Computer science, engineering achievements earn professor honors

January 16, 2013

Arizona State University professor K. Selcuk Candan has been selected for special recognition by the world’s largest computing society for his achievements in computer science and engineering.

He was recently named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for contributions to research advances and significant impacts in the fields of computing, computer science and information technology. Selcuk Candan ACM award Download Full Image

Candan is on the faculty of the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He joined the university’s faculty in 1997.

ACM specifically cites Candan’s role in advancements in development of data management and multimedia systems.

He is credited for being among the first to merge work in database and multimedia disciplines, becoming a leading expert in both fields. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals and for conferences on the crossover of database and multimedia systems management

Candan’s work “has consistently been beyond the norm in scientific innovation and impact,” the nomination for his selection for the Distinguished Scientist honor stated.

“He has made pioneering contributions to the multimedia community,” says Sethuraman Panchanathan, a professor of computer science and engineering, and senior vice president of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.  

“He is not only prolific in making fundamental advances in his research but is also able to translate those discoveries into impactful outcomes to society,” Panchanathan adds.

Colleague Richard Snodgrass, professor of computer science at the University of Arizona, credits Candan for major contributions for multimedia databases and web-content management, and for being “exceedingly well organized and effective in his leadership” within his professional community.

His work over the years has attracted grants from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and HP (Hewlett-Packard) Labs, among others, and led to industry research collaborations with IBM, Johnson Controls Inc., HP Labs and NEC Labs, one of the largest multinational information technology corporations.

The broad range of the applications of his work is demonstrated by his collaborations with fellow ASU faculty members in a variety of disciplines – including health researchers in ASU’s Disability Resources Center, archaeologists in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and researchers in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

Candan is on the graduate faculty of the arts, media and engineering program, and is also a senior sustainability scientist with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

His research has had strong impacts in diverse areas, including technologies and systems to enable people who are blind to have better access to educational materials and advances that have helped e-businesses to thrive.  His work has earned him nine patents.

Candan co-authored the book "Data Management for Multimedia Retrieval" and has written 15 book chapters.

As an educator he has guided seven students to doctoral degrees and 30 to master’s degrees, and supervised three post-doctoral researchers. He is currently adviser to an additional seven doctoral students and two master’s degree students.

He has mentored numerous summer interns at the NEC Labs America, for which has been a visiting scientist for more than a decade.

In 2012, Candan received the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Top Five Percent Teaching Award, which are based largely on student nominations and teacher evaluations by students.

In professional service, Candan has served on the editorial board of the Very Large Databases journal, one of the leading journals in the computer science and engineering field. He’s currently an associate editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and for the Journal of Multimedia.

He’s been an organizer and program chair for several workshops and conferences, including a Multimedia Information Retrieval workshop, which evolved into a full-fledged ACM conference.

He was a general chair for the ACM Multimedia Conference in 2011 and the ACM SIGMOD (Special Interest Group on Management of Data) Conference in 2012. He’s currently on the steering committee for the Multimedia Data Mining workshop affiliated with the ACM KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) conference. He also serves in the executive committee of the Special Interest Group on Management of Data.

Candan earned his doctoral degree in computer science in 1997 from the University of Maryland at College Park, after earning an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and information sciences from Bilkent University in Turkey.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


ASU hosts Knight News Challenge event

January 17, 2013

The winners of the Knight News Challenge: Mobile will present their projects for the first time at an Arizona State University gathering on the future of mobile media, Jan. 18.

The event will take place at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication before an invited audience of media and technology leaders and is hosted by the Cronkite School and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination. Download Full Image

Launched in 2007 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding projects that help communities get the information they need; advance innovation in the media industry; and create breakthroughs in how news and information are produced, distributed and consumed.

The News Challenge took place three times in 2012, with the first two rounds focusing on networks and data respectively. The third round, whose eight winners will be awarded a total of $2.4 million this week, centered on mobile technology. To read more about the winners, go to

“In 2013, the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to be greater than the number of computers for the first time,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation. “These eight Knight News Challenge projects, and the innovators behind them, are helping to stretch the ways people around the world are engaging with information and using it to shape their communities.”

The Cronkite School itself is a recipient of a Knight News Challenge grant, which, along with funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, launched the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at ASU. In 2010, Retha Hill, director of Cronkite’s New Media Innovation Lab, and her student Cody Shotwell won $90,000 toward a venture. And a previous student entrepreneur team, Adam Klawonn and Aleksandra Chojnacka, won $95,000 to pursue a digital project in 2009.

"Knight Foundation, through the Knight News Challenge and other programs, is the world's leader in supporting and promoting innovations in digital media," said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. "It's an honor to have Knight Foundation and these outstanding digital innovators here at ASU this week."

Since 2007, Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 13,000 applications and given more than $32 million to support 88 projects. Winners include leading Internet entrepreneurs, emerging media innovators and traditional newsrooms.

The winners of the 2012 mobile challenge will present their projects via live Web stream at 12:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. MT, Jan. 18. Follow #newschallenge on Twitter.

In 2013, the Knight Foundation will hold two challenges. The first, on tools for open government, will accept entries beginning in February.