Rob A. Rutenbar

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Rob A. Rutenbar
Rob A. Rutenbar - December 2017.jpg
Born (1957-11-19) November 19, 1957 (age 61)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
AwardsACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, ESD-IEEE CEDA Phil Kaufman Award (2017), Donald O. Pedersen Best Paper Award (2011 and 2013), IEEE CAS Industrial Pioneer Award, Aristotle Award, University of Michigan Alumni Merit Award (Electrical Engineering)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science, computer engineering
InstitutionsUniversity of Pittsburgh
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Carnegie Mellon University
Doctoral advisorDaniel E. Atkins III

Rob A. Rutenbar (born November 19, 1957) is an American academic noted for contributions to software tools that automate analog integrated circuit design, and custom hardware platforms for high-performance automatic speech recognition. He is Senior Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh,[1] where he leads the university's strategic and operational vision for research and innovation.[2]


Rutenbar received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1979 and 1984, respectively.[3] He joined the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1984. At CMU, his research group developed a wide range of novel CAD tools to optimize, synthesize, and perform geometric layout on analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits.[4] In 1998, he cofounded Neolinear, Inc. to commercialize these tools.[5] He served as Neolinear’s Chief Scientist until its acquisition by Cadence Design Systems in 2004.[6] In 2001, he was the founding director of a large, multi-university research center – the Center for Circuit & Systems Solutions (C2S2) -- funded by the US semiconductor industry and US Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) to address challenges arising from the end of Moore’s Law scaling.[7][8] He served as Director of C2S2 from 2001 to 2009. Also while at CMU, his In Silico Vox project developed novel hardware platforms for very fast, energy efficient speech recognition.[9][10] In 2006, he cofounded the Silicon Vox Corporation to commercialize these ideas.[11] The company was renamed Voci Technologies in 2010, and it focuses on high-performance solutions for enterprise-scale voice analytics.[11][12]

In 2010, he left CMU to become Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[13] At CMU, and continuing at Illinois, he led some of the first work to apply data mining and machine learning techniques for electronic design automation.[14] In 2013, he launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on VLSI CAD, to over 17,000 registered participants.[15] In 2016, this evolved into a set of related CAD MOOCs, which has reached over 50,000 learners worldwide.[16][17] [18]

In 2017, he joined the University of Pittsburgh in the newly established position of Senior Vice Chancellor for Research.[1] He also holds faculty appointments in the School of Computing and Information and in the Swanson School of Engineering.[19][20] Rutenbar serves on boards for several entrepreneurial and cultural organizations in Pittsburgh, including LifeX, Innovation Works, and the Carnegie Science Center.[21][22][23]

Education and service contributions[edit]

As several massive open online course (MOOC) providers emerged in 2012, Rutenbar led the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish a relationship with Coursera.[24] Subsequently, the University become the first land-grant institution to enter a Coursera partnership.[25][26] Under Rutenbar’s leadership, the Department of Computer Science launched a MOOC-based professional masters of computer science in data science (MCS-DS) in fall 2016.[27]

In 2014, Rutenbar led the launch of a large program of novel, cooperative B.S. degrees at Illinois called “CS+X” (a term originally coined by Alfred Spector,[28] a former colleague of Rutenbar's at CMU) that integrate computing and “X” disciplinary topics, ranging from anthropology to astronomy, music, and agriculture.[29][30][31]

Illinois Computer Science was recognized in 2017 with the Grand Prize for the NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award for showing “significant positive outcomes in increasing women’s meaningful participation in computing education” during Rutenbar’s tenure.[32][33]

Rutenbar has co-chaired the National Science Foundation Computer and Information Science and Engineering Advisory Committee’s Data Science Working Group,[34] and he served on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Envisioning the Data Sciences Discipline: The Undergraduate Perspective.[35]

Awards and honors[edit]

Rutenbar is a Fellow of the IEEE[36] and the ACM.[37] He received the 2001 Aristotle Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation, acknowledging his mentoring and the impact of his students on the US semiconductor industry.[38] He was awarded the Stephen J. Jatras (E’47) Chair in ECE by Carnegie Mellon University in 2001.[39] He was honored with the University of Michigan Alumni Merit Award (Electrical Engineering) in 2002.[40] He was awarded the IEEE CAS Industrial Pioneer Award in 2007, for “pioneering contributions” to tools for custom circuit synthesis, and their successful commercialization.[41] In 2008, he was inducted into the College of Engineering's Alumni Hall of Fame at Wayne State University.[42] He was awarded the Abel Bliss Professorship in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010.[43] He is a two-time winner of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design Donald O. Pedersen Best Paper Award, in 2011 and again in 2013, for work on statistical analysis for nanoscale silicon.[44] He has also been recognized with the 2017 Phil Kaufman Award for "his pioneering contributions to algorithms and tools for analog and mixed-signal designs" by the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA). [45][46]


