At 16, based on an annual nationwide entrance exam taken anonymously  — and nothing else, to preclude tribalism, cronyism and outright corruption  — he skipped his senior year at St. Columba's High School in India for the 240-odd freshman class at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Kanpur, where he won the First Prize for Academic Excellence in the Core Curriculum in 1981 and was the Best Graduating Student in Electrical Engineering (EE) in 1983, both with two others. He then received the M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1987) Degrees in EE on a fellowship from Stanford University.
Between Stanford and FullView, he was with legendary Bell Labs Research. After a talk there in 1993 on an ongoing multiyear competition between teams from its Neural Networks, Robotics and Statistics Departments to authenticate signatures signed on signature pads such as in use today, he suggested that these efforts, their equal error rates, could be improved by an order of magnitude, tenfold. He was challenged to prove this, and when he did, over that summer, the President of Bell Labs Research, who'd been seeking his resignation for insubordination, thereon afforded him unfettered freedom instead, which culminated in FullView. Also for this, in 1994, he won a Bell-Labs-wide competition on applications of credit cards with a chip.
In 1989, he was concurrently on the faculty of Princeton University, which led him to author A Guided Tour of Computer Vision, Addison-Wesley, 1993  — a course text adopted for PhD qualifying exams in artificial intelligence and computer science, as by Stanford. He's been recognized for his patents and publications, and has been invited widely to describe his research  — as by MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, CMU, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Google, UBC, Technion, TU Delft, IIT Delhi and INRIA. He was an Associate Editor of IEEE PAMI over 1994  – 98 and was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2004.
His dad, a
midshipman in WWII at 16, was court martialed in 1946 for the
Indian Naval Mutiny that
Indian independence. Another ancestor,
Hari Singh Nalwa (1791–1837),
governor of Kashmir and
then Commander-in-Chief of the
Sikh Imperial Army,
is known for driving Afghan rule off the
to beyond the
dying defending its mouth.
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