Professor in Engineering, PES University, Bengaluru
Dr. Viraj Kumar is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Prior to joining PES University, Dr. Kumar has held faculty positions at NIIT University (Rajasthan, India), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois, USA), and the College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts, USA). Dr. Viraj Kumar has MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition, he holds a M.Sc. in Applied Statistics and Informatics from IIT-Bombay, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.
Dr. Kumar has a keen interest in Computer Science pedagogy, with an emphasis on developing software tools for educational purposes. He has mentored several student research projects in this domain, which has been published in national and international conferences. Dr. Kumar served in the Karnataka Knowledge Commission Task group on Educational Technology (2014-15), and is an organizer for the annual IEEE Technology for Education (T4E) conference.
Dr. Kumar is currently working on two funded research projects. In collaboration with Microsoft Research India, he is developing content and assessment strategies for Massively Empowered Classrooms. This project aims to provide instructors with high-quality course content which can be freely modified to suit a particular instructor’s purpose. Thus, unlike MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), MEC aims to empower instructors by giving them a strong foundation in terms of content and organization. Also, in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Dr. Kumar is developing serious games for teaching concepts in Mathematics to school students. In addition, Dr. Kumar is actively developing industry-academia partnerships to give PES University students opportunities to work with companies and research labs in the area of Technology for Education.
Dr. Kumar has published ‘Ranking Student Ability and Problem Difficulty Using Learning Velocities’, in Volume 384 of the series Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing pp. 191-199, presented at the The International Symposium on Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications (ISTA’15).