In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re recognizing the economic, cultural, political, social, and scientific contributions of influential immigrants and refugees who’ve helped shape the vibrant tapestry of America.
Today we focus on the University at Buffalo’s President Satish Tripathi. An Indian American, he became UB’s first-ever internationally-born president in 2011.
Dr. Tripathi was born and raised in a small, three-hamlet village in Patna, India, along with his six siblings. He credits his mother for inspiring his love for math. As a child, Tripathi wanted to be a science and math teacher. He is a fourth-generation educator; his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all teachers.
At 13, he left home to study math and statistics 100 miles away at Government Inter-College Faizabad from 1964 to 1966 before enrolling in Banaras Hindu University, where he graduated at the top of his class.
In addition to a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto, he holds three master’s degrees—one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also awarded the honorary Doctor of Sciences from the prestigious Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
Tripathi served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for seven years before becoming UB’s 15th president. He has overseen significant growth in the university’s research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and expanded its international presence.
Before his tenure in Buffalo, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside from 1997-2004. Previously, he spent 19 years as a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, including seven years as department chair. He also has held visiting professorships at the University of Paris-Sud in France and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.
Dr. Tripathi and his wife, Kamlesh, first met as teenagers and have been married for 53 years. They reside in Amherst and have two adult sons who live in Seattle.