Rangachar Kasturi Named Recipient of 2015 IEEE Computer Society Merwin Award

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Rangachar KasturiLOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 20 January 2015 – President-Emeritus of the IEEE Computer Society and longtime volunteer Rangachar Kasturi has been named 2015 recipient of the IEEE-CS Richard E. Merwin Award for Distinguished Service.

During the past three decades, Kasturi has served in many significant roles at the IEEE Computer Society, including as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence and Vice President of the Publications, Conferences, and Member and Geographic Activities boards. He served as President in 2008.

Kasturi was cited for “exemplifying true volunteer spirit and commitment to excellence, and for significant and continuing contributions that support the vision and mission of the IEEE and the Computer Society.”

Over the years, he also served as Treasurer, Board of Governors member, and Board of Governors chair. He has represented the IEEE-CS on the Computing Research Association and the International Association for Pattern Recognition boards, and as general co-chair of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) and the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR). He led IEEE’s efforts to expand into India. He is a Fellow of IEEE and IAPR, and a Fulbright Scholar.

Kasturi has been the Douglas W. Hood Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida since 2003. His research interests are in computer vision and pattern recognition. He is an author of the textbook, “Machine Vision.”

Kasturi has directed projects on aircraft collision avoidance sponsored by NASA, performance evaluation of video content analysis algorithms sponsored by the Advanced Research and Development Activities (ARDA) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and document analysis for graphics recognition, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industrial sponsors.

Born in Bangalore in 1949 to a family of teachers, he received the B.E. (Electrical) degree from Bangalore University in 1968 and worked as an engineer in India for 10 years before moving to the US in 1978 to attend Texas Tech University, where he received his MSEE and PhD degrees in 1980 and 1982 respectively.

After graduation, Kasturi joined the Pennsylvania State University. He credits former president Tse Yun Feng, who was heading Penn State’s computer engineering program, for introducing him to the IEEE Computer Society and its volunteer service opportunities.

The Merwin Award is given to individuals for outstanding volunteer service to the profession, including significant service to the Computer Society. The Society’s highest award for volunteer service, the award consists of a bronze medal and a $5,000 honorarium.