Faculty Directory

Manocha, Dinesh

Manocha, Dinesh

Distinguished University Professor
Paul Chrisman Iribe Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science
University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Institute for Systems Research
Maryland Robotics Center
5202 Iribe Center

Dinesh Manocha is the Paul Chrisman Iribe Chair in Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland College Park. He is also the Phi Delta Theta/Matthew Mason Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He has won many awards, including Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, the NSF Career Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, Google Faculty Awards,  Facebook Faculty Awards, Alibaba Innovation Awards, and the Hettleman Prize for scholarly achievement. His research interests include multi-agent simulation, virtual environments, artificial intelligence, and robotics. His group has developed a number of packages for multi-agent simulation, GPU computing, and physics-based simulation that have been used by hundreds of thousands of users and licensed to more than 60 commercial vendors. He has published more than 600 papers and supervised more than 40 PhD dissertations. He is an inventor of 10 patents, several of which have been licensed to industry. His work has been covered by the New York Times, NPR, Boston Globe, Washington Post, ZDNet, as well as DARPA Legacy Press Release. He is a Fellow of AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, member of ACM SIGGRAPH Academy, and Bézier Award from Solid Modeling Association. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Delhi and the Distinguished Career in Computer Science Award from Washington Academy of Sciences. He was a co-founder of Impulsonic, a developer of physics-based audio simulation technologies, which was acquired by Valve Inc in November 2016. See http://www.cs.umd.edu/~dm

Manocha received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992. He received his B. Tech. in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India, in 1987. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India.

Honors and Awards 

  • University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor
  • Pierre Bézier Award
  • Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
  • Sloan Research Fellowship
  • IBM Fellowship
  • IGMOD IndySort Winner
  • Honda Research Award
  • UNC Hettleman Prize


Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, graphics visualization, virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous driving, high performance and scientific computing

His research group developed software packages for physically based modeling, computer-aided design and scientific computing, which have been downloaded by more than 200,000 users worldwide and licensed to more than 55 corporations, including Fortune 500 companies. He is also named as an inventor on nine patents, several of which have been licensed to industry.He also supervised more than 65 master’s and doctoral students. Many of Manocha’s 35 Ph.D. advisees are professors at top universities and group leaders in industry.

Along with two of his former Ph.D. students and Professor Ming Lin, who is now the Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science at UMD, Manocha co-founded the 3D audio startup Impulsonic, which was acquired by Valve Software in 2016. Impulsonic’s product provided the realistic sounds required for a user to feel truly immersed in a virtual world and is available as part of Steam Audio SDK. The sound technologies developed by the researchers have also been used to evaluate the acoustic effects of architectural buildings and to model noise in indoor and outdoor environments.

For another research project, Manocha uses virtual reality and simulation technologies to predict the movement of pedestrians and crowds. These technologies can be used to improve crowd safety and prevent disasters like the 2015 Hajj crowd disaster in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where more than 2,200 pilgrims died. The multi-agent navigation technologies developed by Manocha’s group have also been integrated into most computer gaming engines.

Working with Boeing, Manocha’s research group modeled passenger behavior during the loading, unloading and evacuation of a commercial aircraft. This type of simulation allows the airlines to experiment with different boarding orders, seating arrangements and overhead layouts to reduce loading and unloading times—and ultimately demonstrate that the aircraft could be safely evacuated in less than 90 seconds, as required by U.S. federal law. This work, which has also been used to analyze crowd videos for surveillance and to estimate crowd sizes, garnered media attention during President Trump’s inauguration.

More recently, Manocha and his students began developing new technologies to simulate the movement and behavior of autonomous vehicles in challenging traffic conditions, such as Beijing or Washington, D.C. The major goal of this work is to predict the navigation and safety capabilities of autonomous cars in crowded scenarios that contain other vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. Manocha’s group has been collaborating on this project with Intel Corp. and Baidu Inc.

Three ECE Professors Ranked Top Scientists in the World by Guide2Research

They join seven other UMD faculty members breaking into the top 1000 scientist rankings based on their prolific research output.

UMD, UMBC, ARL Announce Cooperative Agreement to Accelerate AI, Autonomy in Complex Environments

The agreement leverages Maryland's national leadership in engineering, robotics, computer science, operations research, modeling and simulation, and cybersecurity.

