Texas A & M University

Vijay Rajanna

Who Am I ?

I am a, Ph.D., candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. I pursue research in Human-Computer Interaction at the Sketch Recognition Lab, advised by Dr. Tracy Hammond. At the Sketch Recognition Lab, our work spans across multiple dimensions of application oriented research in Computer Science. We have successfully developed Intelligent algorithms for sketch, gesture, and activity recognition. Our major contributions include a gaze-augmented multi-modal interaction framework, a haptic-assisted navigation system,  wearable devices for indoor navigation of users with vision impairment, a personal health assistant for physical and mental wellness, a social networking platform for kids etc.



Recent advancements in ubiquitous computing and hence the proliferation of wearable computing devices into our daily lives are having a profound impact on everything we do. In this smart and connected world, our day starts with wearable health trackers constantly monitoring our physical activity; at workplace, an array of Human-Centered Systems and intuitive interfaces direct us in performing our tasks efficiently, and finally when we go to bed, a pillow (or a wearable device) is already monitoring and generating statistics on the qualify of sleep.

We, therefore, are unknowingly (or knowingly) becoming highly dependent on these smart, tiny, wearable, context-aware, automated, self-learning, and connected devices of contemporary research and innovation. Having said that, I don't think we are anywhere close to the so-called undefined "Saturation Point." The opportunities are still boundless in the field of Artificial Intelligence and its sub-disciplines like ubiquitous computing and HCI.

Futuristic research in HCI will highly rely on natural human inputs like the pattern of eye movements, physical activity, emotions, stimulus-response compatibility etc. My research is largely motivated toward leveraging these implicit human inputs to create intuitive, multi-modal interaction systems that both enable rich interactions and also serve as the accessible technology for users with physical impairments.

Research Statement:

My research is interdisciplinary in nature as my work spans across Computer Science, Cognitive psychology, and Personal Health disciplines. My primary research focuses toward achieving seamless gaze-assisted human-computer interaction to improve the user's performance when working on computers. In this regard, I have developed a gaze-assisted, wearable-supplemented, foot-interaction framework to achieve accurate "point and click" interactions in a desktop environment, a gaze authentication system to counter shoulder surfing attacks, an efficient, dwell-free gaze typing system etc.

Furthermore, I explore the areas of ubiquitous computing and personal health to attribute meanings to human physical activities. I have developed wearable health assistants that support better physical health, cognitive reappraisal, and stress mitigation. These health assistants function by leveraging implicit human actions.

Note: Further details regarding the specific research goals that I am working on will be provided on  request.

Research Area:
Cognition in Human Computer Interaction, Eye Tracking, Gaze-Augmented Interaction, Eye Tracking for Analytics, Foot-operated Input Modality, Haptics, Multi-modal Interaction Design, Gesture Recognition, Activity Recognition, Sketch Recognition, Wearable and Pervasive Computing, and Cognitive Agents.


Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science
Expected Graduation - Summer 2017

Master of Science, Software Systems
Graduation - December 2011

Bachelor of Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering
Graduation - June 2008

Work Experience

Over FIVE years of industry experience, working throughout on research and development projects at the leading product development firms.


IBM - Cognitive Environments Lab, Watson Research Center, New York.


Internship. May 16th, 2016 - August 26th, 2016.

Nature of work

Developed a voice-enabled cognitive agent that can transform a normal space into a cognitive environment to support user tasks. The system was powered by IBM Watson cognitive services.


IBM - CIO Lab, New York.


Internship. May 26th, 2015 - August 14th, 2015.

Nature of work

Developed mobile interfaces with human-centered design, which assist in navigating robots in a datacenter, floor map generation, temperature monitoring, and asset management.


National Instruments Corporation, Austin, Texas.


Intern/Co-op-Software Eng/IMAQ Software. May 19, 2014 - August 8, 2014

Nature of work

1) Redesigned the User Interface and Interaction aspects of IMAQ Software. 2) Conducted a feasibility study on leveraging vision based object tracking algorithms to track user activities.


