Office of the President
Castle Point on Hudson
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone: (201) 216-5213
Professional Experience Summary
Dr. Farvardin has served as President of Stevens Institute of Technology since July 1, 2011. During his first two years at Stevens, he has launched a number of important initiatives, including a strategic planning process, a master planning process, a three-year fundraising effort called the President’s Initiative for Excellence, reorganizations of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Office of Information Technology, establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Communications and Marketing, and the President’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
Dr. Farvardin’s focus in the initial phase of his presidency is on implementation of the university’s strategic plan, created with the widespread involvement of the Stevens community, and endorsed by the Board of Trustees, the Faculty Senate, and the Executive Committee of the Stevens Alumni Association. Key priorities include: enhancing the educational experience and improving the success of undergraduate and graduate students; increasing the size and enhancing the academic profile of undergraduate and graduate students; increasing alumni engagement and support of the university; enhancing the academic reputation and national recognition of Stevens; and improving efficiency and effectiveness across the university.
Prior to joining Stevens, Dr. Farvardin was a member of the University of Maryland, College Park for 27 years. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1984 and rose through the faculty ranks as associate professor (1988 - 1993) and professor (1993 - 2011). He spent the 1990-1991 academic year as a visiting professor at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, Paris, France. He served as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (1994 - 2000) and was Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering (2000 - 2007). He was appointed to the position of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in 2007. In this capacity, he oversaw 12 colleges and schools, the University Libraries, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Graduate School, the Institute for International Programs, the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and the University’s programs at the Universities at Shady Grove.
As Provost, Dr. Farvardin led a large number of initiatives to enhance the quality of academic programs and advance the University’s stature. In this capacity, he:
- Spearheaded the development of the University's strategic plan and led its implementation;
- Oversaw the redesign of the General Education program;
- Increased emphasis on undergraduate programs and improving student retention and graduation, including through the enhancement of living-learning programs; the creation of the Honors College and the College Park Scholars Program, each with novel, interdisciplinary programs; and the expansion of international opportunities. During his tenure as Provost, the University achieved the highest student retention and graduation rates in its history;
- Energized and expanded student recruitment programs, leading to the recruitment of the university’s most academically talented and diverse freshman class in its history as of Fall 2010;
- Supported the development of a number of initiatives to strengthen the University’s research enterprise and expand its cross-disciplinary programs in areas such as: Digital Humanities, Health Equity, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Energy and Climate Change, the Environment, Food Safety and Security, New Media, Information Technology, and the Performing Arts. The University’s externally funded research awards increased 36% from $401 million in FY 2007 to $545 million in FY 2010 under Provost Farvardin’s leadership;
- Established a new Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, a collaboration of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As Dean, Dr. Farvardin oversaw all aspects of the operation of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The School has eight academic departments, three major research institutes, 240 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 250 other faculty, 50 lecturers and instructors, 250 staff members, nearly 3,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students, and an annual operating budget of nearly $180 million. During his tenure as Dean, Dr. Farvardin launched a number of transformative initiatives that advanced the School into higher levels of distinction, a few of which are highlighted below.
- He oversaw a significant expansion of fundraising and alumni relation activities, which led to raising more than $140 million in philanthropic support. In particular, he planned and led the effort to secure two landmark gifts: $31 million to establish the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and $30 million to establish the A. James Clark scholarship endowment. To date, these have been the largest gifts in the history of the School, and two of the three largest in the history of the University.
- He promoted the development of innovative educational programs, especially at the undergraduate level. In particular, he established a successful program, called Keystone, which has led to a dramatic improvement in the quality of education offered to students, especially in the freshman and sophomore years, and resulted in significant increases in retention and graduation rates. In addition, he established, B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Bioengineering, a minor in International Engineering, a minor in Nanotechnology, and, with the School of Public Policy, a Master of Engineering and Public Policy.
- He supported the development of major research programs and enhanced the School's partnerships with industry. Dr. Farvardin spearheaded an effort to establish a major research center in nanotechnology, Maryland NanoCenter, in partnership with the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences and the College of Chemical and Life Sciences, placing the University of Maryland as one of the strongest in the nation in nanotechnology education and research; established the University of Maryland Energy Research Center—a multidisciplinary center focusing on alternative energy solutions; created a vibrant and successful education and research program with the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and oversaw construction of and secured significant financial support for a state-of-the-art engineering building. During this period, externally funded annual research expenditures increased from $70 million to over $110 million.
- He also supported and expanded a host of programs focused on entrepreneurship, including a nationally-recognized living-learning undergraduate program called the Hinman CEOs Program, and established VentureAccelerator, a new program aimed at commercializing research and innovation through venture formation.
- In addition, Dr. Farvardin implemented initiatives to improve student and faculty diversity; supported a host of programs for Women in Engineering; and established the University of Maryland’s Chapter of Engineers without Borders, which has been one of the most active chapters in the country.
Dr. Farvardin's research interests include information theory and coding; multimedia signal compression and transmission; high-speed networks; and wireless networks. He has published widely in archival journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Farvardin was the Associate Editor for Quantization, Speech/Image Coding of the IEEE Transactions on Communications (1986 – 1990) and the Associate Editor for Source Coding of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (1992 – 1995). In 1995, he chaired the technical program committee of the IEEE Speech Coding Workshop.
Dr. Farvardin holds seven patents in data communication, image coding and wireless communication, and has authored more than 150 technical papers in journals and conference proceedings. During his tenure at the University of Maryland, he has secured, as PI or co-PI, more than $30 million in external contracts and grants to support research and education pursuits. His work, jointly with Laroia and Tretter, led to the invention of a novel method for optimal shaping of multidimensional signal constellations for data communication. This work became a key component of an ITU standard for data transmission over dial-up telephone lines and led to the development of V.34 modems, a technology that has been used in millions of computers and fax machines.
