Mahesh Banavar, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was announced as the Clarkson University 2019 Outstanding Advisor Award winner during University Recognition Day last month. The outstanding faculty advisors of undergraduate students have been recognized during University Recognition Day since 1979. Dr. Banavar, who will receive his award during the “Last Lectures” on May 8, was chosen for the honor by students via advisor evaluation results from the previous fall and spring semesters.
“I felt deeply honored, especially because this award was based on the feedback of my student advisees, who I work with closely, and with the support my colleagues, who are actively involved in student advising and know its importance,” Dr. Banavar said.
A native of Bangalore, India, Dr. Banavar joined Clarkson in 2014 after serving as an assistant research professor at Arizona State University, where he also received his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering.
Dr. Banavar is working on two primary research projects. The first study involves utilizing behavioral biometrics to identify a user on a computer system by how they interact with their devices rather than through passwords, fingerprints or retina/face recognition. He is looking to identify legitimate users and block unauthorized users based on typing behavior on keyboards and by collecting touch/swipe/gesture data on mobile devices. The study is a collaborative effort with professors Daqing Hou, Ph.D., Director of Software Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Stephanie Schuckers, Ph.D., Paynter-Krigman Endowed Professor in Engineering Science in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) and Facebook.
His second research thrust is in the area of localization in GPS-denied environments, and specifically in crowded indoor environments, where signals are corrupted by scattering and interference. Dr. Banavar and his collaborator, Associate Professor of mathematics Jie Sun, Ph.D., are developing algorithms that will work with noisy and incomplete data. The algorithms can also be applied to estimating the sources of atrial fibrillation in human hearts, growth rates of forest fires and the wave propagation speed of tsunamis.