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Brief Profile of the Awardee

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Dr Venkata Narayana Padmanbhan

  • 2016
  • Engineering Sciences
  • 18/12/1971
  • Computer Science
Award Citation:

Dr Padmanabhan has done pioneering work on indoor localization, smartphone based sensing, and mobile communication, which has resulted in academic and industry wide impact and also technology transfer to Microsoft’s products.

Academic Qualifications:
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Thesis and Guide details:
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Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
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Significant foreign assignments:
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(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
Dr. Padmanabhan’s research in Internet protocols, wireless networking, and mobile computing has had a significant impact on academic research, Microsoft’s products, and industry-wide practice. On the academic front, Dr. Padmanabhan’s research has spawned several follow-on efforts, and has resulted in over 70 papers till date, including in prestigious journals and highly selective, refereed conferences, with an acceptance rate of 10-15%. His papers have received 26,511 citations till date, and several are part of the syllabi of advanced courses at leading universities worldwide. On the industry front, Dr. Padmanabhan’s work has resulted in multiple innovative technologies, for which he has received 45 U.S. patents till date, including 23 patents issued in the past 5 years. Some of these technologies have been transferred to flagship products at Microsoft, including Windows, while others have had an industry-wide impact. His accomplishments include developing the first indoor location system based on wireless LANs, which is the basis of commercial WiFi-based indoor localization today, and devising the persistent connections and pipelining optimizations to the HTTP protocol in the early days of the Web, which have been incorporated into global Internet standards. The above has included significant contributions by Dr. Padmanabhan based on his work done in India, primarily in the past 5 years. His work on indoor localization [C48,C54,C55] has collectively received 793 citations till date, has been awarded a patent [P28], and has resulted in technology transfer to Microsoft Windows 10. Dr. Padmanabhan has also pioneered the idea of smartphone-based road and traffic sensing for developing regions such as India. His paper on the Nericell system [C41] has received 797 citations till date. His follow-on work [C56] on low-cost, camera-based traffic monitoring formed a chapter in the Ph.D. thesis of his intern and mentee, Rijurekha Sen at IIT Bombay, which received the ACM India Doctoral Dissertation Award for 2014. Dr. Padmanabhan's work on battery-efficient mobile communication has resulted in several publications [C43, C47, C53, C59], which have collectively received 366 citations, and also 4 patents [P33, P36, P44, P45]. One of these papers, [C47], formed a chapter in the Ph.D. thesis of his intern and mentee, Aaron Schulman at the University of Maryland, which received the ACM SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation Award for 2014. Dr. Padmanabhan has also received several best paper awards [C2, C46, C62]. Dr. Padmanabhan has also played key professional leadership roles, helping place India on the global map in his areas of research and expertise. He founded a research group at Microsoft Research India, which established itself as arguably the most prominent research group in networking and mobile systems in India, with a strong global reputation. He was instrumental in bringing the ACM SIGCOMM conference (the top computer networking conference) to India for the first time in its 40-plus year history in 2010, and served as a general chair of the conference. He has also served in other leadership capacities in ACM SIGCOMM, which is the premier professional association for data communications and computer networks.
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
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Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
(i). Paper Cited
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(ii). Book Cited
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Names of the industries in which the technology (ies) has (have) been used :
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The achievements already been recognised by Awards by any learned body:
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The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
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List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
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List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
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List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
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Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
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Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
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List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
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List of the most outstanding Technical Reports/ Review Articles:
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Statement regarding collaboration with scientists abroad:
List of Patents taken
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Total number of patents granted in last five years.
Details of Books published:
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Contact Details


  • Research Manager
    Microsoft Research India
    Vigyan, #9 Lavelle Road
    Bangalore - 560 001
    Karnataka INDIA
  • padmanab[at]acm[dot]org
25 Apr 2017, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=517