Faculty Directory

Chellappa, Rama

Chellappa, Rama

College Park Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Computer Science
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 previously held 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.


  • NAI Fellow (2020)
  • 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

Three UMD Faculty Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Three University of Maryland professors are among the 124 engineers newly elected to the 2023 Class of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Maryland Engineers Wachsman, Zhao elected Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Eric Wachsman and Ji-Cheng “JC” Zhao have been named to the National Academy of Inventors’ (NAI) Class of 2022 Fellows, joining the ranks of some of the nation’s most prestigious and creative academic inventors.

ECE Alumni Veeraraghavan, Zheng Elected IEEE Fellows

IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.

Ming Lin, Vincent Njar elected Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

The pair join nine other NAI Fellows with ties to the Clark School and the University of Maryland.

Min Wu Elected President of IEEE Signal Processing Society

Wu will begin serving as IEEE SPS President on January 1, 2024.

Three ECE Professors Ranked Top Scientists in the World by Guide2Research

They join seven other UMD faculty members breaking into the top 1000 scientist rankings based on their prolific research output.

Student Researchers Recognized with Wylie Dissertation Fellowships

Fourteen Clark School students pursuing their Ph.D.s in engineering have been awarded Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships by the University of Maryland Graduate School.

Neehar Peri named a Maryland 'Undergraduate Researcher of the Year'

This fall, Neehar will be attending Carnegie Mellon University to pursue his PhD in Robotics.

Two Maryland Faculty Named to National Academy of Inventors

Locascio and Chellappa are among 175 new fellows who collectively hold over 4,700 U.S. patents.

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.

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.

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.

The Buddy System: Human-Computer Teams

The combination of a human facial recognition expert teamed with a computer running ML analyses of facial image data provides the most accurate facial identification.

Joseph JaJa Named Interim Chair of ECE Department

A distinguished researcher and administrator, Professor Joseph JaJa will assume new role July 1.

Study validates face recognition experts, but shows humans perform best with an AI partner

New research combines computer vision research, forensic science, and psychology.

UMD Celebrates Invention of Year Winners, Ventures, and Partnerships at 'Innovate Maryland'

An electric vehicle charger innovation takes home top honors for Invention of Year.

UMD Researchers Tackle Facial Verification Software Head On

Forward-facing Invention of the Year nominee radically improves current software

Clark School Researchers Recognized for Exceptional Inventions

Among the nine 2017 Invention of the Year award nominees, six are led by or include Clark School researchers.

Clark School Researchers Represented on Four 2017 MURI Awards

UMD is one of the top universities represented among the highly competitive grants awarded this year.

Apple Publishes Artificial Intelligence Paper for the First Time Ever Lead by UMD Alumnus

The paper's lead author is Apple researcher Ashish Shrivastava, who received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UMD in 2015.

University of Maryland Hosts 2016 Leidos Intern Symposium

Annual Symposium held on September 2, 2016 showcases extraordinary student work

Chellappa Named Inaugural Recipient of IEEE Biometrics Council Leadership Award

Chellappa recognized for the IEEE Biometrics Council Leadership Award at the IEEE 8th International Conference 

Four Clark School Professors Named Distinguished University Professor

In 2016, four of the 10 Distinguished University Professors named by the University of Maryland are Clark School professors.

UMD Inventors Develop Face, Gender, and Pose Detecting Algorithm

UMD Researchers' 'HyperFace' Algorithm Nominated for Invention of the Year

Ulukus Named 2016-2017 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by 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.

UMD Invention of the Year Nominees Push Boundaries in Health, Energy, and Security

Campus inventors to be honored at Celebration of Innovation and Partnerships

Chellappa Elevated to AAAI Fellow

Rama Chellappa joins a number of UMD colleagues who are AAAI Fellows upon his elevation in the 2015 class.

Chellappa named 2013 ACM Fellow

Chellappa elevated to Fellow for contributions to image processing, computer vision, and pattern recognition.

Eta Kappa Nu Wins 2011-2012 Outstanding Chapter Award

UMD chapter of Eta Kappa Nu earns national recognition once more.

Clark School Faculty Recognized at UMD Invention of the Year Awards

26th annual awards ceremony honors most promising campus inventions.

Chellappa Awarded 2012 ICPR King-Sun Fu Prize

Rama Chellappa receives prestigious honor from the International Association for Pattern Recognition.

New Minta Martin Professors Named

Historic honor recognizes full professors who have made significant scholarly contributions.

Chellappa Named Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department to be led by strong proponent of graduate and undergraduate education.

Lathrop, Chellappa Selected as Fellows

American Association for the Advancement of Science recognizes meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications.

Defense Department Funding Supports Research Instrumentation

Balachandran, Chellappa, Shamma win awards for micro-air-vehicle, sensing, audio-visual saliency research.

Chellappa Named Interim Chair of ECE Department

Minta Martin Professor Rama Chellappa, a Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, will assume new role July 1.

Clark School Participates in MURI Programs

Defense grants fund work on visual reasoning, animal-inspired flight, network security.

Chellappa Receives Outstanding Engineer Alumni Award

Purdue University alumnus and Clark School professor Rama Chellappa to be honored by alma mater.

Espy-Wilson, Rubloff Are Top UM Inventors

Speech enhancing algorithm, high-density energy storage cells named best of '09.

Chellappa, Liu Honored with IEEE SPS Society Awards

ECE Professors receive IEEE Signal Processing Society's two highest awards.

ECE Event Highlights Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Research Review Day showcases technology advancements in electrical and computer engineering.

Clark School Meets Hollywood

Faculty, students appear on Science Channel, ABC, Discovery.com.

Clark School Participates in MURI Programs

ECE members to work on multidisciplinary research projects awarded by DoD.

Clark School Faculty Win DoD Awards

DURIP awards are for research instrumentation towards defense research.

Clark School Leads Major Defense Research

DoD awards support projects in remote biometrics, rotorcraft brownouts, stochastic control.

Chellappa Honored, Named Distinguished Lecturer

ECE professor earns Clark School award, IEEE SPS Distinguished Lecturer honors.

Chellappa Receives IBM Faculty Award

The ECE Professor will collaborate with IBM researchers on biometrics authentication systems.

Chellappa to Deliver IEEE Keynote

ECE Prof. Rama Chellappa will deliver the keynote speech at this week's IEEE AutoID 2005 conference.

Ducao Takes First Place at MERIT Fair

Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) undergraduate Amon Ducao took a first prize in the 2005 Maryland Engineering Research Internship Teams (MERIT) Fair.

Clark School Faculty Receive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Award from the Department of Defense (Dod)

Clark School faculty succeeded in obtaining Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award of $5.25M.

Clark School Accomplishments Spring 2002

A list of Clark school accomplishments for Spring 2002

Optical Society of America (OSA)

National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)