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Penn State College Of Engineering Professor Dies

Arzoo Katiyar, an assistant professor and researcher in Penn State’s College of Engineering, passed away last weekend following a fight with cancer, according to the university.

Katiyar, 30, died on Sunday, May 30, at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She joined Penn State’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty in August 2020 and is survived by her mother, brother, and partner.

At the university, Katiyar’s research largely focused on natural language processing, information extraction, and structured prediction. She previously served as a postdoctoral researcher at ASAPP Inc. and earned her doctorate from Cornell in August 2019.

In addition to teaching, Katiyar helped plan natural language processing curriculum, presented research, and advised select master’s degree students.

“I am shocked and saddened to learn about Arzoo’s passing,” said Kamesh Madduri, associate professor of computer science and engineering. “I enjoyed reading some of her recent papers last month and was looking forward to meeting her again in fall, but this was not to be. My condolences to her family and friends.” 

Chita Das, department head and professor of computer science and engineering, said Katiyar was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment while teaching remotely last fall. However, her passion for education never wavered.

“During one of our phone calls in late November 2020, she told me, ‘Chita, I will complete my class even though I am weak after surgery.’ She was young, vibrant and was just starting her career in a critical area of data science,” Das said. “I still vividly remember when she came for the interview and told me during our meeting, ‘Chita, I want to be a faculty. That is my dream.’ This is a terrible loss for the department that only time can heal.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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