Computer Science and Engineering's La Porta named Evan Pugh University Professor


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Thomas La Porta, the William E. Leonhard Chair Professor of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been named an Evan Pugh University Professor. This recognition is the highest honor the institution can give to a member of its faculty.

Only 71 faculty members, including the most recent honorees, have received this distinction since its establishment in 1960. It was created to honor preeminent professors at the University.

Faculty who are named Evan Pugh University Professors are nationally or internationally recognized leaders in their fields of research or creative activity; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the standards of the University with respect to teaching, research or creativity, and service; display excellent teaching skills with undergraduate and graduate students who go on to achieve distinction in their fields; and receive support from colleagues who are leaders in their fields.

“Professor La Porta is an internationally recognized scholar,” said School of EECS director Raj Acharya. “He is the developer of softswitch which is the backbone of internet telephony. I am thrilled that Penn State has recognized his achievements with this honor.”

Thomas La Porta’s research interests include mobility management, signaling and control for wireless networks, mobile data systems, protocol design and mobile and wireless security. The holder of 38 patents, La Porta is the director of the Quality of Information-Aware Networking Thrust, under the Network Sciences Collaborative Technology Alliance, which  is the major network sciences research initiative sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab. He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow and a Bell Laboratories fellow.

La Porta, who joined Penn State in 2002, is founding director of the Institute of Networking and Security Research. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

The Office of the Vice President for Research administers the selection process, with the Evan Pugh Advisory Committee reviewing nominations and making recommendations to the University president. Karen L. Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts and Katherine H. Freeman, distinguished professor of geosciences in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, were also recognized.

Of the 68 previously named Evan Pugh University Professors, 21 are still active in the University. The honor is named for Penn State’s founding president, an internationally known chemist and scholar who led the University from 1859 to 1864.


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Rebekka Coakley



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The Pennsylvania State University

207 Electrical Engineering West

University Park, PA 16802


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Department of Electrical Engineering