Anima Anandkumar holds dual positions in academia and industry. She is a Bren professor at Caltech CMS department and a director of machine learning research at NVIDIA. At NVIDIA, she is leading the research group that develops next-generation AI algorithms. At Caltech, she is the co-director of Dolcit and co-leads the AI4science initiative, along with Yisong Yue. AI4science has an ambitious mission to enable AI to help make fundamental scientific discoveries.
She has spearheaded the development of tensor algorithms, first proposed in her seminal paper. They are central to effectively processing multidimensional and multimodal data, and for achieving massive parallelism in large-scale AI applications. They are the first theoretically guaranteed learning methods for solving a broad range of problems in unsupervised, supervised, and reinforcement learning. She productionized these tensor algorithms at AWS, making them the most scalable algorithms for document categorization and probabilistic modeling available on the cloud. In addition, during her tenure at AWS, she helped with the launch of some of the first cloud AI services at AWS such as Amazon SageMaker (the ML platform), Amazon Comprehend (Natural Language Processing Services), and Amazon Rekognition (Computer vision service). This resulted in tens of thousands of customers using AWS AI services, with active users increasing more than 250 percent during her tenure.
She is deeply passionate about democratizing AI. She has launched several open-source initiatives, cloud credit and compute access programs, and pushed for reproducibility and fairness in AI. She is part of the Expert network of the World Economic Forum consisting of leading experts from academia, business, government, and the media. She chaired the committee on the Mapping AI Technological Development at the Global Governance of AI Roundtable, the first international forum to map the progress of AI. She has appeared alongside many luminaries such as Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, and Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader, and talked about AI and its impact on society. She was awarded the GoodTech award by NYTimes in 2018 for calling out A.I. bias and helping inclusion. Prof. Anandkumar is on the boards of #GoBeyondResumes, a non-profit focusing helping companies recruit based on skills, and “Behind her eyes”, a non-profit focusing on the impact of immersive VR on underrepresented minorities.
Prof. Anandkumar is the youngest named chair professor at Caltech, the highest honor the university bestows on individual faculty. She is recipient of several awards such as the Alfred. P. Sloan Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Faculty fellowships from Microsoft, Google and Adobe, and Young Investigator Awards from the Army research office and Air Force office of sponsored research. She has been featured in documentaries and articles by PBS, wired magazine, MIT Technology review, yourstory, and Forbes.
Anima received her B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 2004 and her PhD from Cornell University in 2009. She was a postdoctoral researcher at MIT from 2009 to 2010, visiting researcher at Microsoft Research New England in 2012 and 2014, assistant professor at U.C. Irvine between 2010 and 2016, associate professor at U.C. Irvine between 2016 and 2017, and principal scientist at Amazon Web Services between 2016 and 2018.