Portrait of Venkat Padmanabhan

Venkat Padmanabhan

Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India



Interviewed as part of the Alums of IIT Delhi series (transcript published in May 2022 based on video interview conducted in Oct 2021)

Paper on energy awareness for intelligent drones receives best paper runner up award at ACM BuildSys 2021 (Nov 2021, certificate)

CoopNet paper (NOSSDAV 2002) selected as the ACM SIGMM Test of Time Paper, Honourable Mention for 2002 (Oct 2020, certificate)

Interview with IEEE Signal Processing Society (Sep 2020)

Recognized as a “leading source code committer to ns-2” in the citation of the SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award, 2020 for the ns family of network simulators (Jun 2020, certificate)

Listed among the “most influential scholars honorable mention” in computer networking globally and separately among the “top computer scientists affiliated with Microsoft Research” (May 2020)

Honoured that Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, showcased HAMS as part of his keynotes at the Future Decoded Mumbai CEO Summit and the Future Decoded Bengaluru Tech Summit (Feb 2020)

Nericell paper selected for ACM SenSys Test of Time Award (Nov 2019)

HAMS is being used to automate driver license testing at the Dehradun RTO. Coverage in Gizmodo, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Techcrunch, Times of India, and more. (Oct 2019)

ALT (Automated License Testing) paper (part of the HAMS project) accepted at ACM SenSys 2019

BlameIt paper accepted at ACM SIGCOMM 2019

Nericell paper selected for ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award (Mar 2019). Video (Jun 2019).

Gave the Ninth IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Lecture (Mar 2019)

Invited as Guest of Honour at the IIT Delhi Computer Science & Engineering Convocation (Nov 2018). Video: part 1, part 2 & part 3.

Selected for the IIT Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award (Sep 2018). Award presented by Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group (Nov 2018).

Appointed as Adjunct Professor in the EECS Division at the Indian Institute of Science (Aug 2018)

Received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology (Sep 2016). Award presented by Prime Minister Modi . Video (Feb 2019).

Elected Fellow of the ACM (Dec 2016)

RADAR paper selected for the inaugural ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Award (Apr 2016). Video: MobiSys (Jun 2016),  Mobicom (Oct 2016).

Chairing the 2017 ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award committee

Chairing the ACM SIGCOMM Industrial Liaison Board (Jul 2017 onwards)

Kwikr (part of the PinDrop project) received Best Corporate Demo Award at COMSNETS 2017


I am Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research India. After arriving at the India lab in 2007, I founded and led the Mobility, Networks, and Systems group for several years. I was previously with Microsoft Research Redmond for 8½ years. Before that, I obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in September 1998. Professor Randy Katz was my advisor, having previously obtained an M.S. in Computer Science also from UC Berkeley in 1995 (advised by Professor Domenico Ferrari) and a B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1993.

My research interests lie broadly in mobile and networked systems. My current work centers on the intersection of sensor systems and mobile computing, and on efficient mobile communication. My past projects have spanned a range of areas, including network measurement, wireless networking, RFID, geolocation, network tomography, and peer-to-peer networking. The technologies developed in some of these projects (e.g., the ProbeGap bandwidth probing tool and the GeoCluster technique for learning IP-location mapping) have been transferred to Microsoft’s product groups while others (e.g., the RADAR WLAN-based user localization system) have been made available through Microsoft’s technology licensing program.

I am an INAE Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and ACM Fellow. I have been a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in 2016, the ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award in 2016 and 2019, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award at IIT Delhi in 2018. I have served both as General Co-Chair of the ACM SIGCOMM conference (in 2010 in New Delhi) and as Program Co-Chair (in 2012) and also served on the editorial board of ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, and IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. I have served on and chaired the ACM SIGCOMM Technical Steering Committee. I have been serving as a member of the inaugural ACM SIGCOMM Industrial Liaison Board since 2014 and as chair since July 2017.