Research at CSE Department, IIT Madras

The CSE dept at IIT Madras has a strong research group working on various areas in computer science.
  • Research areas in the Department
  • Research by faculty name
  • By lab

    For students looking to join as research scholars in the department

    The CSE department provides world class facilities for pursuing research in several areas. Inter department work is encouraged. Note. Many of the details mentioned in this page apply to both M.S. and Ph.D. scholars, unless specified otherwise.

    Research programs

    M.S. program: In this program, the scholar works under the supervision of an advisor. A General Test Committe (GTC) oversees the work of the scholar periodically. The scholar does a minimum of five courses, and then pursues independent research, resulting in a dissertation. The dissertation is sent to external reviewers. Based on the reviews, a viva voce is optionally held by the GTC. Most M.S. scholars go on for further studies or join research oriented companies after they graduate.

    Ph.D. program: In the Ph.D. program, the scholar works under the supervision of an advisor. A Doctoral Committe (DC) oversees the work of the scholar. After joining the program, the scholar typically finishes a minumum course requirement, and then has to clear a comprehensive exam. After this, the scholar pursues research, leading to a dissertation which is evaluated by external reviewers. After incorporating the comments given by the reviewers, the scholar has to defend the thesis before an expert panel. Most Ph.D. scholars join research organizations, academia or go on for post doctoral work.

    Employment opportunities as project staff

    People wanting to get a feel for research can join the department as project staff. Project staff members work on sponsored research projects reporting to a faculty member. They are paid a salary from the IIT centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR). Project staff can even attend courses offered in the Institute. However, project staff are not students of the Institute and have to meet eligibility criteria (see below) to join any of the research programs.
    Joining as project staff gives an introduction to research, and can help determine if one has an aptitude for research.
    Please see the employment opportunities page for current openings as project staff.

    Admission to research programs

    M.S. program: Eligibility requires undergraduate degree (usually in computer science) and a valid GATE score. See IIT Madras admissions page for details. The applicant has to appear for a test/interview conducted by the Department. Admission to the program is decided on the performance in this.
    Admissions to the M.S. program happen twice a year: in January and in August. Applications are available by late October and May respectively.

    Ph.D. progam: Eligibity is a post graduate degree (M.Tech/MS or equivalent, usually in computer science); see IIT Madras admissions page for details. The applicant has to appear in a test/interview conducted by the Department. Admission is decided on the performance of this. Applications to the Ph.D. program are accepted throughout the year. Admissions are twice a year; in January and August.

    Categories of admission

  • Regular or HTTA/HTRA: Scholarship awarded by M.H.R.D., through IIT Madras. HTTA is for M.S. scholars; HTRA for Ph.D. scholars.
  • Project: Scholar works on a sponsored project as a project associate or project officer. The scholar is paid a salary through the centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR), IIT Madras. The GATE cutoff is typically lesser for project M.S. students than regular students.
  • External: For employed students. The scholar completes a minimum on-campus residential period (typically one semester) for completing course-work. Research work is carried out at the scholars place of emplyment, with periodic visits to the Department. The scholar is jointly supervised by a faculty memeber in the Department, and another advisor at the place of employment. This type of admission is restricted to employees of research labs or centres where facilities for research are available. The department has external scholars from DRDO, ISRO and comapnies like Texas Instruments and Honeywell. Faculty from technical institutions cannot apply under external category.
  • Part-time: This type of admission is for faculty in technical institutions only. There is a minimum on-campus residential period (typically one semester) for completing course work. The scholar is guided by a member of the faculty from the Department. Part-time admissions are generally given only to people from in and around Chennai, as they are expected to come on weekends and work on their research.

    Financial assistance

    Several funding agencies provide scholarships/salaries. These include the HRD Ministry and sponsored research projects through the IIT centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR). Several fellowships from companies like Infosys and IBM are also available. The Department provides partial/total travel grant for attending national/international conferences. In addition, the Institute also has schemes for providing registration and travel funding for attending national/international conferences.

