Mar 31, 2016

Profile: Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay is the first female Director of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), where she is a professor in the Machine Intelligence Unit, specializing in computational biology. Her research is mainly in the areas of evolutionary computation, pattern recognition, machine learning and bioinformatics. As ISI Director she oversees the functioning of its centres—Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Tezpur—as well as several other statistical quality control and operation research units spread across India.

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay obtained a bachelor of science in physics from Presidency College, Kolkata before obtaining another bachelor’s degree (of technology) in Computer Science in 1992 from Calcutta University. She then obtained a master’s degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, before pursuing a PhD at ISI, obtaining it in 1998. She has worked in universities and institutes across the world, in the USA, Australia, Germany, China, Italy and Mexico. She has authored or co-authored more than 145 journal papers and 140 articles in international conferences and book chapters, and published six books. She has also edited journal special issues in the area of soft computing, data mining, and bioinformatics.

Sanghamitra is a Fellow of India’s National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and the West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology, and a senior member of the IEEE. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards including: the Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma Gold Medal, the Institute Silver Medal from IIT Kharagpur, the Young Scientist Awards of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Young Engineer Award of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Swarnajayanti Fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology, and a Humboldt Fellowship. She was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Science.

Sanghamitra notes on the “Director’s Desk” ( that the Indian Statistical Institute has grown over a period of more than eight decades from a small laboratory into “a unique institution of higher learning in India. Over the years ISI has defined education and research in the field of statistics and related sciences and technologies, not only in India but also around the globe.” She comments that the logo of the Institute, the Banyan tree with its myriad roots, and its motto (“Unity in Diversity”), have come to reflect developments in “statistics, mathematics, computer science, social sciences, physics and earth sciences, biological sciences, library science and quality control and reliability, and their real-life applications.”

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