Health & Biomedicine
20 Oct

Distinguished Lecture Series: Chaitan Baru and “Advancing Technology, Innovation and Partnerships”

October 20, 2023 In-person
10:45 AM 11:45 AM

Thornton Hall, A-120

Advancing Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

Since its establishment in 1950, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded discoveries and innovations that have transformed our lives, from the Internet to Google to MRI machines. This talk will provide an overview of NSF’s first new directorate in more than three decades, the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP), describing how this directorate is advancing critical technologies, accelerating the translation of these technologies from the lab to society, addressing pressing economic challenges, and engaging the Nation’s broad and diverse population in this work. Programs in TIP support creation of diverse innovation ecosystems, such as the NSF Engines, accelerate technology translation and development, and support the development of the future workforce. I will present one  example of a technology translation program, viz., the Prototype Open Knowledge Network, which began as a track in the TIP Convergence Accelerator. The talk will end with an overview of a number of new activities in technology assessment, technology road mapping, technology acceleration, and measuring impact, with the goal of expanding the nation’s research and innovation ecosystem, and ultimately ensuring the U.S. remains in the vanguard of competitiveness for decades to come.

Chaitan Baru

Chaitan Baru
Senior Advisor, TIP Directorate, National Science Foundation

Dr. Chaitanya Baru is Senior Advisor in NSF's new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate. He joined NSF in October 2022 after a 25-year career at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego. During that period he also served on assignment at NSF--first as Senior Advisor for Data Science in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate from 2014-2018, and then as Senior Advisor for the NSF Convergence Accelerator, Office of Integrative Activities from 2019-2021. While Senior Advisor for Data Science, he co-chaired the NSF Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea (HDR) and played a leadership role in the NSF BIGDATA program, where he was instrumental in establishing a partnership between NSF and the four major public cloud providers, viz, AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and IBM. He helped initiate the HDR Data Science Corps program, was an advisor to the NSF Big Data Regional Innovations Hubs and TRIPODS programs, and supported a series of workshops on Translational Data Science. He has served as co-chair of the NIST Public Working Group on Big Data and as co-chair of the Federal NITRD Big Data Interagency Working Group (BDIWG). He was a lead organizer of the NITRD BDIWG workshop on Open Knowledge Network, which led to establishment of Track A in the Convergence Accelerator on Open Knowledge Network (OKN).

While Senior Advisor in the Convergence Accelerator (CA), he was a member of the original team that designed and launched the CA program. He was engaged in the ideation and creation of several of the early Tracks in the CA including Track A: Open Knowledge Network, Track D: Data Sharing for AI, and Track F on misinformation.

While at SDSC from 1996-2022, Dr. Baru's work was centered on translational and applied research in computer science and data science. He served in several leadership positions at SDSC. One of his research projects on big data benchmarking engaged a group of industry partners and helped establish industry’s first benchmark standard for big data, viz., TPCx-BB. Prior to joining SDSC, he worked at IBM on the DB2 Parallel Edition R&D and product team. Prior to that, he was a faculty member in the CSE Division of the EECS Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Baru has an ME and PhD in Electrical Engineering (Computer Engineering) from the University of Florida and a BTech in Electronics Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.