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Debajyoti Bera
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
IIIT-Delhi, India
Ph.D. (2010), Boston University, USA B.Tech. (2002), IIT-Kanpur, India
Contact: @
Office phone: 011-26907442
Office address: B204 Academic Building IIIT-Delhi Okhla Industrial Estate Phase-3 New Delhi, India - 110020
Residential address: Flat 601 Faculty Residence IIIT-Delhi Okhla Industrial Estate Phase-3 New Delhi, India - 110020
Permanent address: 84B/9 Dum Dum Cossipore Road Aikatan Abasan Near Ajoynagar Kali Mandir Kolkata, West Bengal India - 700074

Looking for PhD/MTech(thesis) students

Looking for students to work on research problems in the following areas. Read this before contacting me.
  • Quantum computing: designing new algorithms, proving lower bounds on communication & complexity of solving problems, comparing classical and quantum computations
  • Complexity theory: investigating problems and complexity classes in P and below, especially circuit classes
  • Theoretical aspects of privacy: study different metrics of privacy -- differential privacy, k-anonymity, etc., and analyse them computationally, show tights bounds of provable privacy, using hashing techniques & randomisation for obfuscation, design & analysis of privacy preserving mechanisms
  • Network/Graph algorithms

Looking for PhD students for Computational Biology problems

I am looking for a doctoral student in computational biology.
  • You must be interested in solving important computational biology problems using tools from theoretical computer science and data analysis.
  • Knowledge of biology is not mandatory, the required knowledge can be very well picked up by doing courses offered by the Center for Comp. Bio.
  • However, good understanding of algorithms and data structures and technique for analysing them is a must.
  • You should also be comfortable in developing programs, operating different tools and writing scripts for automating these tools.

What am I up to recently?

  • Aug 2017: Teaching CSE525:(Graduate Algorithms)
  • Jan 2017: Teaching CSE622:(Introduction to Quantum Computing) and CSE322:Theory of Computing
  • Aug 2016: Advising G. Venkatesh for MTech thesis on LSH for data mining problems
  • Aug 2016: Teaching CSE525:(Graduate Algorithms)
  • Jan 2016: Teaching CSE523:(Randomized Algorithms) and CSE322:Theory of Computing
  • Aug 2015: Advising Amitesh Pandey for MTech thesis on universal turing machine simulator
  • Aug 2015: Advising Shubham Srivastava for MTech thesis on utility vs privacy gurantees of differential privacy
  • Aug 2015: Teaching CSE525 (Graduate Algorithms)
  • Jan 2015: Teaching CSE622 (Quantum Computing)
  • Jan 2015: Teaching CSE421/621 (Computational Complexity)
  • Aug 2014: Teaching CSE525 (Graduate Algorithms)
  • May 2014: Advising Khalique Newaz for MTech thesis on network analysis of prion disease
  • Jan 2014: Teaching CSE523 (Probability in Computing)
  • Aug 2013: Teaching CSE525 (Graduate Algorithms) and another 2-credit course CSE526 (P vs NP)
  • Jan 2013: Teaching (jointly with Rajiv Raman) CSE222 (Analysis and Design of Algorithms)
  • Aug 2012: Guiding Monalisa Jena (Ph.D.) on Rank Similarity Metrics
  • Aug 2012: Teaching CSE320/520 (Advanced Algorithms) in Monsoon 2012
  • Aug 2012: Guiding Akash Vanjani (B.Tech.) on Classroom Scheduling
  • Jan 2012: Teaching CSE523 (Probability in Computing) and CSE524 (Theory of Modern Cryptography, co-instruct with Somitra Sanadhya)
  • Jan 2012: Guiding Pranav Raj (B.Tech.) on Combinatorial Games
  • Dec 2011: Attending ICISS 2011 (Kolkata)
  • Aug 2011: Video lecture at IIT-Delhi as part of MHRD project on Introduction to Quantum Computing
  • Jul 2011: Guiding Anuj Saxena (Ph.D.) on Location-Privacy in Location Based Services

Some software projects I was involved with

FOSS Involvement:I started using GNU/Linux at IIT in 2000 (for the sake of brevity I will write Linux to mean GNU/Linux). Redhat Linux (now Fedora Core) was used at our computer center but soon I moved to Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva Linux). The love thus started is not over yet. I am still using Mandriva Linux.

Like many other FOSS believers, I was highly motivated by Eric S. Raymond's Cathedral and the Bazaar when I read it in 2001. I wrote my first FOSS software and released it under an open source licensed soon after.

Over the years, the developer's itch bothered me several times. This resulted in several new softwares that I wrote. Some of these are not relevant anymore; but in their days some of them were even included in some Linux distributions.

Since 2005 I am involved with the Beagle project, the first desktop search service for Linux. Since 2006 December, I lead the development of the project and I am also one of the maintainers of the Beagle project. I also wrote several softwares related to Beagle and released them under open source licenses.

Other than the projects mentioned above, I have also contributed to numerous other open source projects, including bug-fixes and new features.

I was a mentor for the Beagle project for Google Summer of Code in 2007.

