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Staff Directory

Fahmida Nilufar Chowdhury

Fahmida Nilufar Chowdhury
Email:  fchowdhu@nsf.gov
Phone: (703) 292-4672
Fax: (703) 292-9067
Room: 1155.89 S
Organization:   (OISE)
Title:  Program Director
Organization:   (SES)
Title:  Program Director

Program Responsibilities:
Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)
SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF)
SBE Research Experiences for Undergraduates Sites (SBE REU Sites)
Smart and Connected Health (SCH)


Dr. Fahmida Chowdhury joined the National Science Foundation as Program Director in February 2008.  Currently she serves in the Social and Economic Sciences (SES) Division and runs programs in the SBE Multi-disciplinary Activities (SMA). Besides her core program responsibilities, she serves (or has served) on Foundation-wide Working Groups for Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI), and the SEES Fellows program, as well as the multi-directorate (and jointly with the National Institutes of Health) Working Group on Smart and Connected Health. 

Prior to joining NSF in 2008, she was a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, where she held the W. Hansen Hall and Mary O. Hall Endowed Chair in Computer Engineering. She has also held academic positions at Michigan Technological University, Southern University (Baton Rouge), Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Dhaka, Bangladesh).

Fahmida was born in Bogra, Bangladesh. After receiving her Higher Secondary Certificate (equivalent to High School Graduation in the US) from Holy Cross College, Dhaka, she won a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union in 1974. She received a combined BSc/MSc degree (with High Honors) in electromechanical engineering from Moscow Power Engineering Institute, Moscow, Russia, in 1980.  She obtained her PhD in electrical engineering (major: system theory; minor: mathematics), from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1988. 

She currently serves, or has served in the past on the editorial boards of two IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Transactions: on Control Systems Technology and on Neural Networks, as well as the International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. She has served as elected member of the IEEE Control System Society's Board of Governors, and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society's AdCOM.

Her current research interests include complex systems modeling and analysis, non-traditional applications of dynamic systems theory, and detection of abnormal conditions (faults) in dynamic systems. She is interested in robust system design via active detection and adaptation, as opposed to simple redundancy or other passive techniques, because passive robustness frequently results in reduced optimality. She has published over 70 technical papers and given numerous presentations in technical conferences and outreach events.

In addition to her technical interests and contributions, she has worked throughout her career for the cause of broadening participation of under-represented groups in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Another dimension of her portfolio is her engagement in international activities. She was a Fulbright Fellow in 2001, and served as a visiting scholar at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), where she taught a graduate course in Artificial Neural Networks. She was a Visiting Professor at the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, in 2004. She was awarded an Embassy Science Fellowship by the US Department of State in 2013, and served at the US Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has deep interest in international science and technology collaborations, particularly with the developing world.


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