National Instruments, Bangalore, India


Staff software engineer. July 2012 to July 2013

Nature of work

1) Conducted research and development in "Computer Vision" for implementing image-processing algorithms, deployed in industrial inspection systems. 2) Performed multicoring and platform portability of vision algorithms on to various real time architectures.


NOKIA India Private Limited. Bangalore, India.


Engineer, System Software. June 2010 to July 2012

Nature of work

Conducted research and development toward implementing FlashLite adaptation layer on Symbian operating system to enable flash content on Webkit, Symbian WRT based browsers, and standalone applications.


Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Bangalore. India


Software Engineer. July 2008 to May 2010

Nature of work

Developed windows based applications that aid in calibration and analysis of Electronic Control Units in automobiles. Calibration tunes engine parameters for desired performance metrics.


NDS Services Pay TV Technologies, Bangalore. India.


Project Trainee - Internship. February 2008 to July 2008

Nature of work

Developed applications for Set-Top Box which are broadcasted on Media Highway Core platform.

Teaching, Recognition, Organization, and Professional Service


Spring 2017: Instructor of Record

  Course: CSCE 206 - Strctured Programming in C++.

  Number of students: 71.

  Resonsibilities: Composing syllabus, teaching, creating exams and assignments, final grading

  Students' Feedback:

Fall 2016: Instructor of Record

  Course: CSCE 206 - Strctured Programming in C++.

  Number of students: 46.

  Resonsibilities: Composing syllabus, teaching, creating exams and assignments, final grading

  Students' Feedback: URL


Received X - Factor award at the TAMU Diversity Accessibility Hackathon - College of Architecture, Texas A&M, Feb 2017.

Awarded second place in the IAP Research Poster Competition at Texas A&M, March 2017.

Received Graduate Teaching Fellow award by the Dwight Look College of Engineering - Texas A&M University, Spring 2017.

Publication “Let Me Relax” received the Best Student Paper award at MobiHealth 2015, London, UK.

Awarded first place in the Graduate Poster Competition at the TAPIA 2016 conference, Austin, TX.

Awarded third place in the Student Research Competition at the ASSETS 2016 conference, Reno, NV.

Recognized as a CIRTL Associate - Fellow of the Academy for Future Faculty, Texas A&M University, Fall 2016.

Awarded second place in the university-wide “Student Research Week 2015” at Texas A&M University.

Awarded second place in the Accessibility Mapping Challenge at GIS Day 2016, Texas A&M University.

MS thesis research “Accelerometer-Based Gesture Recognition Framework” was awarded as an excellent project.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering one time scholarship - Spring 2016.

Received Graduate Teaching Fellow award by the Dwight Look College of Engineering - Texas A & M University, Fall 2016.

ACM Travel Grant - Student Research Competition - ASSETS 2016.

ACM Travel Grant - Doctoral consortium and Poster presentation - IUI 2016.

TAPIA Scholarship - Doctoral consortium and Poster presentation - TAPIA 2016

Department of Computer Science and Engineering - Travel Grants - CHI 2017, ETRA 2016, SAP 2016, TAPIA 2014, TAPIA 2015

Honored with the Best Performance Award for the year 2009 at Bosch.

Received Appreciation Award at NOKIA for FlashLite design and other contributions.


LEAD - Google Developer Group TAMU, Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Organizer - Google Developer Group TAMU, Spring 2016 - Fall 2015

TAMU Academy for Future Faculty - Executive Committee - Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Student Association - Vice president, Social Events

Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Student Association - Social Officer



  • 2017: CHI, UIST, IDC, DIS, IUI, CSCW.
  • 2016: UIST, IUI, ETRA, CIPTTE.
  • 2015: WIPTTE, IJHCS, CAD

Judge: Student Research Week - 2017, IDEA challenge 2015.

Mentoring - Research: Purnendu Kaul (MS, Spring 2016), Aadil Hamid (MS), Rahul Bhagat (MS)

Mentoring - Undergrad: Aggie Challenge 2017 and 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Capstone - Fall 2013.