When you think of a computer scientist, what traits come to mind? 

Intelligent. Analytical. Ingenious.

Perhaps the themes we associate with computer scientists are those associated with the products therein, but those qualities simply do not capture their capacity to care and the lasting impact left on colleagues, mentees, friends.

Dr. Heggere Ranganath dedicated over 20 years to the Computer Science Department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Over that time, he helped the department flourish and evolve into the largest department within the College of Science. 

Dr. Ranganath cares about students. If a person were to ask me to describe him in one word, that word would be 'teacher.' He puts a lot of effort into making students successful. Many students visit after they graduate. They want to tell him how well they are doing.

Dr. Letha Etzkorn
Interim Computer Science Chair

In his own words, Dr. Ranganath “directed 12 Ph.D. dissertations, received more than 4 million dollars as research grants, and published more than 100 technical papers” over his nineteen-year career as the chair of the Computer Science department at UAH. In 1989, Dr. Ranganath supervised his first doctoral student, Richard Green, for his dissertation specializing in vision systems. Most recently, he supervised Vineetha Bettaiah for her 2014 dissertation on time series matching.

It was not at all uncommon to see Dr. Ranganath with students in his office or his classroom or at his table for meals. Students sought his advice on their coursework, their career goals, their job applications. His guidance was never confined to the classroom. He is a teacher at heart with dedication to the holistic development of not only his students, but his peers and coworkers as well. "He is the person that most CS faculty go to for help and for career advice...for personal advice,” according to Dr. Etzkorn.

“He has enormous energy and he never ceases to care.” 

It has been a great honor that Dr. Ranganath chose to share his wit, computational prowess, and compassion with UAH for so many years. It is with great reverence that we thank him, not only for his time and input as a colleague and Chair, but also for his unwavering dedication to the students of this College and this University. 

Thank you, Dr. Ranganath, for sharing many years with us and leaving UAH even better than you found it.