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February 3, 2003

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   Doug Ramsey, (858) 822-5825 or


San Diego, Feb. 3, 2003 –Two professors at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering have been elected Fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the scientific and professional society for computer science and information technology. Sid Karin and George Varghese are two of 26 newly-elected Fellows, effective January 2003. Their election brings to five the number of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) faculty from UCSD receiving the honor since ACM established the program in 1993.

Karin was cited for his national “leadership in integrating the academic computer science and computational science communities,” as founding director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). Varghese was recognized for his “design of efficient algorithms that have helped scale Internet implementations to gigabit speeds.”

“This recognition is well deserved and goes to two of our most illustrious professors,” said Mohan Paturi, chair of the CSE department at the Jacobs School. “Both Sid and George have made pioneering contributions in computer science and information technology, and both have continued to play a major role on our faculty in grooming the next generation of computer scientists for academia and industry.”

Sid Karin

Sidney Karin

Karin played a pivotal role in the establishment of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supercomputer program, prior to becoming SDSC’s founding director. “The ACM honor captures the essence of Sid’s original vision in founding SDSC,” said Fran Berman, his successor as Director of SDSC and NPACI since 2001. “Sid's vision for NSF's supercomputer centers program and later for the NPACI program has had a tremendous impact on modern science and technology."

“My colleagues in ACM were recognizing not just my work, but also the contributions of computer science to computational science and the synergy between the two communities—indeed, the merging of the two communities," said Karin. “One discipline after another has developed significant computational sophistication. An example is the recent explosive growth of computational biology. At the same time, the centers program demonstrated the viability of academia to successfully field such centers and to serve as the locus for the merging communities. I think my main achievements lie in this area, fostering the merger."

Since stepping down as SDSC director, Karin has worked primarily in what he calls “an exciting, dynamic, and important area—computer security research.” He has overall responsibility for computer security issues on the NSF-funded OptIPuter project, led by Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-[IT]²). "With his deep knowledge of supercomputing and computational science in general, Sid is in a unique position to help us overcome obstacles as we develop and deploy the next generation of wired and wireless Grid computing for data-intensive applications," said Smarr, who, like Karin, is a professor of computer science and engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School. "The ACM fellowship is an honor that is certainly well earned."

George Varghese

George Varghese

Varghese joined the UCSD faculty in August 1999, from Washington University in St. Louis. Earlier, at Digital Equipment Corporation, he worked on a precursor to the gigabit Ethernet. “This ACM honor is in some part also a recognition of the overall contributions of the Internet to the world at large,” said Varghese. “As for my own research, I am proudest of my role in helping design algorithms for key bottlenecks in Internet implementations such as timers, packet scheduling and Internet lookups.”

“George’s work on lookups for routers helped remove the misperception that Internet lookups were inherently slow and could not scale with increasing optical fiber speeds,” said CSE chair Paturi. “Many of the algorithms developed in his lab can be found in real systems that people use everyday, especially as more and more of the Internet migrates to high-speed access, routing and switching.”

Varghese, who is also affiliated with Cal-(IT)², continues to tackles bottlenecks on the Internet. “As we move to make the Internet more reliable, we need efficient observation and measurement facilities, and these are hard to do at high speeds,” he said. “Building better tools for dealing with security attacks is another challenge at high speeds, and more and more application-level functions (such as XML) may need to be done in networking chips.” Varghese is also interested in the intersection of traditional computer architecture and networking, for instance in the design of new network processor architectures.

Varghese, Karin and 24 other newly-elected ACM Fellows will be formally recognized at the annual ACM Awards Banquet to be held on June 7, 2003, in San Diego, in conjunction with the Federated Computing Research Conference. Additional information about ACM is available at, and about ACM Fellows at

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