Prem Natarajan



Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Tufts University
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Tufts University
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Pune University


Premkumar Natarajan is Michael Keston Executive Director of ISI, a vice dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and a professor of computer science. At ISI, he leads managerial and technical directions Institute-wide, including research, development and the MOSIS electronic chip brokerage. He also heads teams in his areas of expertise: novel approaches to face, handwriting, character, handwriting and speech recognition, along with other deep learning and natural language processing directions.

As ISI’s chief executive, Natarajan oversees nearly 300 faculty and staff researchers, post-doctoral and graduate students, and others across the Institute’s diverse scientific and technical spectrum. Primary research groups include advanced electronics, computational systems and technology, informatics systems, intelligent systems, internet and networked systems, and space technology and systems.

Natarajan joined ISI from Raytheon BBN Technologies, where he served as an executive vice president and principal scientist. As head of BBN’s speech, language, and multimedia business, he founded highly successful computer vision, speech-to-speech translation, and document image processing groups. Natarajan also launched foundational research efforts in computational social science and predictive analytics, along with initiatives that commercialized BBN research into marketable products.

His other leadership roles include serving as organizing chair, co-chair and committee member for major conferences of the International Association for Pattern Recognition and International Speech Communication Association. His latest involvement, Interspeech 2016, occurs in September this year.