My Research Interests

computational complexity theory, quantum computing, randomized algorithms, algorithms in networking &data-mining, theoretical aspects of security & privacy

Reports and Publications

Talks and Presentations

Ph.D. Students

M.Tech. Thesis

  • Anuj S. Saxena (*) (co-guide Vikram Goyal)
  • Siddharth Dawar (*) (co-guide Vikram Goyal)
B.Tech. Project: Pranav Raj, Akash Vanjani, Kshitij Jain, Sahil Mahajan, Alakh Dhruv Chopra.
My Erdos number is 4.

What have I been teaching?

I feel comfortable teaching theoretical Computer Science courses, both undergraduate and advanced. The advanced courses stress on formalism and rigorous analysis, whereas, the introductory courses on breadth and competence in tools and techniques.

Assistant Professor at IIIT-Delhi (since Jan, 2010)

Many of these courses were also designed by me.

Teaching Fellow at Boston University (2003 to 2009)

I formally got involved in teaching as Teaching Fellow for various courses at Boston University since 2003. I enjoy teaching both introductory and and advanced courses. Introductory classes require a lot of patience and I enjoy the challenge of explaining completely new concepts to students. On the other hand in the advanced classes I am mostly acting as a tutor helping the students who get stuck. Students and professors like me alike for my services. I was awarded The Best TF award in the Computer Science department in 2007 by the College of Arts and Science (CAS), Boston University. Following are some of the courses which I oversaw as TF (many of them multiple times).

  • CS111 - Introduction to Computing, both C++ and Java
  • CS112 - Data Structures
  • CS113 - Combinatoric Structures (Introductory Discrete Mathematics)
  • CS235 - Algebraic Algorithms
  • CS237 - Probability in Computing
  • CS330 - Introduction to Analysis of Algorithms (Undergraduate Algorithms)

Where have I worked?

GMD-IPSI: I was a summer intern during the summer of 2001 at GMD-IPSI (later merged with Fraunhofer IPSI) in Darmstadt, Germany. There I worked for the OASYS group on the project Teachware on Demand. Teachware on Demand tries to solve the courseware management problem where courses are taken by students, written by authors and tagged by editors. The system allows each group to work independently and allows efficient tagging to create courses from smaller concepts. I was responsible for developing the intermediate web architecture using SOAP. I also did some theoretical work on integrating LOM (Learning Object Metadata) and MPEGĀ­7 to allow tagging of courses in video formats.

Adobe Systems India Pvt. Ltd.: I worked for 5 months in 2002 after graduation from IIT Kanpur at Adobe's India R&D center in Noida, India. I was responsible for reverse engineering and parsing Microsoft office file formats to be read by Adobe applications. I really liked the work there; also, we moved to a new building when I was there which was very nice.

VMWare, Inc.: I was a summer intern during the summer of 2006 at VMWare's R&D center at Palo Alto, USA. I designed the API and implemented the required infrastructure to allow (python and other) scripts to be submitted, managed and run on virtual machines using Virtual Center. It was a wonderful experience to work at a company which was growing extremely rapidly at that time.

Personal Information

Roads and bends taken so far ...
  • 1980: Incubated in Kolkata
  • (1983-1984) Pre-nursery in Springdal School, Rourkela
  • (1984-1986) Pre-nursery in Olympus K.G. School, Paikpara, Kolkata
  • (1986-1990) St. Mary's Orphanage and Day School, Dumdum, Kolkata
  • (1990-1996) Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, Kolkata
  • (1996-1998) Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur, Kolkata
  • (1998-2002) B.Tech. at IIT-Kanpur
  • (2002) Software developer at Adobe India Private Ltd.
  • (2003-2009) Ph.D. at Boston University
  • (2010-) Assistant Professor at IIIT-Delhi

For projects and thesis advisor

Possible domains (not exhaustive): Complexity theory, Algorithms, Formal solutions for security and privacy, Quantum computing, Algorithms for computer networks, Algorithms for data engineering.

If you want to do a project or thesis with me, I would require a minimum of one of these skills:

  • Good grades in these courses: programming, discrete mathematics, data structures, algorithms
  • For implementation work: good hold in your choice of programming language, knowledge of standard libraries and expert in finding and using multiple APIs, fully comfortable with new tools and technologies
  • For theoretical work: strength in mathematics, especially algebra, probability and combinatorics, good grades in courses like advanced (or any other elective) algorithms, theory of computing, or other theoretical courses, ability to formulate a problem in a formal manner, and ability to write a formal proof
  • Students with Mathematics background, with some exposure to theoretical computer science, are strongly desired

Need a letter of recommendation?

I will only write a letter if you have worked with me for at least two semester, where work means

  • a course (including independent study) with A- or a better grade
  • a successfully completed project (regular or internship)
  • a properly done TA-ship
  • some research, or other significant academic activity

Looking for internship or project under my guidance?

Contact me only if you want to solve challenging problems with provable theoretical bounds. The problem can be entirely theoretical or involve some implementation, but you must be prepared to approach the problem in a more structured and formal way. If you wish to work according to these terms, send me an email with a 2-3 paragraph writeup on the problem which excites you, including (a) why it is challenging (b) some initial idea that you have thought.