Naren Ramakrishnan


Naren Ramakrishnan is the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests include data science, applied machine learning, forecasting, and urban analytics.

Ramakrishnan founded and directs the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, a university-wide effort at Virginia Tech that brings together researchers from computer science, statistics, mathematics, and electrical and computer engineering to tackle knowledge discovery problems in important areas of national interest, including intelligence analysis, sustainability, and electronic medical records. He also created and directs the Amazon-Virginia Tech Initiative in Efficient and Robust Machine Learning that includes machine learning-focused research projects, doctoral student fellowships, community outreach, and an establishment of a shared advisory board.

Ramakrishnan also created and directs the NSF-sponsored UrbComp (Urban Computing) Ph.D. certificate program that spans eight departments: computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mathematics, statistics, population health sciences, civil and environmental engineering, sociology, and urban affairs and planning. Students in this program study urban computing, i.e., the use of computational and data science techniques to address urban problems. In addition to a novel curriculum, UrbComp partners with regional industries, local city governments, and corporations to offer internships, practicums, data challenges, and hackathons to students across Virginia Tech.

Ramakrishnan’s research has been supported by NSF, DHS, NIH, NEH, IARPA, DARPA, DTRA, ONR, US Army Research Office, US Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Ford, General Motors, General Dynamics, HP Labs, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Mayfair Group, Northrop Grumman, and NEC Labs.

Ramakrishnan has received more than $100M in research funding with over $42M as principal investigator. He has advised 33 PhD students to graduation who now hold positions in academia and industry.

Professor of Computer Science
Research Areas:
  • iconForecasting
Phone: (571) 858-3331
Web site


EMBERS EMBERS is a system for forecasting societal significant societal events from open source surrogates.
Research Areas:
  • iconForecasting
  • iconNetwork Science
Dates: August 1, 2012July 4, 2016


Grants Provided By

Naren Ramakrishnan's Timeline

Year: 2000

Received an NSF CAREER grant

Year: 2005

Dean's awards for teaching excellence

Year: 2009

Included in "40 under 40" for Computerworld's innovative IT people to watch

Year: 2009

Named ACM Distinguished Scientist

Year: 2009

Received HP Labs innovation award

Year: 2010

Included in "40 under 40" for Purdue University's list of distinguished alumni

Year: 2010

Dean's awards for research excellence

Year: 2011

Received Virginia Tech's Alumni award for research excellence - the highest research award given at the university

Year: 2015

Deployed Application Award from Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) conference

Year: 2016

W.J. Youden Award for Best Expository Paper given by the American Statistical Association (2016)