  1. ^ a b "Pitt Names Senior Vice Chancellor for Research". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Rob A. Rutenbar Biography". Office of the Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Rob A. Rutenbar". Electrical & Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  4. ^ Ohr, Stephen (Jun 6, 1999). "Synthesis proes to be Holy Grail for analog EDA". EE Times. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  5. ^ Ohr, Stephen (Nov 9, 1998). "Electronics: Cell-builder tool anticipates analog synthesis". EE Times. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Cadence to Acquire Neolinear". (Press Release). Cadence Design Systems. Apr 6, 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Rutenbar Directs $19.4 Million Multi-University Research Consortium". Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. Mar 8, 2001. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  8. ^ "C2S2: Center for Circuit and Systems Solutions". Semiconductor Research Corporation. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  9. ^ "The talking cure". The Economist, Technology Quarterly: Q1 2005. Mar 10, 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  10. ^ Paulson, Linda Daily (Nov 20, 2006). "Speech Recognition Moves from Software to Hardware". IEEE Computer. 39 (11): 15–18. doi:10.1109/MC.2006.401.
  11. ^ a b "Company Overview of Voci Technologies Incorporated". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  12. ^ "About Us". Voci Technologies. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  13. ^ "College of Engineering Names Rob A. Rutenbar Next CS Department Head". Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  14. ^ Liu, Hongzhou; Singhee, Amith; Rutenbar, Rob A.; Carley, L.R. (2002). "Remembrance of circuits past: macromodeling by data mining in large analog design spaces". Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference: 437–442. doi:10.1109/DAC.2002.1012665.
  15. ^ Most, MaryCate (Nov 7, 2013). "University expands global reach with Massive Open Online Courses". The Daily Illini. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  16. ^ "VLSI CAD Part I: Logic". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  17. ^ "VLSI CAD Part II: Layout". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Rutenbar wins 'Nobel Prize' of Electronic Design Automation". Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Faculty member and Senior Vice Chancellor for Research honored with prestigious Phil Kaufman Award from the Electronic System Design Alliance". School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Pitt Senior Vice Chancellor Rob A. Rutenbar to continue his computational research in Swanson School of Engineering". Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  21. ^ "LifeX Team". LifeX. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Meet the Team". Innovation Works. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Board". Carnegie Science Center. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  24. ^ Aycinena, Peggy (21 April 2016). "Rutenbar's Coursera: Grand & Crazy on a Planetary Scale". EDACafe. Internet Business Systems, Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  25. ^ "UI, Coursera partner to educate masses". The Daily Illini. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  26. ^ Des Garennes, Christine (17 July 2012). "UI, others join with company for free online courses". News Gazette. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  27. ^ "The First MOOC-Based Master's Degree in Data Science Presents a New Model for Meeting Market Demand". Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  28. ^ "AZS Harvard CRCS Excerpts 2004.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  29. ^ "CS + X Degree Programs". Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  30. ^ Coelius, Robert (25 September 2017). "Computing + data wide across the curriculum". College of Engineering, University of Michigan. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  31. ^ Quilantan, Bianca (20 May 2018). "Should Colleges Let Ailing Majors Die or Revamp Them?". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  32. ^ "2017 NEXT Awardees". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  33. ^ Hustad, Karis (22 May 2017). "UIUC Gets $100K Grant for Supporting Women in Computer Science". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  34. ^ Berman, Francine; Rutenbar, Rob A.; Christensen, Henrik; Davidson, Susan; Estrin, Deborah; Franklin, Michael; Hailpern, Brent; Martonosi, Margaret; Raghavan, Padma; Stodden, Victoria; Szalay, Alex (December 2016). "Realizing the Potential of Data Science" (PDF). National Science Foundation. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Academic Institutions Should Prepare Undergraduates for a Data-Driven Workplace, New Report Recommends". National Academy of Science. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Rob A. Rutenbar. IEEE Fellow". IEEE. 1998. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  37. ^ "Rob A. Rutenbar. ACM Fellow". ACM. 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  38. ^ "2001 Aristotle Award Presentations". Semiconductor Research Corporation. Mar 5, 2002. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  39. ^ "Rutenbar Receives Jatras (E47) Chair and Aristotle Award". Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. 2001-03-05. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  40. ^ "The University of Michigan College of Engineering Alumni Merit Awards". University of Michigan. 2002. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  41. ^ "CAS Society Awards". IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Newsletter. 2 (1). February 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  42. ^ "Hall of Fame - 2008. Rob A. Rutenbar". College of Engineering, Wayne State University. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  43. ^ "Abel Bliss Professorship in Engineering". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Department of Computer Science. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  44. ^ "IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Award". IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  45. ^ "Phil Kaufman Award". Electronic System Design Alliance. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  46. ^ "Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar of the University of Pittsburgh Honored with 2017 Phil Kaufman Award" (PDF). Electronic System Design Alliance. Retrieved 19 August 2018.

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