P. Santhanam  P.  Santhanam photo       

contact information

Program Director, Strategy & Execution, Cognitive Computing
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  IBM Academy of Technology  |  IEEE Computer Society


Welcome to my personal page! I have one of the more eclectic backgrounds you will find among professionals. You can probably tell that from my publication list. I started my undergraduate studies in Physics in 1970 and I obtained a B.Sc. degree at Voorhees College of the University of Madras, India and an M.Sc. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. After a brief period in Biophysics research at the University of Madras, I moved to Hunter College of The City University of New York for another Masters degree in Physics where I worked on the electron correlation problem in atoms.. Then I decided to switch to experimental low temperature physics and did a thesis on "Localization and Superconductivity in Thin Films and Narrow wires of Aluminum" towards a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics at Yale University.

I joined the Physical Sciences Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center as a Research Staff Member in 1985. I was a part of a group of researchers at IBM working on the evolving new area of 'Mesoscopic Physics' which addressed the question of what happens to physical (my focus was electrical) properties of conductors when the size of the sample size became smaller than the intrinsic length scales such as electron inelastic scattering length (typically 1 micrometer or 10,000 Angstroms at liquid Helium temperatures i.e. ~4K)! This was a lot of fun and we made some amazing discoveries that brought quantum phenomena to a new different level. This area has evolved into the realm of nanotechnology over the past decade. But, our experiments showed many of these quantum effects will not affect any of the electrical circuits working at room temperature (i.e. 300K). Well, that was that!

When I had an opportunity to start a new career in Software Engineering Research at IBM in 1993, I decided to jump on it. Since then I have worked on a wide variety of topics in software engineering particularly software metrics, various modeling approaches and testing. I am a member of the ACM and a Senior Member of the IEEE.  I am a great believer in unorthodox interdisciplinary approaches to solving real problems. Till recently, I was the Senior Manager of the Software Engineering group.  I am currently Program Director for the Cognitive Computing organization at IBM Research, responsible for coordinating strategy & execution across our worldwide teams.

I have to admit that I never had a dull moment during my entire career, so far! I just wish I can still remember all the things I learnt over the years!