Research Areas

The department provides an excellent research platform, and challenges the students' potential to solve tough problems.

Algorithms and Data Structures

Faculty : Dr. Raghunath Tewari, Dr. Ratan K Ghosh, Dr. Sanjeev Saxena, Dr. Shashank Mehta, Dr. Sumit Ganguly, Dr. Surender Baswana

We are a group of faculty and students working on exciting problems on the recently very popular areas in algorithms and data structures including dynamic graph algorithms, fault tolerance, streaming algorithms, computational geometry, graph theory and space bounded algorithms. We are interested primarily in the research problems and general directions given below, but are also adaptable and receptive to new interesting problems that may come up in the near future.


Faculty : Dr. Phalguni Gupta

Biometrics lab at IIT Kanpur is actively involved in the development of biometric based authentication systems that can handle multiple traits such as a face, fingerprint, palmprint, iris, ear, knuckleprint, hand geometry, hand vain, finger vein, signature etc. The idea is to use the physiological or behavioral characteristics of a person to identify him in an automated way. This lab also provides consultancy to various government agencies on these matters.

Compilers, Programming Languages and Analysis

Faculty : Dr. Amey Karkare , Dr. Subhajit Roy

The department has a focused interest on the theory and applications of programming languages and program analysis. The main research areas are compilers, data flow analysis, heap analysis, formal techniques for automated debugging, program verification and synthesis, program profiling, compiler optimizations, GPU algorithms. Of particular interest is a recent project being executed by Prof. Amey Karkare, Prof. Subhajit Roy and Dr. Sumit Gulwani (adjunct faculty, MSR Redmond) on developing intelligent tutoring systems [link] that are designed to adaptively guide students who are learning programming or other tools and tasks for the first time. The project has been successfully piloted with the introductory programming course at IIT Kanpur which graduates more than 800 students each year.

Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

Faculty : Dr. Mainak Chaudhuri , Dr. Rajat Moona

As Moore's law is almost near to its death, the only way to improve microprocessor performance is by designing and optimizing better architecture. Work on this domain is mainly exploring possibilities to break classical problems in micro-architecture like memory wall.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Faculty : Dr. Indranil Saha , Dr. Sandeep Shukla

In this age of automation, usage of complex safety-critical systems are increasingly high in industries like hardware, automobiles, avionics, space etc. This is a major task to ensure correctness and completeness to get a reliable controller of such systems. The CPS Group at the CSE Department of IIT Kanpur is working on developing principled approaches for robust implementation of cyber-physical systems. A cyber-physical system is a collection of interconnected computing devices interacting with the physical world to regulate its behavior. The group is working on several exciting problems in the area of CPS, more specifically in distributed multi-robot systems and internet-of-things. The focus of this group is to develop cyber-physical systems with correctness guarantee through the application of formal verification/synthesis techniques.

Cyber Security / System Security

Faculty : Dr. Manindra Agrawal, Dr. Rajat Moona, Dr. Sandeep Shukla

With terrorist organizations (e.g. ISIS), and other adversaries abound, Cyber-Security is not just a computer science issue but a national security issue. National critical infrastructures are ripe targets for cyber-attacks. At IIT Kanpur, leveraging the expertise in multiple areas of Computer Science and Engineering we initiated such a comprehensive program within our center for cyber-security. We have a multi-disciplinary national project to carry out research, training and education in cyber security of the national cyber space including information infrastructure, and other critical infrastructures such as banking, power grid, industrial manufacturing, defense tactical communication networks, and various information assets of the country.

Our approach is multi-pronged and multi-layer -- defense-in-depth strategy. Starting from crypto algorithms and protocols, side-channel proof crypto engineering to vulnerability analysis of systems and application layer software, network and web security, cloud security through virtual machine hardening, and use of machine learning for anomaly detection to fight persistent threats in the critical infrastructure.

Several cyber security research groups from IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, ISI Kolkata, IIIT-Delhi, and MNIT, Jaipur have agreed to associate their research groups/centers with the proposed center. Exchanging faculty and study for short and long periods for collaborative research and pursuing problem specific funding together will be the modality of these associations. As a show case of the center's productivity, three specific problem areas have been identified -- solutions of which are being pursued and show cased to the highest levels of the government.

Databases, Big Data and Data Mining

Faculty : Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya , Dr. Medha Atre, Dr. Sumit Ganguly

Databases are ubiquitous and form the backbones of almost all the modern systems. While traditional databases are relational, the NoSQL paradigm has proved itself useful in various applications and situations, especially in the realm of big data. The research in this field encompasses data analytics, data processing, indexing, querying, searching and information retrieval. It also includes data mining in the form of graphs, text, multimedia, strings, etc.

With proliferation of data emerging from heterogeneous sources, data analytics is being considered as the key tool for business growth, and understanding the physical world. While there are already many tools for analyzing structured data, there are still many open problems for unstructed or semi-structured data, speech, and video data. The Big data phenomena encompasses all of these, and is thus the buzz word of this era.

