Faculty Directory

Manocha, Dinesh

Manocha, Dinesh

Distinguished University Professor
Paul Chrisman Iribe Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Institute for Systems Research
Maryland Robotics Center
Brain and Behavior Institute
5164 Iribe Center

Dinesh Manocha is the Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair in Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland College Park. He is also the Phi Delta Theta/Matthew Mason Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He has won many awards, including Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, the NSF Career Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, Google Faculty Awards,  Facebook Faculty Awards, Alibaba Innovation Awards, and the Hettleman Prize for scholarly achievement. His research interests include multi-agent simulation, virtual environments, artificial intelligence, and robotics. His group has developed a number of packages for multi-agent simulation, GPU computing, and physics-based simulation that have been used by hundreds of thousands of users and licensed to more than 60 commercial vendors. He has published more than 600 papers and supervised more than 40 PhD dissertations. He is an inventor of 10 patents, several of which have been licensed to industry. His work has been covered by the New York Times, NPR, Boston Globe, Washington Post, ZDNet, as well as DARPA Legacy Press Release. He is a Fellow of AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, member of ACM SIGGRAPH Academy, and Bézier Award from Solid Modeling Association. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Delhi and the Distinguished Career in Computer Science Award from Washington Academy of Sciences. He was a co-founder of Impulsonic, a developer of physics-based audio simulation technologies, which was acquired by Valve Inc in November 2016. See http://www.cs.umd.edu/~dm

Manocha received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992. He received his B. Tech. in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India, in 1987. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India.

Honors and Awards 

  • University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor
  • Pierre Bézier Award
  • Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
  • Sloan Research Fellowship
  • IBM Fellowship
  • IGMOD IndySort Winner
  • Honda Research Award
  • UNC Hettleman Prize


Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, graphics visualization, virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous driving, high performance and scientific computing

His research group developed software packages for physically based modeling, computer-aided design and scientific computing, which have been downloaded by more than 200,000 users worldwide and licensed to more than 55 corporations, including Fortune 500 companies. He is also named as an inventor on nine patents, several of which have been licensed to industry.He also supervised more than 65 master’s and doctoral students. Many of Manocha’s 35 Ph.D. advisees are professors at top universities and group leaders in industry.

Along with two of his former Ph.D. students and Professor Ming Lin, who is now the Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science at UMD, Manocha co-founded the 3D audio startup Impulsonic, which was acquired by Valve Software in 2016. Impulsonic’s product provided the realistic sounds required for a user to feel truly immersed in a virtual world and is available as part of Steam Audio SDK. The sound technologies developed by the researchers have also been used to evaluate the acoustic effects of architectural buildings and to model noise in indoor and outdoor environments.

For another research project, Manocha uses virtual reality and simulation technologies to predict the movement of pedestrians and crowds. These technologies can be used to improve crowd safety and prevent disasters like the 2015 Hajj crowd disaster in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where more than 2,200 pilgrims died. The multi-agent navigation technologies developed by Manocha’s group have also been integrated into most computer gaming engines.

Working with Boeing, Manocha’s research group modeled passenger behavior during the loading, unloading and evacuation of a commercial aircraft. This type of simulation allows the airlines to experiment with different boarding orders, seating arrangements and overhead layouts to reduce loading and unloading times—and ultimately demonstrate that the aircraft could be safely evacuated in less than 90 seconds, as required by U.S. federal law. This work, which has also been used to analyze crowd videos for surveillance and to estimate crowd sizes, garnered media attention during President Trump’s inauguration.

More recently, Manocha and his students began developing new technologies to simulate the movement and behavior of autonomous vehicles in challenging traffic conditions, such as Beijing or Washington, D.C. The major goal of this work is to predict the navigation and safety capabilities of autonomous cars in crowded scenarios that contain other vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. Manocha’s group has been collaborating on this project with Intel Corp. and Baidu Inc.

University of Maryland Has Strong Presence at ICRA 2024

Researchers detail advancements in navigation, trajectory planning.

Dinesh Manocha Inducted into IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Academy

Manocha has been recognized for his significant contributions to the field of virtual reality.

Six Clark School Faculty Receive 2024 DURIP Awards

DURIP awards support university research in technical areas of interest to the Department of Defense.

Manocha Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Recognized for pioneering work in computer graphics, robotics and more

UMD-led Team Selected for DARPA Triage Challenge

Researchers will work to develop novel methods to detect injuries in mass casualty incidents.

