The namesake of the Ram School, Dr. C. V. Ramamoorthy (1926-2016), was a scholar, author, inventor, teacher, and beloved mentor and friend to hundreds of students and colleagues during his decades of research and service in industry and academia throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Professor Ram spent his early years in Burma and attended college at the University of Madras, earning two bachelor’s degrees, one in physics and another in textile engineering. He then migrated to the U.S. where he earned two graduate degrees in mechanical engineering (MSME and M. Eng) from UC Berkeley and two more graduate degrees (PhD electrical engineering and PhD applied mathematics) from Harvard University.
In 1961, working as a scientist for Honeywell, he developed the entire microcode to handle instruction sequencing and control for the H290, the company’s first transistorized system. The H290 was a general-purpose stored-program digital computer designed for process monitoring and control.
Joining the University of Texas at Austin as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, Professor Ram went on to serve as chairman of the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. While at UT Austin, along with his students he developed the FACES system for automated test generation and evaluation techniques, which were successfully applied to discover programming errors in Bell Labs’ Safeguard Missile Defense System for the US Army and intended to defend Minuteman missile silos located throughout the US. In 1972 he moved to UC Berkeley, where he was a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, serving in that capacity the rest of his professional life.
Professor Ram was an outstanding educator whose research and writing contributed significantly to several aspects of engineering and computer science. Along with his colleague and lifelong friend Raymond Yeh, he is credited with the early establishment of software engineering, the largest of all the engineering disciplines. He mentored 73 PhD students, establishing longstanding bonds of friendship and collegiality with them. Many of his former students went on to become outstanding professors, including three who became university presidents and a few who became CEOs. He published more than 200 papers and co-edited three books: the Handbook on Software Engineering, Pacific Computer Communications, and Computers for AI Processing.
Based on his outstanding educational and research accomplishments, Professor Ram received multiple prestigious awards, including the IEEE Golden Core recognition award in 1966, IEEE Computer Society Honor Roll Award in 1974, IEEE Computer Society Special Education Award in 1978, IEEE Centennial Medal Award in 1984, IEEE Taylor L. Booth Education Award in 1989, IEEE Computer Society Meritorious Service Award in 1991, IEEE Richard E. Merwin Distinguished Service Award in 1993, Distinguished Scholar Award from the Society for Design & Process Science in 1995, IEEE Third Millennium Medal, IEEE Tsutomu Kanai Award in 2000, Control Data Distinguished Professorship at the University of Minnesota, Grace Hopper Chair at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, Senior Research Fellow at the ICC Institute of UT Austin, and other such prestigious awards and recognitions.
In addition to education and research, Professor Ram contributed enormously to professional societies. He was a Life Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of the Society of Design and Process Science. He served as the first elected V.P. of the IEEE Computer Society and was its first V.P. of Education as well as the Education Chair of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS). He served as the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and was the founding Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. Professor Ram was the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence and the founding Co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Systems Integration and the Journal of the Society of Design and Process Science. He was very actively involved in numerous conferences including serving as the Co-General Chair of the 2nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in 1976.
In recognition of Professor Ram’s educational and research contributions to society, in 1997 the C.V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Research Award was established at the University of California, Berkeley, to recognize students who have made outstanding contributions to a new research area in computer science and engineering. In 2006, the Society for Design & Process Science created the Ramamoorthy-Yeh Endowment to support international transdisciplinary and transformative scientific research, education, and knowledge dissemination. In the same year, 2006, the IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) established the C.V. Ramamoorthy Best Paper Award which has been awarded annually to the best research paper at the ICTAI Conference.
In addition to his beloved wife of 58 years, Daulat Ramamoorthy, Professor Ram’s survivors include their three children, Maya, Sonia, and Vijay, and six grandchildren.