ECE Professor on Detail to National Science Foundation as Program DirectorBy Pete Brown - September 8, 2010, 12:00 pm
Professor Ahmed Louri of electrical and computer engineering was recently appointed by the National Science Foundation as director of its Software and Hardware Foundations, or SHF, program.
The SHF is one of three research programs supported by the NSF’s Division of Computing and Communication Foundations in the Directorate of Computer and Information Science & Engineering. The directorate has awarded almost $2.3 billion to support research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering.
During his detail at NSF in Washington, D.C., which could last as long as 4 years, Louri will seek out promising areas of research that merit NSF investment. He will be responsible for long-range planning and budgeting and will oversee merit reviews for proposals to ensure that investments are made in diverse cutting-edge projects.
Louri’s appointment means his and his department’s expertise will be applied to determining the direction of computing research in the years to come. “This will give us the opportunity to impact computing in the future and give us great visibility nationally and internationally,” Louri said. In addition, UA will benefit from the knowledge and experience that Louri acquires during his detail.
University Distinguished Professor Jerzy Rozenblit, head of the electrical and computer engineering department, concurred: “Dr. Louri’s appointment at NSF is testament to the international reputation that he, the department and the UA share in this field, and we are proud to be making an impact on the national agenda.”
Rozenblit also acknowledged the considerable contribution made by Louri during his 22 years in the department. “Dr. Louri has spearheaded the computer engineering program in the ECE department, particularly in the area of high-performance computing,” Rozenblit said.
Rozenblit singled out Louri’s efforts to involve younger faculty in computer engineering programs. “An important part of the valuable programs that Dr. Louri has established is that he has been a mentor to junior faculty.”
Louri received his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1984 and 1988 respectively. He joined UA 1988, and chaired his department’s computer engineering program from 2000 to 2006.
He has held visiting scientist positions in Japan and France, and his research interests include computer architecture, parallel processing, interconnection networks, and optical computing. He has published more than 125 journal articles and conference papers in these areas, and holds several US patents.
Louri received what is now called the NSF Career award in 1989. He has also been awarded the Advanced Telecommunications Organization of Japan Fellowship; the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France, Fellowship; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship; and several teaching awards. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Rozenblit noted that Louri’s NSF appointment coincides with the ECE department’s centennial celebration. “This is a very prestigious appointment, of course, but it’s a loss to us, albeit temporary, and Dr. Louri will unfortunately miss out on some of the celebrations as ECE mark’s its first century of existence,” Rozenblit said.