Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Inter-Disciplinary and Multi-Disciplinary PhD Research

As I look back I am trying to connect the dots that I have been trying to follow the footsteps of Prof Dr JC Browne at UT Austin, TX, in multidisciplinary research. He was, my PhD Supervisor during 1990-95 whose pic is here:







JC Browne's students were from electrical and computer engineering department, computer science department, aerospace department, economics and other departments as described below. Browne received the 2004 University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program across multiple fields over a 45-year career.


Browne’s research over five decades has spanned many domains in computer and computational science including many cross-disciplinary collaborations with physicists and engineers on topics ranging from binary black holes to control systems for prostate cancer treatments.
Browne has attained fellow status in five different professional societies across several areas including the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Constructive Capitalism.

JC's areas of focus spread far and wide. One day during our CODE Research group meetings the discussion shifted to the area of hardware performance from our usual area of focus of Visual and Parallel Programming. A group member who was a post doc (Dr Ravi Rao) made a remark saying that he thought none of the people in this group seems to be qualified to speak in this particular area. JC calmly listened to the member completing his remark and then said "Gentlemen, you may not know that around 2 decades ago in the early 1970s, this precisely was my area of research! Several of my PhD researchers's topic belonged to this particular area."

Thereafter when we made a few inquiries, we found that his areas of specializations spread far and wide. Parallel and Visual Programming was only one of the groups. He had research groups in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering and even pure Mathematics and Physics running in parallel. There were several areas which he had explored and left behind.

Browne received the 2004 University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program across multiple fields over a 45-year career during which he supervised or co-supervised the Ph.D. research of 69 students in four different fields.

About James C. Browne

James C. (Jim) Browne, one of the original members of the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Jim was an institution at the departmental and the university level, being a faculty member at the university for more than 45 years. He was a past Professor of Computer Science and Physics and holder of the Regents Chair #2 in Computer Science. He was the first permanent chairperson for the department and served as chair three times. Browne was also the founding director for the computing centre at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

He attained fellow status in five different professional societies and areas: the Association for Computing Machinery, the British Computer Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Constructive Capitalism.
Browne published about 500 papers over his 50-year research career and in 2004 received The University of Texas at Austin Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program over many years.

But the accomplishments of which Browne was most proud are serving as the supervisor or co-supervisor for the graduate studies of 68 Ph.D. students and 65 master’s degree students and for a substantial number of undergraduate honors theses. He has also served on several hundred Ph.D. supervision committees across multiple disciplines.
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Dr Irfan Hyder, A Humble Student of JC Browne:

Before my MBA in 1987, I had done BE Electronic Engineering in 1985. After MBA, I did my MS Computer Engineering in 1989 and after that PhD in Computer Science in 1994. My research areas include parallel computing, electrical engineering, software engineering, energy management, MIS and ERP, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, School Education, Strategic Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business research,...

See Also: 

What is PhD?
Why PhD is Difficult: 
Starting with your PhD
Reading Research and Writing Your Research 
Qualitative Learning from a PhD
Myths: 


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