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NSF Director Panchanathan Speaks at South by Southwest (SXSW)

SXSW 2022

March 16, 2022 • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

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NSF Director Panchanathan is bringing his passion and excitement for the future of research and innovation to SXSW (South by Southwest) at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST on March 16 at the Hilton Austin Downtown in Austin, Texas.

From the SXSW 2022 event agenda:

Session: Reinvigorating Science and Technology for the Future of U.S. Innovation

The state of the U.S. research and innovation ecosystem is at a critical inflection point. There is an urgent need for rapid advances that address societal challenges such as human health, climate change, sustainable agriculture and food production, equitable access to education, and more. While the U.S. leads the world in research and innovation, there is unprecedented global competition and a risk of falling behind if we do not take action now. At the same time, the Nation is poised to seize an unprecedented opportunity, integrating data and emerging technologies, a demand for near-term solutions, and the potential of multi-sector partnerships.

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, will share his passion and excitement for the future of the research and innovation ecosystem, from his position as the head of the leading research funding agency for the United States.

He will describe how NSF has fueled major technological innovations (smart phones, the Internet, Google, GPS, MRIs, Doppler radar), and supported generations of scientists and engineers who have paid dividends for our economy and national defense. He will discuss how we will grow and evolve into the 21st century and drive scientific progress, improve technology transfer from lab to market, and invest in research infrastructure as well as STEM opportunities for all Americans. And he will speak to the personal inspiration behind his dedication to building pathways into STEM education and careers for everyone who has the drive and passion to learn – how as an immigrant he has personally benefited from opportunities available in the U.S. and how that experience has compelled him to prioritize ensuring that the same access to opportunity is available to anyone who has the determination to harness their innovative spirit.

Agenda for SXSW

View the full agenda for SXSW 2022, celebrating the convergence of the tech, film, and music industries across a variety of programming formats and special events from March 11-20 in Austin, Texas, and online.

Dr. Panchanathan is also part of the March 15 panel, A Connected World: The Future of AI Tech.

Read more from NSF:

NSF brings the future of science and innovation to SXSW

About the Speaker

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan is a computer scientist and engineer and the 15th director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) — an $8.5B independent federal agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and STEM education.

Dr. Panchanathan’s distinguished career in science, technology, engineering, and education spans more than three decades. He served as executive vice president of the Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise, where he also founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing. Prior to becoming director of NSF, he served on the National Science Board for six years and has also served on and chaired numerous high-level research and innovation organizations. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and other prestigious science and engineering organizations.

Dr. Panchanathan’s scientific contributions have advanced the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces, person-centered ubiquitous computing technologies for empowering individuals with a range of abilities.


Hilton Austin Downtown
Austin, TX United States


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Website: View Organizer Website