NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan to address Northeastern University commencement

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan to speak at Northeastern University's 2024 graduate commencement at Fenway Park

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan set to take the stage at Northeastern's graduation / Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

National Science Foundation director Sethuraman Panchanathan will be the speaker at Northeastern University’s 2024 graduate student commencement set to take place at Fenway Park in Boston on May 5.

Panchanathan took over as the director of the National Science Foundation in June 2020. The NSF, which has a budget of about $9.5 billion, is an independent federal agency charged with advancing scientific discovery, technological innovation and STEM education in the United States.

Northeastern president Joseph E. Aoun lauded Panchanathan's leadership, citing his role in recognizing the significance of cutting-edge science, particularly in artificial intelligence. Panchanathan's previously spoke at the Northeastern EXP research complex.

“Director Panchanathan’s leadership has been a force in recognizing the groundbreaking challenges and opportunities of cutting-edge science, particularly artificial intelligence. We welcome him back to Northeastern”, Aoun stated.

A computer scientist and engineer, Panchanathan's career has spanned leadership roles at Arizona State University and significant contributions to multimedia computing and ubiquitous technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in computer and electrical engineering and has been recognized for his work in enhancing the quality of life through technology.

The graduate commencement, where Panchanathan will speak, represents the culmination of academic achievements for students from 99 countries across various disciplines. Northeastern's global reach, with alumni in 181 countries, underscores its impact on the international stage. The event, to be livestreamed, highlights the university's commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities and producing future leaders and innovators.

“I’m sincerely delighted to be returning to Northeastern University in May to celebrate this year’s graduates. Their Northeastern education has given them everything they need to succeed in a future that is rich with opportunities,” Panchanathan said.

According to a statement by the university, Panchanathan's upcoming address at Northeastern University's commencement underscores the intersection of academic excellence, technological innovation, and global impact. His leadership in advancing AI research aligns with Northeastern's mission of preparing students for success in a rapidly evolving world.