Premkumar Natarajan is Michael Keston Executive Director of ISI, a vice dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and a professor of computer science. At ISI, he leads managerial and technical directions Institute-wide, including research, development and the MOSIS electronic chip brokerage. He also heads teams in his areas of expertise: novel approaches to face, speech, handwriting and optical character recognition (OCR), along with other deep learning and natural language processing directions.
As ISI’s chief executive, Natarajan oversees nearly 300 faculty and staff researchers, post-doctoral and graduate students, and others across the Institute’s diverse scientific and technical spectrum. Primary research groups include advanced electronics, computational systems and technology, informatics systems, intelligent systems, internet and networked systems, and space technology and systems.
Natarajan joined ISI from Raytheon BBN Technologies, where he served as an executive vice president and principal scientist. As head of BBN’s speech, language, and multimedia business, he founded highly successful computer vision, speech-to-speech translation, and document image processing groups. Natarajan also launched foundational research efforts in computational social science and predictive analytics, along with initiatives that commercialized BBN research into marketable products.
His other leadership roles include serving as organizing chair, co-chair and committee member for major conferences in speech, biometrics and document image processing. His latest involvements include the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Biometrics Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS), Interspeech, and the International Conference on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition.