Vijay Chandru had his formal training in Electrical Engineering (BITS, Pilani), in Systems Science and Engineering (UCLA) and in Decision Sciences (MIT). In today’s nomenclature, he would be called an early data scientist.
Building on this foundation, he had over 35 years of experience straddling various geographies, academic environments and industries. His academic career in teaching and research in computational mathematics was substantially at Purdue University (first 10 years) and the Indian Institute of Science with visiting appointments at University of Pennsylvania, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. His departmental affiliations include Operations Research / Industrial / Systems Engineering, Computer Science and Business Administration.
Chandru is currently an adjunct visiting professor of interdisciplinary sciences in Bio-Engineering and in Cyber Physical Systems at the Indian Institute of Science.
Highlights of Academic Research, Translational Research
Professor Chandru’s journey as a data scientist can be seen as a two stage journey. The first two decades were largely dedicated to “tooling up” while building a foundation of research in analytic techniques. This was best carried out within the nurturing environment of great academic centres. The second two decades have been about translation and innovation which required stepping out of the ivory tower and into the real world – ultimately a social enterprise.
Chandru is often credited as being the first academic in India to chart this course of excellence in academics to translational impact through entrepreneurship and commercial venture. This pivot from academic to entrepreneur was not devoid of challenges and for about a decade, Chandru had to cut his bonds with academia only to reclaim them in the last couple of years with re-engagement at the Indian Institute of Science as an adjunct faculty member.