Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Kasturi Varadarajan Picture with award name

CS Professor Kasturi Varadarajan was recently awarded the UI Graduate College’s 2024 Outstanding Mentor Award for his commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring.  

Dr. Varadarajan is an internationally recognized expert in algorithmic theory, computational geometry, combinatorial optimization, approximation algorithms, and algorithmic game theory. Over his career, Dr. Varadarajan has advised eight PhD dissertations with a ninth currently in progress. Dr. Varadarajan’s students have gone on to achieve tenured or tenure-track positions, work as independent software professionals, or in top tier industrial laboratories. 

Dr. Varadarajan’s mentoring style focuses on hands-on collaboration with his students. He continuously inspires a love for computer science throughout the department and offers advice and support on all aspects of student life.  

Professor Kasturi Varadarajan is good at inspiring students’ interest in algorithms. He can use simple proper examples to vividly show how the algorithm works, why the problem is hard to solve, etc. With these examples, it is much easier to find a solution for hard, abstract problems.” - Xiang Liu, current CS PhD student 

"[Dr. Varadarajan’s] dedication to fostering talent and facilitating academic growth transcends conventional mentorship models...[Dr. Varadarajan] embodies the essence of outstanding mentorship, consistently demonstrating a profound commitment to the holistic development of his mentees.” - Erik Krohn, former CS PhD student, and incoming Fall '24 faculty

Varadarajan will be given this award at the Graduate College’s Celebration on Wednesday, May 1 at 3:30 in the Old Capitol’s Senate Chambers.

We anticipate that this award will also be included in Spring 2025 Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony; this year's inaugural event takes place Tuesday, April 30 at Hancher Auditorium.