Computer scientist warns of research 'bubbles'
ALUMNI | A network scientist with the well-known research and development firm BBN Technologies returned recently to UD to speak about the business of research and to discuss evolution in such areas as wireless networking technology, as well as his own evolution as a researcher.
Ram Ramanathan, AS ’89M, ’92PhD, urged students to consider new directions, to exploit new technology enablers and to question prevailing wisdom.
Ramanathan delivered the keynote address, “Mobile Networking Research: A Story and its Morals,” at Computer Science Research Day on campus. He told the audience that the morals of his story can apply to any field: Failure is usually a prerequisite for success; “bubbles” exist in the research world just as they do in commercial markets, and it’s important not to get up caught in them; and the best research problems are firmly grounded in reality.
“It’s been an exciting journey for me, and UD prepared me well for it,” he said. “I was offered freedom in my research direction and held to standards as high as those at any of the most prestigious schools in the country.”
BBN, based in Cambridge, Mass., “creates technology and leverages the resulting intellectual property to produce advanced, repeatable solutions such as the Boomerang shooter device,” according to the company’s Web site. With about 700 employees in seven U.S. locations, BBN works in such areas as speech and language processing, sensing and control systems and networking.
Sponsored by the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Computer Science Research Day is designed to showcase the research being conducted by graduate students in the department. It also serves as a forum for interaction among students, faculty, alumni and research professionals.
“Many of our grads who teach in the region come back and bring their students with them,” says Paul Amer, Distinguished Alumni Professor of Computer and Information Sciences.