Advancing Ground Autonomy: UMD-ARL Collaboration Strides in ArtIMAS Research

ArtIAMAS (AI and Autonomy for Multi-Agent Systems) - Advancing into Its Third Year of Collaboration

CSRankings places Maryland robotics at #10 in the U.S.

The CSRankings model identifies institutions and faculty actively engaged in computer science research, based on the number of faculty publications that have appeared at the most selective computer science conferences.

UMD papers by Zhang, Manocha groups at ICML 2023

The conference on machine learning was held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

MRC Faculty, Researchers, and Students Present 24 Papers at ICRA 2023

MRC researchers have a strong showing at ICRA 2023.

Accolades abound for graduating ECE Ph.D. student Nilesh Suriyarachchi

His work on how connected autonomous vehicles will help solve common traffic problems has led to UMD honors, prestigious internships and a best paper award.

ArtIAMAS receives third-year funding of up to $15.1M

The ArtIAMAS cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory conducts research focused on safe, effective, and resilient capabilities and technologies that work intelligently and cooperatively with each other and humans.

Manocha, Bedi receive Amazon Research Award for 'federated learning'

Their project is titled, "Ensuring Fairness via Federated Learning Beyond Consensus."

MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 15 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2022

15 MRC faculty and researchers to present 15 papers at IROS 2022

Helping robots navigate to a target, around obstacles and without a map

A new hierarchical decomposition framework decouples navigation goal planning, collision avoidance, and navigation-ending prediction.

Game-theoretic planning for autonomous vehicles

AVs need to be able to identify aggressive drivers and adapt their own movements accordingly. A new "risk-aware" planner can help.

Deepfake Detection Invention Discerns Between Real and Fake Media

UMD Inventions of the Year nominee could help prevent spread of deepfake media and misinformation.

Which way should I go?

TerraPN is a new way for autonomous robots to improve their navigating abilities by learning the surface characteristics of complex outdoor terrains.

UMD Autonomous Navigation Research Featured in Tech Explore

Research explores navigational challenges for autonomous vehicles in dense urban environments.

UMD Researchers Eye Advances in Autonomy

A multi-institutional program leverages UAS Test Site capabilities in search of new breakthroughs.

New research uses reverberations for better automatic speech recognition

Reverberant acoustics can aid in speaker separation discernment.

New GAMEOPT framework will help future autonomous vehicles safely navigate unsignalized intersections

Algorithms for connected autonomous vehicles will help traffic safety in many ways.

Ph.D. student Trisha Mittal named 2022 Adobe Research Fellow

The funding will support her work to improve deep learning algorithms that can interpret human emotions.

Manocha Receives 2022 Verisk AI Faculty Research Award

Funding will support the use of synthetic datasets to improve the accuracy machine learning methods.

GAMMA group publishes 'COVID robot' research in PLOS One

The autonomous mobile robot can detect and warn people who are standing too close to each other.

NSF grant will further planning for collaborative autonomy testing infrastructure

This project will plan a more ideal research infrastructure for roboticists and experts in modeling, simulation, testing, evaluation and software engineering.

Algorithm helps autonomous vehicles navigate common tricky traffic situations

GAMEPLAN is developed by Dinesh Manocha and Rohan Chandra.

This New Algorithm Lets You Explore Virtual Reality by Walking Naturally

An alignment-based redirection controller directs users to the best route for avoiding obstacles.

Manocha talks AI on Federal News Network podcast

The professor was interviewed by FNN's Peter Musurlian.

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.

UMD, UMBC, ARL Announce Cooperative Agreement to Accelerate AI, Autonomy in Complex Environments

The agreement leverages Maryland's national leadership in engineering, robotics, computer science, operations research, modeling and simulation, and cybersecurity.

ISR faculty leading, playing key roles in ARL cooperative agreement

The $68M 'ARTIAMAS' research agreement features faculty from UMD and UMBC.

UMD Researchers to Have a Strong Showing at ICRA 2021

University of Maryland researchers will present 15 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Robotis and Automation (ICRA 2021) to held on May 30 to June 5, 2021.

Elizabeth Childs Lands Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

Graduating mechanical engineering student to pursue doctoral research at Stanford.

UMD GAMMA Group Awarded Best Paper and an Honorable Mention at IEEE VR 2021

The awarded work focuses on improving the efficiency of virtual agents used in areas like virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), online learning, and virtual social interactions.

Uttaran Bhattacharya receives Adobe Research Fellowship

The student of Dinesh Manocha is developing systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process and simulate human actions and emotions.

New undergraduate minor in robotics and autonomous systems

The Maryland Robotics Center will administer the program, which begins in Fall 2021.

