Rajiv Ratn SHAH

Assistant Professor,

Department of Computer Science and Engineering (joint appointment with the Department of Human-centered Design)

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-Delhi).

My name is Rajiv. I hail from the holi city Banaras (Varanasi). Banaras is also known as "Kashi" and located on the banks of the Ganges (the holy river) in the Uttar Pradesh state of North India. It is the spiritual capital of India and the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Lord Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BC when he gave his first sermon, "The Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma", at nearby Sarnath in Varanasi. Banaras has given great saints, poets, politicians, social activists, and artists to world. For instance, Tulsidas, Kabir, Ravidas, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Madan Mohan Malviya, and Bismillah Khan hail from my home city, Banaras. The current prime minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi, is a member of parliament (MP) from my place. In short, Varanasi has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage.

My full name is Rajiv Ratn Shah. Thus, many people think that I am from Gujarat. Well, there is a very interesting story behind my name. I am from a "Gupta" family in Varanasi. All my ansesters from Varanasi itself. Since we follow "Arya Samaj" as well our Hindu religion, all my siblings have "Ratn" as a last name instead of "Gupta". For instance, my elder brothers are Anoop Ratn and Vikas Ratn. Following the same convention my parents named me, Visal Ratn, when I started schooling. Since my class teacher was a good friend of my mother, she suggested my mother to change my first name because it doesn't look nice to her. During that time, Rajiv Ratn Gandhi was the prime minister of India. Thus, both decided to naming me after the current prime minister and named me "Rajiv Ratn". Coincidently, at that time the commissioner of Varanasi was Rajeev Ratan Shah, a 1964 batch IAS. Thus, my class teacher suggested my mother, why don't you add "Shah" as my last name. Consequently, I was named "Rajiv Ratn Shah". ;)

I have completed my schooling from "Bhartiya Shishu Mandir" and "Udai Pratap Inter College". Subsequently, I have completed my bachelors from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) with Mathematics Honours. Next, I have joined Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for my Masters in Computer Applications programme. JNU has changed my life dramatically, both from personal and techincal aspects. I have been placed in a very well-known company called, Aricent Technologies, as a Software Engineer. Being Software Engineer at Aricent Technologies gives me confidence (and money) to further explore what I would like to do in my career. Thus, I resigned from my job after 18 months and joined Delhi Technological University (formerly known as Delhi Engineering College) for Masters in Technologies program. Subsequently, I joined National University of Singapore (NUS) to pusrue PhD in Computer Science. NUS exposed me to the world-class research in the area of multimedia through their excellent Professors and providing opportunities to attend leading conferences such as ACM MM, ACM ICMR, IEEE ISM, and Springer MMM.

I have completed my PhD thesis in Computer Science under the supervision of Prof Roger Zimmermann in School of Computing at National University of Singapore. The title of my thesis was "Leveraging Multimodal Information in Semantics and Sentics Analysis of User-Generated Content". During my PhD, my research works involved multimedia understanding, search, and retrieval leveraging information from multiple sources. Particularly, my research interests included semantics and sentics understanding of user-generated multimedia content (UGC), multimodal analysis of UGC in support of social media applications, location-based services in the support of social media applications, and multimedia analysis and retrieval. Furthermore, I was interested in mobile spatio-temporal information management and adaptive video streaming techniques.

My current research revolves around multimedia content processing, natural language processing, image processing, multimodal computing, data science, social media computing, and the internet of things. I am looking for motivated students and interns in these areas in my group at IIIT-Delhi.