    Current scholarships

  • HTTA (for regular M.S. scholars) Rs.5000 per month (to be revised soon), for three years maximum; Rs.10,000 annual contingengy grant.
  • HTRA (for regular Ph.D. scholars) Rs.14,000 per month for the first two years, and Rs.15,000 for the next two years; Rs. 20,000 annual contingency grant.
  • M.S. by project: Project associates gets a salary of about Rs.8000-Rs.10000, depending on qualifications and experience. Travel grant from project funding.
  • Ph.D. by project: Project officers get a salary of about Rs.15000-Rs.18000, depending on qualifications and experience. Travel grant from project funding.
  • Microsoft India Ph.D. fellowship: Approx. Rs.16,000 monthly and travel grant for attending conferences. Max time period: 48 months. Awardees: Arpita Patra, T. Venkatesh.
  • Infosys fellowship: Endowment consists of a sum of Rs. 9 lakhs; a sum of Rs. 3 lakhs will be released initially and Rs. 6 lakhs will be released over the duration of the award at regular intervals. Package of Rs. 2.25 to Rs. 2.55 lakhs per year. Out of this Rs. 1.80 lakhs will be paid as stipend per year. The balance will be treated as grant of fund to cover the cost of books, tution, journals, attending domestic and international conferences, purchasing of personal computer at the discretion of the Department. Awardees: Ashish Choudhary, Manimegalai Rajkumar, P Vinod, Sujatha Upadhyaya
  • IBM Ph.D. fellowship: Rs. 15,000 monthly, annual incidental expenses Rs.15,000, annual tuition fees (approx) Rs. 7,000. Awardees: S. Ranbir Singh, Madhu Mutyam
  • Inautix Fellowship and Contingency grant: Fellowship: Rs. 15,000 per month; contingency grant: Rs. 10,000; tution Rs. 13,980 per semester (subject to revision for specific years). Awardees: Bhimarjuna Raddy, Vijay Srinivas In addition, the scholar can apply to other fellowships/research grants whenever the grants are available. The Department typically reccomends eligible scholars to the institution granting the fellowhip. The final approval of the fellowship is decided by the funding institution. The scholar is allowed to have only one source of financial assistance.

    Alloting research advisors

    The student can specify a preference of advisors from among the faculty. Before this, it is expected that the student has some idea of what area he or she wishes to work on, and which faculty member he or she wishes to collaborate with. Prospective students can visit faculty homepages and their respective lab webpages to learn more about their work. Once admission to the Department is confirmed, it is reccomended that the student visit the Department or at least contact prospective research advisors.
    The final allotment of the advisor is decided by the Head of the Department.

    Facilities for research scholars

  • Central library, IIT Madras: The IIT Madras Central Library has more than four lakh books in almost all areas of science and arts. The library also subscribes to more than a thousand scholarly journals and provides both electonic and paper access. Visit the website of the Central Library at:
  • CSE Department library: The CSE department library has a well stocked library catering to all research areas and courses taught in the department. The library has around 10,000 books, and the stock is regularly being updated. In addition, research scholars can request for specific books to be purchased through their advisors.
  • Access to online publications: IIT Madras subscribes to several online refreed journals through the INDEST consortium, including journals of the IEEE, ACM, Springer and Elsiver. Access is provided to these journals from all computers in the campus.
  • Video conferencing facilities: The IIT Media Resource Centre provides facilities for high speed video conferencing.
  • Computing facilities: Most computers in the department run some flavour of Linux. The Department Computing Facility (DCF) has a large number of networked PCs and Sun workstations. In addition, most of the labs have their own mail/web servers and dedicated facilities for heavy computation. Solaris, MacOS and MS Windows environments are available. Also, the IIT Computer Centre has several high end computing platforms.
  • Working environment: The Department provides a stimulating research environment. Most of the labs have some sort of a seminar system in place. In addition to the Department library, cubicles are available for quiet reading in the Research Scholars' Bay. The relation between the students and faculty are very friendly and informal.
  • Extra cirricular activities: IIT Madras is spread over 600 acres in a reserve forest. The Institute provides facilities for all-round development including an Olympic size swimming pool, facilities for various sports and games, vibrant cultural and science festivals.
  • Campus housing for married scholars: Cheap campus housing is provided for married scholars and their families. Due to limited number of apartments, a waiting period of about a year is currently unavoidable for getting campus housing.
  • Other facilities: IIT Madras is a residential Institute. There are two schools, a post office, banks and ATMS, shopping centre, and a hospital on campus. See the IIT Madras website for more details.
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036
    Phone: +91-44-22574350 Fax: +91-44- 22574352 email: