SRU's Thangiah receives Talk Magazine "Minority Achiever" award


Sam profile with robots

Nov. 16, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Sam Thangiah, professor of computer science at Slippery Rock University, was honored at the 2017 Talk Magazine Minority Achievers Award Reception, Nov. 10, in Pittsburgh. The MAAR is an annual event that gives public recognition to, and shows appreciation for, minorities who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and showcases the positive effects of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Thangiah, who joined the faculty at SRU in 1991, teaches introductory, intermediate and advanced computer science courses ranging from Introduction to Computer Literacy to Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Shortly after his arrival at the University, Thangiah received a grant from the National Science Foundation to create an artificial intelligence and robotics laboratory for SRU undergraduates.

In addition to providing a venue for teaching courses in artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning and other advanced computer science courses, more than 100 undergraduate students have conducted research in the labs in addition to presenting at national and international conferences and being published in academic journals. Two SRU graduates, who did research with Thangiah, have gone on to obtain doctorates in operations research. Prior to arriving at "The Rock," he spent time working in the development of biologically inspired intelligent algorithms for the routing of Tomahawk missiles.

"We are extremely proud of Dr. Thangiah and the excellent work he does at the University. He is an excellent teacher, mentor and colleague. We congratulate him on being named a 2017 Minority Achiever," said SRU Interim President Philip Way.

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