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Computer science, engineering achievements earn professor honors

Selcuk Candan ACM award
January 16, 2013

Arizona State University professor K. Selcuk Candan has been selected for special recognition by the world’s largest computing society for his achievements in computer science and engineering.

He was recently named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for contributions to research advances and significant impacts in the fields of computing, computer science and information technology.

Candan is on the faculty of the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He joined the university’s faculty in 1997.

ACM specifically cites Candan’s role in advancements in development of data management and multimedia systems.

He is credited for being among the first to merge work in database and multimedia disciplines, becoming a leading expert in both fields. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals and for conferences on the crossover of database and multimedia systems management

Candan’s work “has consistently been beyond the norm in scientific innovation and impact,” the nomination for his selection for the Distinguished Scientist honor stated.

“He has made pioneering contributions to the multimedia community,” says Sethuraman Panchanathan, a professor of computer science and engineering, and senior vice president of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.  

“He is not only prolific in making fundamental advances in his research but is also able to translate those discoveries into impactful outcomes to society,” Panchanathan adds.

Colleague Richard Snodgrass, professor of computer science at the University of Arizona, credits Candan for major contributions for multimedia databases and web-content management, and for being “exceedingly well organized and effective in his leadership” within his professional community.

His work over the years has attracted grants from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and HP (Hewlett-Packard) Labs, among others, and led to industry research collaborations with IBM, Johnson Controls Inc., HP Labs and NEC Labs, one of the largest multinational information technology corporations.

The broad range of the applications of his work is demonstrated by his collaborations with fellow ASU faculty members in a variety of disciplines – including health researchers in ASU’s Disability Resources Center, archaeologists in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and researchers in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

Candan is on the graduate faculty of the arts, media and engineering program, and is also a senior sustainability scientist with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

His research has had strong impacts in diverse areas, including technologies and systems to enable people who are blind to have better access to educational materials and advances that have helped e-businesses to thrive.  His work has earned him nine patents.

Candan co-authored the book "Data Management for Multimedia Retrieval" and has written 15 book chapters.

As an educator he has guided seven students to doctoral degrees and 30 to master’s degrees, and supervised three post-doctoral researchers. He is currently adviser to an additional seven doctoral students and two master’s degree students.

He has mentored numerous summer interns at the NEC Labs America, for which has been a visiting scientist for more than a decade.

In 2012, Candan received the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Top Five Percent Teaching Award, which are based largely on student nominations and teacher evaluations by students.

In professional service, Candan has served on the editorial board of the Very Large Databases journal, one of the leading journals in the computer science and engineering field. He’s currently an associate editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and for the Journal of Multimedia.

He’s been an organizer and program chair for several workshops and conferences, including a Multimedia Information Retrieval workshop, which evolved into a full-fledged ACM conference.

He was a general chair for the ACM Multimedia Conference in 2011 and the ACM SIGMOD (Special Interest Group on Management of Data) Conference in 2012. He’s currently on the steering committee for the Multimedia Data Mining workshop affiliated with the ACM KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) conference. He also serves in the executive committee of the Special Interest Group on Management of Data.

Candan earned his doctoral degree in computer science in 1997 from the University of Maryland at College Park, after earning an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and information sciences from Bilkent University in Turkey.