Portrait of Venkat Padmanabhan

Venkat Padmanabhan

Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India



Interviewed as part of the Alums of IIT Delhi (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) (Nov 2021, certificate (opens in new tab))

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

Interview with IEEE Signal Processing Society (opens in new tab) (Sep 2020)

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

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

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

Nericell paper (opens in new tab) selected for ACM SenSys Test of Time Award (opens in new tab) (Nov 2019)

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

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

BlameIt paper (opens in new tab) accepted at ACM SIGCOMM 2019

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

Gave the Ninth IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Lecture (opens in new tab) (Mar 2019)

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

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

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

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

Elected Fellow of the ACM (opens in new tab)(Dec 2016)

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

Chairing the 2017 ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award committee (opens in new tab)

Chairing the ACM SIGCOMM Industrial Liaison Board (opens in new tab) (Jul 2017 onwards)

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


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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) in September 1998. Professor Randy Katz (opens in new tab) was my advisor, having previously obtained an M.S. in Computer Science also from UC Berkeley in 1995 (advised by Professor Domenico Ferrari (opens in new tab)) and a B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), IEEE Fellow (opens in new tab), and ACM Fellow (opens in new tab). I have been a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (opens in new tab) for Science and Technology in 2016, the ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award (opens in new tab) in 2016 and 2019, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award at IIT Delhi (opens in new tab) in 2018. I have served both as General Co-Chair of the ACM SIGCOMM conference (in 2010 (opens in new tab) in New Delhi) and as Program Co-Chair (in 2012 (opens in new tab)) and also served on the editorial board of ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review (opens in new tab), IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (opens in new tab), and IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (opens in new tab). I have served on and chaired the ACM SIGCOMM Technical Steering Committee (opens in new tab). I have been serving as a member of the inaugural ACM SIGCOMM Industrial Liaison Board (opens in new tab) since 2014 and as chair since July 2017.