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Kavita Bala


Dean, Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, Cornell University

Kavita Bala is the Dean of Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science at Cornell University. Cornell Bowers CIS houses the departments of Computer Science, Information Science, and Statistics and Data Science. She received her S.M. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and her B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Bombay). She was a post doctoral researcher at the Program of Computer Graphics. She co-founded GrokStyle, a visual recognition AI company, which drew IKEA as a client, and was acquired by Facebook in 2019. Before becoming Dean, she served as the Chair of the Computer Science Department.

Bala specializes in computer vision and computer graphics, leading research in recognition and visual search; material modeling and acquisition, physically-based rendering; and material perception. Bala's work on scalable rendering, Lightcuts, is the core production rendering engine in Autodesk's cloud renderer; and her instance recognition research is the core technology of GrokStyle's visual search engine. Her work on 3D Mandalas was featured at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York.

Bala is an ACM Fellow (2019) and was inducted into the SIGGRAPH Academy in 2020. She is the recipient of the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award (2020), and the IIT Bombay Distinguished Alumnus Award (2021).

Bala serves on SIGGRAPH's Papers Advisory Group (PAG). Bala has served as the Editor-in-Chief of Transactions on Graphics (TOG), on the Papers Advisory Board for SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia, and as Associate Editor for TOG (Transactions on Graphics), TVCG (Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics) and CGF (Computer Graphics Forum). Bala has co-authored the graduate-level textbook "Advanced Global Illumination" (A K Peters publisher, second edition). She has chaired SIGGRAPH Asia 2011, and co-chaired Pacific Graphics (2010) and the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering (2005).

Bala has received the NSF CAREER award, Cornell's College of Engineering Fiona Li and Donald Li Excellence in Teaching Award (2015), James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award (2006 and 2009), and the Affinito-Stewart award.