Manik Varma

Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research India
Adjunct Professor of Computer Science, IIT Delhi

I am a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research India and an Adjunct Professor of computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. My research interests lie in the areas of machine learning, computational advertising and computer vision. Classifiers that I have developed have been deployed on millions of devices around the world and have protected them from viruses and malware. My algorithms are also generating millions of dollars on the Bing search engine (up to sign ambiguity). In 2013, John Langford and I coined the term extreme classification and found that we had inadvertently started a new area in machine learning. Today, by happenstance, extreme classification is thriving in both academia and industry with my classifiers being used in various Microsoft products as well as in the wider tech sector. I recently proclaimed 2 KB (RAM) ought to be enough for everybody prompting the international media to cover my research and compare me to Bill Gates (unfair, I'm more handsome!). I have been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the Microsoft Gold Star award, the Microsoft Achievement award, the WSDM Best Paper award, won the PASCAL VOC Object Detection Challenge and stood first in chicken chess tournaments and Pepsi drinking competitions. I have served as an area chair/senior PC member for machine learning, artificial intelligence and computer vision conferences such as AAAI, CVPR, ICCV, ICML, IJCAI and NeurIPS. I am also serving as an associate editor of the IEEE TPAMI journal. I am a failed physicist (BSc St. Stephen's College, David Raja Ram Prize), theoretician (BA Oxford, Rhodes Scholar), engineer (DPhil Oxford, University Scholar), mathematician (MSRI Berkeley, Post-doctoral Fellow) and astronomer (Visiting Miller Professor, UC Berkeley). I am also a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.


I am interested in the following research areas

Joining my group: I am looking for full time PhD students at IIT Delhi and Research Fellows at Microsoft Research India to work with me on research problems in supervised machine learning, extreme classification, recommender systems, deep learning and resource constrained machine learning for the Internet of Things. Please e-mail your CV to me directly, in addition to formally applying to IIT/Microsoft's programmes, even though I might not be able to personally respond to your mail in most cases. IIT offers PhD Fellowships in collaboration with Microsoft and many other labs such as Facebook, Google, IBM and TCS. Please look at the web pages of the CSE Department and The School of IT for more details and other funding opportunities.

Projects: Unfortunately, I am unable to supervise projects of students outside IIT Delhi. If you are an external student and would like to work with me then the best way would be to join IIT Delhi's PhD programmes or apply for a Research Fellowship at MSR India. I apologize in advance for my inability to respond to e-mails about summer or winter projects, thesis supervision external to IIT Delhi, etc.

Internships: If you are a PhD student looking to do an internship with me then please e-mail me directly. I have only one or two internship slots and competition is stiff so please apply early. Unfortunately, I get more e-mails about internships than I can deal with, so please accept my apologies for not being able to respond to your mail if you are not a PhD student.

Professional Activities



Current PhD Students

Some Former Students