Machine Learning and Computer Vision

Faculty : Dr. Gaurav Sharma, Dr. Harish Karnick, Dr. Nisheeth Srivastava, Dr. Piyush Rai, Dr. Purushottam Kar, Dr. Vinay P. Namboodiri

This is an area where the department has had a recent surge in terms of strength, as well as diversity. We cover nearly all the challenging areas of machine learning and computer vision. In ML, it focuses on theoretical probabilistic machine learning, deep learning, optimisation, natural language processing etc. In vision, it mostly works on language and facial analysis, graphics, human attributes prediction, pose estimation, action/activity prediction, human-centered computing, human factors in computing, Computational Cognitive Science etc.

It boasts of publications in ICML, NIPS, AAAI, IJCAI, AISTATS etc. The department has an active reading group in machine learning called SIGML which regularly hosts invited talks and guest lectures.

Software Architecture

Faculty: Dr. T. V. Prabhakar

In the era of Internet-scale applications, the success of a software application greatly depends on its quality attributes such as performance and scalability. To ensure the quality attributes desired by an application, the architect has to design a suitable architecture -- which is a very complex task. The contemporary computing platforms such as mobile and cloud alleviate the problem due to the partitioning of quality concerns and architectural implications of the characteristics of these platforms. Software architecture community tries to abstract out the experiential knowledge from various domains and presents tools to design architectures such as tactics, reference architectures, and frameworks.

Theoretical Computer Science

Faculty : Dr. Anil Seth, Dr. Manindra Agrawal, Dr. Nitin Saxena, Dr. Piyush Kurur, Dr. Raghunath Tewari, Dr. Rajat Mittal, Dr. Satyadev Nandakumar, Dr. Somnath Biswas, Dr. Sumit Ganguly, Dr. Sunil Simon

The department continues to be one of the best places to engage in cutting edge research in all areas of complexity theory, logic, game theory etc. Our graduate students and alumni have performed marvelously at arriving at path-breaking results on the very fundamentals of computer science. Recent achievements include a best student paper award at ICALP 2016 (the best paper award was also won by CSE IITK alumni), 3 papers at the premier venue STOC 2016, and 3 recent acceptances at MFCS 2016.

Thrust areas in the department include streaming algorithms, information theory (Prof. Satyadev Nandakumar), quantum algorithms and cryptography (Prof. Piyush Kurur and Prof. Rajat Mittal), game theory (Prof. Sunil Simon), logic (Prof. Anil Seth) and computational complexity theory (Prof. Somnath Biswas, Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Prof. Nitin Saxena, Prof. Raghunath Tewari).

Comprehensive list of Research Areas

More Research Areas @ CSE IITK
You can find more comprehensive list of research being carried out along with interested faculty here: More information about research areas. See list of all faculty here:

Recent Research and Developments

Researchers at the CSE department have achieved many milestones. Their research and initiatives have opened up new horizons.

Interdisciplinary Center for Cyber Security and Cyber Defence

DST sanctioned 14.43 crores (~2.2 millions USD) for the Interdisciplinary Center for Cyber Security and Cyber Defense of Critical Infrastructures. Prof. Sandeep Shukla and Prof. Manindra Agrawal will lead the group. This is the first center, set up in India, to pursue cyber security of critical infrastructures.

JEE Seat Allocation : An Algorithmic Perspective

Prof. Surender Baswana proposed an algorithmic perspective for JEE seat allocation for CFTIs. This approach ensures each candidate submits a single choice list over all available programs, and receives no more than a single seat from the system, based on the choices and the ranks in the relevant merit lists.

Primality Testing in Polynomial Time

One of the major problems in computational number theory was solved by Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Prof. Nitin Saxena. The problem was whether a number could be tested for primality in polynomial time.

Development of Air Quality Index(AQI) for Indian Cities

An AQI translates individual air pollutant concentrations into a single number that reflects the status of air quality in simple terms. The scientific basis of developing AQI is the attainment of air quality standards and pollutant dose-response relationships. This was developed by Prof. Arnab Bhattacharya.

Fast Integer Multiplication Using Modular Arithmetic

Prof. Piyush P. Kurur proposed an algorithm to multiply two N-bit integers that uses modular arithmetic for intermediate computations. This algorithm runs with the best known complexity.

MOOC and Agropedia Software Models

MOOCs provide affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, pursue lifelong interests and deliver quality educational experiences at scale. Agropedia, a software as a service model, can be used to rapidly build agriculture portals for different communities.

Prutor : a Cloud based Web Application

Prutor is a cloud-based web application that provides instant and useful feedback to students while solving programming problems. Prutor provides a view of the students' approach to solving programming problems, regardless of programming environments.

Smart Card Technology Development

A standard for smart card operating system has been developed which is used by the government of India for all their smart card based applications. A smart card operating system has also been implemented which is compliant to this standard. This technology is in the process of being commercialized.