UMD Researchers to Have a Strong Showing at ICRA 2021

University of Maryland researchers will present 15 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Robotis and Automation (ICRA 2021) to held on May 30 to June 5, 2021.

UMD GAMMA Group Awarded Best Paper and an Honorable Mention at IEEE VR 2021

The awarded work focuses on improving the efficiency of virtual agents used in areas like virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), online learning, and virtual social interactions.

New undergraduate minor in robotics and autonomous systems

The Maryland Robotics Center will administer the program, which begins in Fall 2021.

Report available from 2019 NSF Speech for Robotics Workshop

The workshop, chaired by Carol Espy-Wilson, identified key scientific and engineering advances needed to enable effective spoken language interaction with robotics.

MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 16 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2020

International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - From 25 October 2020 until 29 November 2020

$100,000 investment from Amazon to power Clark School initiatives in diversity, robotics research and education

Beneficiaries include two Ph.D. fellowships in robotics, the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, a robotics capstone course, the Black Engineers Society and the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers.

Sci-Fi Social Distancing?

Researchers tackle complexities of autonomous robots as a coronavirus solution.

Bera, Manocha and Shim awarded a BBI Seed Grant to examine the role of age and gender on gait-based emotion recognition

Project by three MRC faculty members was one of six that received BBI seed funding this year.

GAMMA Research Group is Developing Novel COVID-19 Prevention Robots

The NSF EAGER project intends to monitor pedestrian movements, using cameras and other sensors, that will automatically check for vital signs to gather reliable data, and investigate techniques to influence the behaviors of pedestrians to change their social behavior using robots.

Dinesh Manocha Named Distinguished University Professor

Manocha has received the highest honor bestowed on tenured faculty members at the University of Maryland.

MRC Researchers to Present 16 Papers at ICRA 2020

International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2020 will be held online from May 31st to August 31st. MRC researchers will be presenting 16 papers at this conference.  

Dinesh Manocha Receives the 2020 Pierre Bézier Award

Manocha receives the 2020 Pierre Bézier Award in recognition of his technically significant and lasting contributions in Solid, Geometric and Physical Modeling and their Applications.

GAMMA Group's Research on Emotional Modeling and Social Robotics Featured in Forbes

Dinesh Manocha and Aniket Bera’s latest development on a socially-intelligent robot known as ProxEmo, has been featured in Forbes.

New model predictive control framework improves reactive navigation for autonomous robots

The framework could be used in navigation algorithms for robots ranging from aerial vehicles to autonomous cars.

Manocha Keynote Speaker at 2019 ODSC Conference

Manocha spoke on “Autonomous Driving: Simulation and Navigation” at the Open Data Science Conference Oct. 29-Nov. 1.

Manocha keynote speaker at 2019 IEEE RO-MAN Conference

Manocha spoke on “Autonomous Driving: Simulation and Navigation.”

Manocha Named to 2019 ACM SIGGRAPH Academy

Manocha was recognized for his contributions to geometric modeling, GPU computing, interactive rendering of large complex scenes, and interactive sound simulation.

Realistic simulator improves safety of self-driving vehicles before road testing

Data-driven tech combines photos, videos, real-world trajectory, and behavioral info into autonomous driving simulator.

Manocha Talks Robotics at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting

Manocha discusses his research on robot planning, human-robot interaction, and autonomous driving.

Maryland Robotics Center team demonstrates robots at 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting

AAAS Fellow Dinesh Manocha interviewed; Robo Raven, Robo Crab and Tiny Terps shown to meeting participants.

Dinesh Manocha Elected AAAI Fellow

Manocha has been recognized for his significant contributions to robotics and multi-agent simulation.

Maryland researchers awarded DARPA cooperative agreement to develop robotic swarm strategies

Maryland's is among the first “core swarm sprints” projects awarded in DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program.

New MRC members

MRC Welcomes Four New Faculty Members: Dr. Bill Regli, Dr. Dinesh Manocha ,Dr. Yasser Shoukry, and Dr. Ryan Sochol.

  • Fellow, 2009

  • Fellow, 2011

  • Fellow, 2012