Sampath Kannan is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Computer and Information Science, and Chair of the department at the University of Pennsylvania. Kannan joined Penn Engineering in 1994 after a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton, and four years on the faculty at the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; his master's from Princeton University; and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. His research interests are broadly in algorithms and complexity. He is also interested in the applications of these theoretical fields to program reliability, computational biology, computer systems, and computational game theory. He is a member of the Graduate Group in Genomics and Computational Biology.
He is the author of over 150 journal and conference papers, several of which have won best paper awards or been invited to special journal issues. Some of the key areas that his publications cover are program checking, evolutionary tree reconstruction, massive data set algorithms, and sorting and searching. Kannan has been on numerous journal editorial boards and conference program committees. He served as the Associate Dean for Academics for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn. He also served as the Division Director for Computer and Communications Foundations Division at NSF, and as the Associate Director for Theoretical Computer Science activities at the Simons Foundation. He is a recipient of the NSF Research Initiation Award, the Ford Motor Company best advisor award in the School of Engineering, and the ACM SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize, and is a Fellow of the ACM.