placed first in two consecutive years. Dr. Fornaro continues to mentor teams of students as they work on their capstone projects. In 2008, Fornaro was recognized as a member of the NCSU Academy of Outstanding Teachers and was chosen as the recipient of an Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award. He has authored or co-authored over 25 refereed journal or conference papers.
Fornaro received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science (1969) and M.A. in Mathematics (1965) from The Pennsylvania State University, and a B.A in Mathematics from St. Vincent College, Latrobe PA (1963).