Dr. Farvardin currently serves as the Chairman of the New Jersey Presidents Council Task Force on Alignment of Higher Education Programs with New Jersey Workforce Needs. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Technology Council. He has served on two task forces appointed by the Governor of the State of Maryland (on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and on Nano-biotechnology) and a number of special panels organized by the National Science Foundation, National Research Council, U.S. Department of Commerce, and National Council of Entrepreneurial Technology Transfer. He has spoken widely on topics related to higher education, globalization, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and the energy crisis. He was the co-founder and chairman of the board of Zagros Networks, a venture-funded fabless semiconductor company in Rockville, Maryland. The company was created to develop technologies focusing on quality-of-service provisioning in packet switched networks. In 2010, he co-founded NovaTherm Technologies, LLC, developing a technology to reduce the energy consumption associated with building heating and cooling systems.
Recognized for his research in communications and information theory, Dr. Farvardin is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the George Corcoran Award for Outstanding Contributions to Electrical Engineering Education, and the Invention of the Year Award (Information Sciences) from the University of Maryland. He was featured by The Washington Post as one of the “Five to Watch in 2003” when he was Dean of Engineering.
Dr. Farvardin received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in 1979, 1980 and 1983, respectively.
Selected Journal Publications and Patents
- N. Farvardin and J. W. Modestino, “Optimum Quantizer Performance for a Class of Non-Gaussian Memoryless Sources,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. IT-30, pp. 485-497, May 1984.
- N. Farvardin and V. Vaishampayan, “Optimal Quantizer Design for Noisy Channels: An Approach to Combined Source-Channel Coding,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. IT-33, pp. 827-838, Nov. 1987.
- N. Farvardin, “A Study of Vector Quantization for Noisy Channels,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 36, pp. 799-809, July 1990.
- N. Farvardin and V. Vaishampayan, “On the Performance and Complexity of Channel Optimized Vector Quantizers,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 37, pp. 155-160, Jan. 1991.
- N. Tanabe and N. Farvardin, “Subband Image Coding Using Entropy Coded Quantization Over Noisy Channels,” IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Commun., Vol. 10, pp. 926-943, June 1992.
- R. Laroia, S. Tretter and N. Farvardin, “A Simple and Effective Precoding Scheme for Noise Whitening on Intersymbol Interference Channels,” IEEE Trans. Commun., Vol. 41, pp. 1460-1466, Oct. 1993.
- R. Laroia and N. Farvardin, “A Structured Fixed-Rate Vector Quantizer Derived from a Variable-Length Encoded Scalar Quantizer - Part I: Memoryless Sources,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 39, pp. 851-867, May 1993.
- R. Laroia and N. Farvardin, “A Structured Fixed-Rate Vector Quantizer Derived from a Variable-Length Encoded Scalar Quantizer - Part II: Vector Sources,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 39, pp. 868-876, May 1993.
- N. Phamdo, N. Farvardin and T. Moriya, “A Unified Approach to Tree-Structured and Multi-Stage Vector Quantization for Noisy Channels,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 39, pp. 835-850, May 1993.
- R. Laroia and N. Farvardin, “Trellis-Coded Structured Vector Quantization,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, vol. 40, pp. 860-870, May 1994.
- R. Laroia, N. Farvardin and S. Tretter, “On Optimal Shaping of Multidimensional Constellations,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 40, pp. 1044-1056, July 1994.
- R. Laroia, N. Farvardin and S. Tretter, “Precoding Scheme for Transmitting Data Using Optimally-Shaped Constellations over Intersymbol-Interference Channels,” United States Patent, 5,388,124, Feb. 7, 1995.
- C. I. Podilchuk, N. S. Jayant and N. Farvardin, “Three-Dimensional Subband Coding of Video,” IEEE Trans. Image Proc., pp. 125-139, Feb. 1995.
- R. Joshi, H. Jafarkhani, J. Kasner, T. Fischer, N. Farvardin, M. Marcellin and R. Bamberger, “Comparison of Different Methods of Classification in Subband Coding of Images,” IEEE Trans. Image Proc., pp. 1473-1487, Nov. 1997.
- H. Jafarkhani and N. Farvardin, “Fast Reconstruction of Subband-Decomposed Progressively Transmitted Signals,” IEEE Trans. Image Proc., Vol. 8, pp. 891-898, July 1999.
- H. Jafarkhani and N. Farvardin, “Design of Channel Optimized Vector Quantizers in the Presence of Channel Mismatch,” IEEE Trans. Commun., Vol. 48, pp. 118-124, Jan. 2000.
- H. Jafarkhani and N. Farvardin, “Channel-Matched Hierarchical Table-Lookup Vector Quantization,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, Vol. 46, pp. 1121-1125, May 2000.
- V. Chande and N. Farvardin, “Progressive Transmission of Images over Memoryless Noisy Channels,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Vol. 18, pp. 850-860, June 2000.
- M. Alasti and N. Farvardin, “SEAMA, A Source Encoding Assisted Multiple Access Protocol for Wireless Communications,” IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications, Vol.18, pp. 1682-1700, Sept. 2000.
- E. Atsumi and N. Farvardin, “Lossy/Lossless Region-of-Interest Image Coding,” United States Patent, 7,257,266 Aug. 14, 2007.
- M. Alasti and N. Farvardin, “SEAMA: A Source Encoding Assisted Multiple Access Protocol for Wireless Communication,” U.S. Patent, 7,555,011, June 30, 2009.