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Manocha, Dinesh

Dinesh Manocha
Paul Chrisman Iribe Endowed E-Nnovate Professor of Computer Science
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
3249 AV Williams Bldg

Research Interests 

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


Dinesh Manocha is the Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair in the Department of Computer Science with joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and UMIACS.

His research focuses on geometric and scientific algorithms with applications to computer graphics, robotics and virtual reality.

Most recently, Manocha was the Matthew Mason/Phi Delta Theta Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a member of the UNC faculty since 1992, he published more than 480 conference and journal papers and received 16 best paper or test-of-time awards. Manocha’s work is well cited in the computer graphics and robotics literature, with more than 34,000 citations according to Google Scholar.

His research group also 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.

He has been recognized with numerous awards for his research and scholarship, including the NSF Career Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, Sloan Fellowship, IBM Fellowship, SIGMOD IndySort Winner, Honda Research Award, and UNC Hettleman Prize.

Manocha is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, IEEE, and has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

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 

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


Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award

Sloan Research Fellowship

IBM Fellowship

IGMOD IndySort Winner

Honda Research Award

UNC Hettleman Prize

Related News 

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. May 31, 2019

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. March 27, 2019

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. March 6, 2019

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. February 16, 2019

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. July 17, 2018

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. April 3, 2018

Maryland Robotics Center adds four faculty affiliates
Regli, Manocha, Shoukry and Sochol affiliate with the center. February 27, 2018