Language Technology

Some path breaking contributions have been made in Indian language coding (ISCII), keyboard design, transliteration, OCR machine translation, Linux ware, NLP, Indian scripts on Linux, Web content creation and search. Some of our landmark achievement is: GIST multilingual technology, AGLABHARTI & ANUBHARTI MACHINE aided translation strategies and popular web sites such as Gita-supersite.

Multipurpose Multimodal Human Identification System

The primary aim is to design a robust system which is capable of handling problems like security, personal, verification/identification etc. The various traits that are considered are Face, Iris, Signature, Fingerprints and Ear.

Medical Application

The medical applications group supported by media lab Asia developed a portable mobile model of printing healthcare delivery which uses ICT and digital devices to contact remotely located individuals requiring medical attention with doctors. The 'Sehat Saathi' software was one of the softwares for telemedicine.


The state-of-the-art infrastructure prepares the students for rewarding and exciting careers. The excellent education has enabled the alumni to succeed in diverse fields.

Good Research Environment

The department provides an excellent research platform and challenges the student’s potential to solve tough problems. In addition to institution facilities like the 2 GBPS Internet connection, CSE department provides additional facilities. Some of the highlights of our research environment are:

  • 24×7 access to lab resources.
  • 24×7 access to class rooms for group discussions.
  • Continuous upgrades of Hardware and Software technologies.
  • Each student is given a free 50-100 pages printout per month.
  • For second year masters students, a separate lab of capacity six students is allocated for each research group. In this lab, each student is given a high performance desktop machine with administrator rights.
  • ` More weightage is given to thesis work than course work.
  • Regularly organizes conferences, workshops, and seminars inviting the prominent researchers from all fields of computer science discussing the state-of-the-art research.
  • In addition to central library, department maintains its own library. All the text books for the course work and research work are available. Different magazines related to technology are also available.
  • Many students are pursuing PhDs in same department after their UG/PG programme, this shows that students are extremely satisfied with the facilities and quality of research in the department.
  • Students from multiple related research areas form a Special Interest Group and organize lectures and group discussion among themselves. SIGTACS (Special Interest Group in Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science), and SIGML (Special Interest Group in Machine Learning) are two most active groups.

Financial Aid

  • A PhD scholar receives a fellowship (provided by MHRD) of Rs 25,000 PM for first two years in PhD; and Rs 28,000 PM for the next three years, or upto the completion of PhD, whichever is eariler.
  • Many students in PhD are recipients of prestigious fellowships like Google, IBM, TCS, Infosys, Visvesvaraya fellowships etc.
  • Students are allowed to audit as many courses as they wish.
  • Through the Research I foundation, there is support for PhD scholars to attend summer schools. Students can also spend an entire semester at another school, if such a visit is related to their research. Again, this is something unique to CSE/IITK and almost no place in the world provides such type of support.
  • Through Rao Remala travel fund, a PhD scholar can attend international conferences to present papers, up to twice in the student's PhD program.
  • Through the two Chairs that CSE has, we can invite world renowned researchers (so far about 20 people have already visited CSE through these Chairs). This provides a unique opportunity to interact with other leading researchers of the world.

Flexible Course Structure

The department offers a wide variety of courses related to computer science and engineering and students are encouraged to take up open problems as their course projects, many students publish excellent research papers by solving these problems as their course projects. While the courses offered in systems engineering cover various design methodologies at conceptual level, the assignments include the programming aspects of these methodologies. Some of the highlights of the course structure are:

  • Most courses are electives.
  • The content of a course range from necessary basics to state-of-the-art in that area.
  • Students are allowed to audit as many courses as they wish.

Inspiring Learning Environment

The teaching at IITK inspires students to push their personal boundaries. Courses are taught in depth and with background to help students grasp concepts firmly. There is often optional content that challenges and motivates students. This takes them to the frontiers of research in the area.
The time spent at IITK makes a student go from being a good learner to being a good thinker and researcher in the student's field of choice.

Excellent Job Opportunity

  • Students are offered highly paid jobs in both Technology and Financial enterprises.
  • Students are also placed in research labs like IBM Research Labs India, Microsoft Research India, Yahoo Research India, Intel Research Labs India etc. Students usually get 3 month internship offers in top research labs like Google labs Silicon valley, Microsoft Redmond etc.
  • Since the number of students in a batch is low, all of them will be placed mostly in the first 10 companies (sorted by their salaries).

Vibrant Student Life

There are 15 hostels (3 girls' and 12 boys'), each equipped with its own canteen, TV room, reading room, sports facilities like table tennis, carrom, badminton, basketball. There are various clubs at the institute level, e.g. music, dance, various sports. With a unique collection of cultural, sports, business and technical festivals, IITK offers a fulfilling and entertaining stay complementing the world of academics and making it the memorable years of your student life. See more on Life on Campus.