Portrait of Manohar Swaminathan

Manohar Swaminathan

Principal Researcher


Manohar Swaminathan (also known as Swami Manohar) joined MSR in Dec 2015. His primary research interest is in virtual and augmented reality technologies. Currently he is focused on applying these for empowering visually impaired persons. His other interest is in the use of IoT and cloud for large scale impact in emerging markets.

Prior to joining MSR, Manohar’s career has spanned the worlds of research, academia, and entrepreneurship. He was a professor of computer IISc from 1990 to 2005, where his research interests were in computer graphics, virtual reality, CAD for rapid prototyping and internet technologies. He taught the first graduate level courses in VR in 1994-95. He has published over forty refereed journal and conference publications and has supervised three PhD theses and over forty masters theses. Prior to IISc, he was a tenure track faculty at University of North Carolina, Charlotte for two years. He earned a BE in ECE at GCT, Coimbatore, a Masters in EE at IISc, and a PhD in computer science from Brown University, where his thesis focused on supercomputing with VLSI.

Manohar was part of the team that invented the Simputer and was awarded the first Dewang Mehta Award for innovation in IT by the Government of India. He was also part of the team that pioneered faculty entrepreneurship in India and co-founded PicoPeta Simputers (acquired in 2005 by a publicly traded company) and Strand (formerly Strand Life Sciences), LimberLink Technologies and Escape Velocity Accelerator. PicoPeta was earlier listed among the seven hottest startups worldwide by Technology Review magazine in 2002. Strand is a pioneer in computational biology and clinical genomics in India. At LimberLink, Manohar promoted, Jed-i, the Joy of engineering, design and innovation, a mission to re-engineer engineering education in India. He has been a TiE charter member, angel investor, and mentor to several startups.