PI for Enigma Lab

Rajkumar Kubendran

Rajkumar Kubendran

Email: rajkumar.ece@pitt.edu

Office: 1129 Benendum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Student Office and Lab: 1220/1236 Benendum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St, Pittsburgh, PA 15261


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 2014 - 2020
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, 2009 - 2012
  • Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering, National Institute of Technology, 2004 - 2008

Professional Experience

  • IEEE Senior Member (Jan 2023-Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Sep. 2020–Present)
  • RFIC Design Engineer, Qualcomm New England, Boxborough, Massachusetts (Aug. 2012–Aug.2014)
  • International Visiting Scholar, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC), Leuven, Belgium (Jan. 2012–May. 2012)

Professional Activity

  • Session Chair at ISCAS and BioCAS 2023
  • Peer Reviewer of IEEE and Nature Journals
  • Nature Electronics
  • IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits (JSSC)
  • IEEE Trans. Neural Networks and Learning Systems (TNNLS)
  • IEEE Trans. Biomedical Circuits and Systems (TBioCAS)
  • IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS)
  • IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS)

Graduate Students (PhD)

Kangni Liu

Kangni Liu

I am a Ph.D. student at Pitt. I'm interested in chip design and FPGA programming. I studied control theory, C++ programming, digital circuit design, and analog circuit design. My research work involves implementing bio-realistic neural networks (BioNN) using op-amps in sub-threshold regime, and custom ASIC design for programmable nerve stimulator for pain relief. My goal is to design low-power energy-efficient neuromorphic circuits. Outside academics, I like reading Dream of the Red Chamber.

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Shahin Hashemkhani

I am an ECE Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh. I earned my M.Sc. degree working on the characterization of emerging resistive switching memory (PCM and RRAM) and designing and implementing a neuromorphic system to take advantage of the novel device. My dissertation was focused on solving the constraints satisfaction problem with the Spiking Hopfield network, where we solved the sudoku problem on hardware for the first time. Deeply passionate about emerging electronic devices and new architecture that may lead to more efficient electronics products. Currently, I am honored to work with two experts in device and ASIC design, Prof. Xiong and Prof. Kubendran, here at Pitt to continue studying the novel bio-inspired device and design chips to achieve a more bio-realistic neural networks.

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Joseph Ereifej

Hi! I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. I completed my Bachelors at Pitt in the spring of 2023 with a degree in Computer Engineering with a minor in Physics and certificates in Nanoscience & Engineering, as well as Quantum Computing & Quantum Information. In my undergrad, my research focused on graphene semiconductor fabrication and cleanroom operations. I also worked as a teaching assistant for core ECE classes like Junior Design Fundamentals and Digital Circuit Design. In my graduate program, my research focuses on neuromorphic systems, biomimetic image sensors, and VLSI design. Outside of academia, I enjoy cooking, reading, discovering music, and rock climbing.

Graduate Students (Masters)

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Vijay Shankaran Vivekanand

Vijay received the B.Tech. degree from PES University Bangalore, India in 2021. He is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include learning frameworks based on spiking neural networks that mimic the brain's information processing capabilities and neuromorphic locomotion control systems on legged robots that enable them to perceive their environment, learn from it, and adapt accordingly. He actively engages in collaborative efforts that bridge the gap between neuroscience, computer science, and robotics.

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Vishnu Prasanna Kashyap

I am an ECE Master's Student at the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Rajkumar Kubendran. My area of interest is computer vision applications on edge devices. I completed my Bachelors from Birla Institue of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 2020. Following my Bachelors, I worked at Samsung Research on various computer vision solutions for the mobile camera system and also at the Hardware Abstraction Layer of the Android camera systems. Currently I am working on computer vision models for neuromorphic cameras.

Undergraduate Students

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Samarth Chopra

I am presently a junior pursuing a Computer Engineering degree at the University of Pittsburgh. My passion for discovering and applying cutting-edge engineering concepts propels me forward. I am particularly drawn to the domains of neuromorphic computing, robotics and reinforcement learning. With a foundation of research and industry experience, I am eager to further enrich my expertise and broaden my skill set. Beyond academia, I enjoy sports like soccer, basketball, and table tennis during leisure.

Alumni/Previous Students

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Hitesh Ahuja

I am a PhD student at University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Rajkumar Kubendran and Dr. Alex Jones. I am interested in working on low power circuits for advanced applications like artificial intelligence. I have done by Bachelors in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering and Masters in Microelectronics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. I have worked in the areas of circuit designing, electronic devices, machine learning, deep learning in the research projects during the course of my studies as well as the short industry experience in NXP Semiconductors and now looking forward to designing advanced neuromorphic circuits during my PhD. In addition to academics, I like playing football and cooking.

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Shanmuga Priyaa Venkatachalam

I am an ECE PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh. My background is in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, with special focus on Machine Learning. During my Masters at Carnegie Mellon, I have worked on various Deep Learning projects touching applications such as Computer Vision and Speech. Besides, I was also fortunate to work in the industry on cutting-edge ML algorithms and applications, including NLP research at Samsung. At Pitt, I am excited to pursue my research on Neuromorphic Engineering under the guidance of Prof. Kubendran, wherein I am exploring brain-inspired Spiking Neural Network models and algorithms for Human-Computer Interaction applications.

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Todd Marzec

I am a Junior Electrical Engineering major at the University of Pittsburgh. I have a concentrated interest in electronics, energy, and power. In addition to my engineering studies, I am pursuing a minor in economics. I am currently doing a Co-op at Curtiss-Wright Corporation where I study power distribution and conversion. I am expanding my responsibilities into the area of electric machine design and analysis, as well. I have a desire to research and learn more about machine learning, electronics design and biological computation through the ENIGMA Lab. I am a student member of IEEE @Pitt and Men’s Club Ice Hockey. Outside of academics, you can find me at the ice rink or running around South Oakland.

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Stuart McCutchen

Hello! I'm Stuart McCutchen. I am an undergraduate electrical engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have been studying with a focus on electronic devices and product design. I am also obtaining a minor in Economics, two EE concentrations, and a certificate in Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship. As I continue with my curriculum, I am beginning to hone in on my interests that currently include: portable electronic devices, product development, Artificial Intelligence (i.e. computer vision, speech recognition, etc.), digital systems, IoT, neuromorphic engineering, and biologically-inspired electronics. I am developing my skills and knowledge in several of these areas of interest as part of my research in the ENIGMA Lab, particularly A.I. and neuromorphic engineering.

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Christina Sivaprakasam

I am a sophomore majoring in computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. I have a strong interest in how biological phenomena, particularly within neuroscience, parallel ideas found in electrical systems and computational research. In addition to academics, I also have a passion for music, fiction and non-fiction novels, and learning different styles of dance.