Vijayakumar Bhagavatula received his B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Since 1982, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon where he is now the U.A. & Helen Whitaker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also served as the Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs for the College of Engineering from July 2010 to March 2017. Professor Kumar served as the Associate Department Head of the ECE Department from 1994 to 1996, as the Acting Head of the ECE Department from 2004 to 2005, as the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering from August to December of 2012 and as the Interim Vice Provost for Research (VPR) in 2017. He served a the director of Carnegie Mellon University Africa from January 2018 to December 2021.

Kumar’s research interests include computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms and applications and coding and signal processing for data storage systems. His publications include the book Correlation Pattern Recognition, twenty-two book chapters, more than 410 conference papers and 210 journal papers. He is also the co-inventor of 12 patents. He served as a topical editor for Applied Optics and as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. Kumar has served on many conference program committees and was a co-chair of the 2008-2010 SPIE conferences on Biometric Technology for Human Identification, a co-program chair of the 2012 IEEE Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems(BTAS) conference and a Program Committee co-chair for the 2015 International Conference on Biometrics(ICB). Kumar is a Fellow of IEEE, SPIE, OSA, IAPR (the International Association of Pattern Recognition), AAAS and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). In 2003, Kumar received the Eta Kappa Nu Award for Excellence in Teaching in the ECE Department at Carnegie Mellon and the Carnegie Institute of Technology’s Dowd Fellowship for educational contributions, and he was a co-recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Faculty Research Award in Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering. In 2019, the CMU College of Engineering selected him as the inaugural recipient of the College of Engineering’s Faculty Outstanding Service Award.

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1980 Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

1977 Master of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

1975 Bachelor of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Indian institute of Technology, Kanpur

Media mentions

Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Afretec awards almost $1.7 million

13 grants, collectively led by researchers from all members of Afretec, have been awarded to make a positive impact on health, environment and sustainability, and energy in Africa.


Afretec planning grants announced

The African Engineering and Technology Network, led by CMU-Africa, awarded six planning grants to research collaborations that will lead to socio-economic impact and focus on driving inclusive digital growth on the continent.

CMU Engineering

Allen Robinson named new director of CMU-Africa

Allen Robinson has been named the next director of CMU-Africa, effective January 1, 2022.

Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Carnegie Mellon University Africa Celebrates 8th Graduation

The 8th annual CMU-Africa graduation ceremony took place on Sunday, May 23, celebrating this year’s graduating class of 66 graduates from 12 different countries in Africa.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

CMU-Africa and CyLab aim to improve financial inclusion in emerging economies

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) CyLab and CMU-Africa have established the CyLab-Africa initiative, which aims to improve the cybersecurity of financial systems in Africa and other emerging economies.

Bhagavatula participates in World Academic Summit panel

CMU-Africa Director Vijayakumar Bhagavatula particpated in a panel disussion on “An innovation in ‘excellence’—new concepts from Africa” at the World Academic Summit in September.


Bhagavatula gives ACM ICAIF talk

CMU-Africa Director Vijayakumar Bhagavatula gave an invited talk at the ACM AI in Africa workshop on October 14.


Bhagavatula gives talk at IEEE UEMCON

CMU-Africa Director Vijayakumar Bhagavatula presented a talk  on learning from weakly-supervised image datat at the IEEE Annual Ubiquitous Computing, Electronics, and Mobile Communications Conference in October.

2021 Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision

Bhagavatula to be program committee member

CMU-Africa’s Vijayakumar Bhagavatula is a program committee member at the 2021 Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV).

Times Higher Education

Bhagavatula quoted on collaboration across universities

CMU-Africa’s Vijayakumar Bhagavatula spoke at The World Academic Summit about collaboration possibilities between Western and African universities.

CMU Engineering

CMU-Africa mobilizes to continue classes during COVID-19

When the Government of Rwanda implemented a nationwide lockdown because of coronavirus, CMU-Africa transitioned to remote learning in less than a week

CMU Engineering

CMU-Africa celebrates new location

CMU-Africa celebrates the opening of its new location within Kigali Innovation City, where students can interact directly with surrounding industries to experiment, to innovate, and to build solutions that will impact the continent.