Awards and Research Grants

Awards/Honors to Students

I am fortunate to have worked with some of the most energetic and enterprising student researchers who put in tireless and dedicated effort to make both research and product impact. I can take no credit for their work and simply list these here to highlight their achievements and encourage students to aim high.

  1. Bhaskar Mukhoty, Outstanding PhD Thesis Award, 56th IITK Convocation, 2023.
    Bhaskar was awarded for his thesis titled Learning in the Presence of an Adversary: A Provable Approach. In his thesis, Bhaskar developed learning algorithms for linear regression, classification and non-parametric regression that are provably immune to malicious corruptions to training data by a sentient adversary.

  2. Sharath H. Padmanabha, Fahad Shaikh, Mayank Bansal, Debanjan Chatterjee, Preeti Singh, Best Research Paper Award, 16th Innovations in Software Engineering Conference (ISEC), 2023.
    The team worked jointly with Prof. Amey Karkare and made innovative use of ranking and recommendation techniques to help students who are learning to code by automatically suggesting tips on program repair when they make coding mistakes.

  3. Amit Chandak, Best Research Paper Nomination, 10th ACM IKDD Conference on Data Sciences (CODS), 2022.
    Amit worked jointly with Prof. Piyush Rai and developed techniques for creating light-weight yet expressive deep ensembles using first order perturbation methods.

  4. Debojyoti Dey, Bhaskar Mukhoty, Best Research Paper Nomination, 9th ACM IKDD Conference on Data Sciences (CODS), 2021.
    Debojyoti and Bhaskar developed techniques for optimizing functions that offer only local convexity around their global optimum.

  5. Fahad Shaikh and Sharath HP (MT 2021), SIIC Student Innovation Award, 54th IITK Convocation, 2021.
    Fahad and Shaikh jointly developed the PRIORITY system to aid the conduct of large programming courses.

  6. Ayush Nagal (MT 2021), Cadence Gold Medal, 54th IITK Convocation, 2021.
    Ayush developed robust machine learning-based calibration algorithms for low-cost air quality monitoring sensors.

  7. Neeraj Kumar (MT 2019), Best Software Award, 52nd IITK Convocation, 2019.
    Neeraj developed the SphinX pegagogy helper system for conducting large courses.

  8. Ankit Jalan (MT 2019), Cadence Silver Medal, 52nd IITK Convocation, 2019.
    Ankit worked on dimensionality reduction in extreme classification with millions of dimensions and data points.

  9. Sayash Kapoor (BT 2019), Motorola Gold Medal, 52nd IITK Convocation, 2019.
    Sayash worked on making multi-armed bandit algorithms robust to adversarial attacks.


I am also fortunate to have myself received some recognition for my contributions. My collaborators and mentors deserve equal credit for the achievements that were found worthy of recognition.

  1. 1989 Batch Faculty Award, IIT Kanpur, 2023. This award is given in “recognition of the use of innovative and technology-enhanced content to improve the quality of undergraduate instruction”. Credit goes to Prof. Amey Karkare who introduced me to the Prutor ecosystem, Dr. Umair Z Ahmed for working with me on several projects on the Prutor platform, student collaborators who worked on various Prutor-related projects such as TRACER (Dr. Umair Z Ahmed, Dr. Pawan Kumar), MACER (Darshak Chhatbar, Dr. Umair Z Ahmed, Fahad Shaikh, Sharath Padmanabha) and PRIORITY (Sharath Padmanabha, Fahad Shaikh, Debanjan Chatterjee, Preeti Singh, Mayank Bansal), and several dozens of teaching assistants (too numerous to mention here) due to whose efforts we were able to offer the CS771 machine learning course to thousands of IITK students in the past few years.

  2. Bing Ads Greatness Award (Engineering Excellence category), Bing Ads, Microsoft, 2021. All credit is due to the team (Deepak Saini, Gururaj K, Prasenjit Dey, Kushal Dave) which received this award jointly. The team worked on developing scalable extreme classification techniques for web-scale ranking and recommendation applications. Several collaborators could not be formally recognized in the award but were a core part of the project and made valuable contributions. This includes Manik Varma who was the team lead and coordinated the overall effort, external collaborators from IIT Delhi (notably Kunal Dahiya who had a major contribution to algorithm development, as well as Ananye Agarwal and Sumeet Agarwal) and internal collaborators (Jian Jiao and Amit Singh).

  3. Faculty of the Year Award (Authoring Books on Contemporary Subjects category), Computer Society of India, 2018. Credit goes to my co-author Dr. Prateek Jain for inspiring me to think big and write a monograph relatively early on in my career (Non-convex Optimization for Machine Learning [LINK]) and then collaborating with me to give the manuscript sound structure and excellent content.

  4. Research-I Faculty Fellowship, IIT Kanpur, 2015 - 2018.

  5. Dr. Deep Singh and Daljeet Kaur Faculty Fellowship, IIT Kanpur, 2015 - 2018.

  6. International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) Reviewer Award, 2015.

  7. Indian Unit of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence (IUPRAI) Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2014.

  8. Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Reviewer Award, 2013.

  9. Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges (Yahoo! KSC) Program Honourable Mention, 2012.

  10. Microsoft Research (MSR India) PhD Fellowship, 2010.

  11. Academic Excellence Awards by IIT Kanpur for the years, 2005, 2006.

  12. Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSE) Merit Scholarships, 2002, 2004.

  13. Delhi Sanskrit Academy Merit Scholarship for securing 100% marks in Sanskrit at AISSE 2002.

  14. Invited to visit the National Physical Laboratory as a part of the (CPYLS) program and carry out a research project
    The program was intended for the top 10 scorers in the state of Delhi at AISSE 2002

Research/Consultancy Grants

I am grateful for funding I recieve that supports research and development work in the foundations and applications of machine learning.

  1. Consultancy Project from Microsoft Research for pursuing research on “Extreme Classification”, 2021.

  2. Research Grant from Tower Research for pursuing research on “Recommendation, Ranking And Retrieval”, 2017.

  3. Research Grant from Microsoft Research for setting up a “Virtual Center For Extreme Classification”, 2016.

  4. Research Grant from Yahoo! as a part of the Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Program 2012.

  5. Microsoft Research India Ph.D. Fellowship award, 2010.

  6. Recurrent funding and travel support from the Research-I Foundation, 2008 – 2013.

Short-term/Travel Grants

When I was a student, travel and short-term research grants were critical in supporting my research and travel expenses. These allowed me on several occasions to pursue research directions, meet new and old collaborators and broaden my horizon.

  1. Machine Learning Summer School (MLSS) Student Travel Grant, 2012.

  2. Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Student Travel Grant, 2010 and 2011.

  3. Summer Undergraduate Research Grant for Excellence (SURGE), IIT Kanpur, 2006.