Biography 

(Curriculum Vitae in pdf)

Brief Biography:

Farnam Jahanian is the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, where he served as Chair for Computer Science and Engineering from 2007 - 2011 and as Director of the Software Systems Laboratory from 1997 - 2000. His research interests include distributed computing, network security, and network protocols and architectures. Jahanian's research at the University of Michigan has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Homeland Security, DARPA, the National Security Agency, the Office of Naval Research, Cisco, Intel, Google, Boeing, VeriSign, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.

In October 2010, Jahanian was selected by the National Science Foundation to head its directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). In this post, serving as a member of the NSF leadership team, Jahanian leads CISE in its mission to uphold the nation's leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research in computer and information science and engineering and transformative advances in cyberinfrastructure. Jahanian oversees the CISE budget of over $890 million, directing programs and initiatives that support advances in research and in the Nation's cyber infrastructure, foster broad interdisciplinary collaborations, and contribute to the development of a computing and information technology workforce with skills essential to success in the increasingly competitive global market. During his tenure at NSF and working with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, CISE has led several national research and development (R&D) initiatives including the National Robotics Initiative, the National Big Data R&D Initiative, and US Ignite. CISE has also led the development of several cross-directorate or cross-agency programs including Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) and Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS), and has contributed to the significant expansion of the Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) program. He began his appointment at NSF on March 1, 2011 and will remain on the U-M faculty while at NSF.

Over the last two decades, Jahanian has led several large-scale research projects studying the growth and scalability of the Internet backbone routing infrastructure that have ultimately transformed how cyber threats are addressed by Internet Service Providers. In the 1990s, his research team demonstrated fundamental limitations in the core routing architecture of the Internet by uncovering the fragility of the underlying routing infrastructure. The group's seminal work on Internet routing stability and convergence has been highly influential within both the network research community and the Internet operational community. It served as a catalyst for significant changes in commercial Internet routing software implementation and impacted routing policies employed by Internet Service Providers throughout the world. This work was recently recognized with an ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award in 2008.

His research on Internet infrastructure and security formed the basis for the Internet security services company Arbor Networks, which Jahanian co-founded with former UM graduate student G. Robert Malan in 2001. During a two-year leave, serving as Arbor's President, Jahaian led the management team of the company and raised over $33 million in two rounds of funding from venture capital firms and strategic investors. The Internet security solutions based on this work have been widely deployed by more than 300 Internet Service Providers, cable operators, content providers, and numerous mission-critical networks around the globe, and have won numerous awards in recent years. Today, 70 percent of Internet backbone transit traffic is protected by Arbor technology, demonstrating how basic university research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that drives economic growth, global competitiveness, and job creation. Jahanian served as Chairman of Arbor Networks until its acquisition by Tektronix Communications, a division of Danaher, in 2010.

The author of over 100 published research papers, Jahanian has served on dozens of national advisory boards and government panels. He is co-chair of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology, providing overall coordination for the activities of 17 government agencies. He is a member of the National Governors Association's Cybersecurity Advisory Council. Jahanian has testified before Congress on a broad range of topics, including cybersecurity and Big Data.

He has received numerous awards for his research, commitment to education, and technology commercialization activities, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1995), University of Michigan College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (1998), Amoco Teaching Award (2000), DARPA Innovation Award (2000), EECS Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award (2005), the State of Michigan Governor's University Award for Commercialization Excellence (2005), and an ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award (2008). He has been an active advocate for how basic research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that drives global competitiveness and addresses national priorities, working with entrepreneurs and frequently lecturing on the topic. He was named "Distinguished University Innovator" at the University of Michigan in 2009, and "Entrepreneur of the Year" by New Enterprise Forum in 2010.

Jahanian holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).