Report available from 2019 NSF Speech for Robotics Workshop

The workshop, chaired by Carol Espy-Wilson, identified key scientific and engineering advances needed to enable effective spoken language interaction with robotics.

MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 16 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2020

International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - From 25 October 2020 until 29 November 2020

$100,000 investment from Amazon to power Clark School initiatives in diversity, robotics research and education

Beneficiaries include two Ph.D. fellowships in robotics, the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, a robotics capstone course, the Black Engineers Society and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers.

Bera, Manocha and Shim awarded a BBI Seed Grant to examine the role of age and gender on gait-based emotion recognition

Project by three MRC faculty members was one of six that received BBI seed funding this year.

BBI Awards Seed Grants to Six Interdisciplinary Projects

Funded teams feature UMD faculty from 15 academic departments and six centers and institutes

GAMMA Research Group is Developing Novel COVID-19 Prevention Robots

The NSF EAGER project intends to monitor pedestrian movements, using cameras and other sensors, that will automatically check for vital signs to gather reliable data, and investigate techniques to influence the behaviors of pedestrians to change their social behavior using robots.

Bill Fagan named UMD Distinguished University Professor

Fagan is the sixth ISR faculty member to receive the honor.

Dinesh Manocha Named Distinguished University Professor

Manocha has received the highest honor bestowed on tenured faculty members at the University of Maryland.

MRC Researchers to Present 16 Papers at ICRA 2020

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2020 will be held online from May 31st to August 31st. MRC researchers will be presenting 16 papers at this conference.  

Dinesh Manocha Receives the 2020 Pierre Bézier Award

Manocha receives the 2020 Pierre Bézier Award in recognition of his technically significant and lasting contributions in Solid, Geometric and Physical Modeling and their Applications.

GAMMA Group's Research on Emotional Modeling and Social Robotics Featured in Forbes

Dinesh Manocha and Aniket Bera’s latest development on a socially-intelligent robot known as ProxEmo, has been featured in Forbes.

New model predictive control framework improves reactive navigation for autonomous robots

The framework could be used in navigation algorithms for robots ranging from aerial vehicles to autonomous cars.

RoadTrack algorithm could help autonomous vehicles navigate dense traffic scenarios

The algorithm uses tracking-by-detection approach to detect vehicles and pedestrians, then predict where they are going.

A learning algorithm for training robots' deep neural networks to grasp novel objects

Dinesh Manocha and colleagues' algorithm significantly simplifies the data preparation for learning-based grasping systems and leads to higher qualities of learned grasps.

Workshop focuses on needs of autonomous agent networks

Participants addressed infrastructure requirements of algorithm development and testing for these networks.

Who's walking deceptively? Manocha's team thinks they know.

The researchers developed a data-driven deep neural algorithm for detecting deceptive walking behavior using nonverbal cues like gaits and gestures.

Forecasting traffic for autonomous vehicles

GAMMA research group uses spectral graph analysis and deep learning to predict urban traffic.

Manocha Keynote Speaker at 2019 ODSC Conference

Manocha spoke on “Autonomous Driving: Simulation and Navigation” at the Open Data Science Conference Oct. 29-Nov. 1.

Manocha keynote speaker at 2019 IEEE RO-MAN Conference

Manocha spoke on “Autonomous Driving: Simulation and Navigation.”

Manocha Named to 2019 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy

Manocha was recognized for his contributions to geometric modeling, GPU computing, interactive rendering of large complex scenes, and interactive sound simulation.

Realistic simulator improves safety of self-driving vehicles before road testing

Data-driven tech combines photos, videos, real-world trajectory, and behavioral info into autonomous driving simulator.

Czech prime minister views AI, VR, AR and computer vision research

The visit was hosted by ISR Director William Regli and the university’s Office of International Affairs.

Maryland Robotics Center team demonstrates robots at 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting

AAAS Fellow Dinesh Manocha interviewed; Robo Raven, Robo Crab and Tiny Terps shown to meeting participants.

Dinesh Manocha, developer of geometric and scientific algorithms, is new ISR affiliate

Manocha's research has applications in computer graphics, virtual reality, simulation and robotics.

Maryland researchers awarded DARPA cooperative agreement to develop robotic swarm strategies

Maryland's is among the first “core swarm sprints” projects awarded in DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program.

Maryland Robotics Center adds four faculty affiliates

Regli, Manocha, Shoukry and Sochol affiliate with the center.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • Fellow, 2012

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

  • Fellow, 2011

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

  • Fellow, 2009

American Association for Artificial Intelligence