IEEE Elects Three New Fellows From USC

President Sample, Shri Narayanan and Timothy Pinkston earn the distinction among the nation’s top engineers.
By Diane Ainsworth
President Steven B. Sample

Three faculty members from the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering USC President Steven B. Sample, Shri Narayanan and Timothy Pinkston recently were elected Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellows, and four were named senior members.

Sample, who came to USC in 1991, is the 10th president of the university. He holds the Robert C. Packard President’s Chair and is a professor of electrical engineering.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Sample has received numerous awards from academic, civic and humanitarian organizations. He has chaired a number of statewide and national groups examining the state of elementary, secondary and higher education. He co-founded the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of 34 premier Pacific Rim research universities located in 15 countries and is a past chairman of the Association of American Universities, a consortium of the 63 leading North American research universities.

His citation as an IEEE fellow was given for his “leadership in engineering education.”

Narayanan, the Andrew Viterbi Professor of Engineering, holds joint appointments as a professor of computer science, linguistics and psychology. He is a member of the USC Signal and Image Processing Institute, the Integrated Media Systems Center, and he directs the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory.

He earned his B.E. in electrical engineering from the College of Engineering-Guindy at Anna University (India) in 1988. While at UCLA, he earned an M.S. in 1990 and a Ph.D. in 1995, in electrical engineering. From 1995 through 2000, he was at AT&T Research Labs, and he joined USC in 2000. His research is in speech and multimedia, spoken language technology systems, speech science and human-computer interfaces. He is also the recipient of many awards and honors for his work, including the National Science Foundation Career Award and election as a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.

His citation as IEEE fellow notes his "contributions to human-centric multimodal signal processing."

Pinkston joined USC in 1993 and is now professor of electrical engineering. From January 2006 through December 2008, he was on leave as lead program director in the Computing and Communication Foundations Division of the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation.

He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Ohio State University in 1985, and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in electrical engineering in 1986 and 1993, respectively.

His research concerns the design of high-performance communication architectures for parallel computer systems, including interconnection networks, network characterization, adaptive and reconfigurable routing algorithms, router design and implementation. He also studies on-chip networks, opto-electronic interconnect architectures and the performance analysis, simulation and empirical analysis, formal and theoretical analysis of message blocking and deadlock.

His citation as an IEEE fellow notes his “contributions to design and analysis of interconnection networks and routing algorithms.”

“The election of Shri Narayanan, Timothy Pinkston and Steven B. Sample as IEEE fellows is a recognition of their accomplishments and stature in research and education,” said Alexander Sawchuk, systems chair of the Ming Hsieh Department. “This is an outstanding achievement and the faculty in our department join me in congratulating them.”

In addition to the newly elected fellows, four electrical engineering faculty were named IEEE senior members: Todd Brun, Krishna Nayak, Michael Neely and Kostas Psounis.

Qualifications for this distinction are at least 10 years of professional practice and five years of significant performance as exemplified by substantial engineering responsibility or achievement, publication of engineering and technical papers, books or inventions, and the development and teaching of engineering courses.

IEEE is the leading technical organization in these fields, with 39 professional societies and publication of 128 transactions, journals and magazines representing a wide spectrum of technical interests. The organization traces its history to 1884 and has approximately 365,000 members in more than 150 countries.