Faculty Directory

Chellappa, Rama

Chellappa, Rama

Minta Martin Professor of Engineering
Distinguished University Professor
College Park Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Computer Science
University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
4246 Iribe Center


Prof. Rama Chellappa received the B.E. (Hons.) degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the University of Madras, India in 1975 and the M.E. (with Distinction) degree from  the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 1977. He received the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. Degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, in 1978 and 1981 respectively. he holds a Minta Martin Professorship in the A.J. Clark School of Engineering and served as the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from 2011-2018.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, he was an Assistant (1981-1986) and Associate Professor (1986-1991) and Director of the Signal and Image Processing Institute (1988-1990) with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Over the last 32 years, he has published numerous book chapters, peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. He has co-edited/co-authored books and research monographs on Markov random fields, gait analysis, face recognition, artificial neural networks and human action recognition. His current research interests are face and gait analysis, secure biometrics, 3D modeling from video, image/video exploitation from stationary and moving platforms, compressive sensing, hyper spectral processing, and commercial applications of image processing and understanding.

Prof. Chellappa served as an associate editor of four IEEE Transactions, as a co-Editor-in- Chief of Graphical models and Image Processing and as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. He also served as a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Board of Governors, as a Distinguished Lecturer and as its Vice President of Awards and Membership. He also served as the President of the IEEE Biometrics Council. He has received several awards, including an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, four IBM Faculty Development Awards, the 1990 Excellence in Teaching Award from School of Engineering at USC, the Society, Technical Achievement and Meritorious Service Awards from the IEEE Signal Processing Society and the Technical Achievement and Meritorious Service Awards from the IEEE Computer Society. He also co-authored two papers that were recognized as best industry-related paper and best student paper, respectively by the International Association of Pattern Recognition. In 2012, he received the K.S. Fu Prize from the International Association of Pattern Recognition.

At the University of Maryland, he was elected as a Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow, as a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and received the Outstanding Invention Award from the Office of technology Commercialization. He is a recipient of the Faculty Outstanding Research Award and the Poole and Kent Teaching Award from the Senior Faculty from the College of Engineering and an Outstanding GEMSTONE Mentor Award.  In 2010, Purdue University recognized him with an Outstanding ECE award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the International Association for Pattern Recognition, the Optical Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as a General and Technical Program Chair for several IEEE international and national conferences and workshops and is a Golden Core Member of IEEE Computer Society. He holds four patents.



  • IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal (2020)
  • University of Maryland Innovate Maryland: Information Sciences Award (2017)
  • University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor (2016)
  • University of Maryland Outstanding Invention in Information Science (2015)
  • International Association of Pattern Recognition K.S. Fu Prize, (2012)
  • Clark School of Engineering Poole and Kent Senior Faculty Teaching Award (2011)
  • Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Alumni Award, Purdue University (2010)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Award (2009)
  • IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award (2008)
  • Optical Society of America Fellow
  • IBM Faculty Award (2008)
  • IBM Faculty Award (2007)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Meritorious Service Award (2007)
  • Clark School of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Research Award (2007)
  • IBM Faculty Award (2006)
  • Co-Author of Best Student Paper, received by one of his students at ICPR (2006)
  • IEEE Computer Society Meritorious Service Award (2004)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Vice President of Awards & Membership (2002-2004)
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, University of Maryland (2003-2004)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award (2001)
  • Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief of Graphical Models and Image Processing
  • Assoc. Editor, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Image Processing, and Neural Networks
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Board of Governors (1996-1999)
  • Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition (1996)
  • IEEE Fellow
  • Distinguished Research Faculty Fellow, University of Maryland (1996-1998)
  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Pattern Recognition (1992)
  • Best Industry Related Paper, International Association of Pattern Recognition (1992)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Engineering, Univ. of Southern California (1990)
  • IBM Faculty Development Award (1985)
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator (1985)
  • IBM Faculty Development Award (1985)

  • Signal and Image Processing
  • Computer Vision
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Multi-dimension Stochastic Processes
  • Statistical Inference
  • Computer Vision and Image Analysis
  • Robust and Secure Biometrics
  • AI in Computer Vision

Chellappa Named College Park Professor by President Pines

Chellappa will be joining Johns Hopkins on August 1 as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, but will continue his research collaborations at UMD.

Murphy Named 2020-2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the University of Maryland

The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Program honors members of UMD faculty who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievements along with equally outstanding accomplishments as teachers.

ECE Names 2019-2020 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Das, Demertziz, Nguyen, and Zou have been selected as ECE Distinguished Dissertation Fellows for 2019-20.

Babadi, Chellappa contribute to Springer reference work on computer vision

The comprehensive work has been revised and expanded this year for online reference.

ECE Researchers Represented on Three 2020 MURI Awards

These five-year grants will be provided to teams located across 52 U.S. academic institutions, subject to satisfactory research progress and the availability of funds.

Rama Chellappa Wins 2020 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal

The prestigious medal is awarded annually to researchers who have made a lasting impact on the field of signal processing.

Chellappa Chairs National Academy Workshop on Machine Learning

Professor Rama Chellappa chaired a workshop in December 2018 on Machine Learning Algorithms and Systems that has been published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

Khaligh, Rudnick-Cohen win 2019 ISR awards

The awards were given at ISR’s Welcome Back Reception and Awards Ceremony.

Jiang, Marakby, Vaswani, and Wu named 2019 ECE Distinguished Alumni

The four alumni were nominated for their leadership and meritorious contributions to the field of engineering, their humanitarian efforts, and the application of their engineering education to other disciplines.

University of Maryland Selected as Partner for New Research Consortium for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The research consortium known as Research in Applications for Learning Machines (REALM) was established to foster collaboration between leading universities with strong machine learning and artificial intelligence programs.

Optical Society of America (OSA)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)