Amitabh Varshney

Professor and Interim VP for Research
2119 A.V. Williams Building
(301) 405-6722
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Computer Science)
Special Awards/Honors: 
National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, IEEE Fellow

Amitabh Varshney is the interim vice president for research at the University of Maryland and a professor of computer science.

Varshney's research focuses on exploring the applications of graphics and visualization in engineering, science, and medicine through advances in geometry processing, illumination models, perceptual rendering, and high-performance visual computing. His research results are being used in a variety of application domains such as therapeutic drug design, climate modeling, plasma physics, nano manufacturing, medical imaging, and gene sequencing.

Varshney has worked on the design and implementation of virtual walkthroughs of proposed structures, such as buildings, automobiles and submarines. His research in molecular graphics has involved devising new algorithms for parallel and analytical computation and visualization of molecular surfaces, their interfaces, and electrostatics.

Varshney has also contributed toward the development of new algorithms for a number of research areas in graphics and visualization including visual saliency, summarization of large visual datasets, automatically generating multiresolution hierarchies, procedural textures, and rendering with points, images, meshes, and volumes. He is currently exploring several applications in general-purpose high performance parallel computing using clusters of CPUs and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). He has consulted and collaborated with NVIDIA, Honda, IBM, Daimler Chrysler, General Dynamics, and Reuters.

Varshney received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, given to outstanding junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars so they can further their research in their areas of expertise, in 1995 and the IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award in 2004.

He was elected as a fellow of the IEEE in 2010. He is the director of the NVIDIA CUDA Center of Excellence at UMD and serves as the chair of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee.

Varshney received a B. Tech. in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1989 and an M.S. and doctorate in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991 and 1994.



Patro R, Dickerson JP, Bista S, Gupta SK, Varshney A.  2012.  Speeding Up Particle Trajectory Simulations under Moving Force Fields using GPUs. Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering.


Patro R, Ip C Y, Bista S, Cho SS, Thirumalai D, Varshney A.  2011.  MDMap: A system for data-driven layout and exploration of molecular dynamics simulations. Biological Data Visualization (BioVis), 2011 IEEE Symposium on.

Patro R, Ip C Y, Bista S, Varshney A.  2011.  Social Snapshot: A System for Temporally Coupled Social Photography. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE. 31(1):74-84.

Ip C Y, Varshney A.  2011.  Saliency-Assisted Navigation of Very Large Landscape Images. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 17(12):1737-1746.


Bista S, Varshney A.  2010.  Global Contours. CS-TR-4957

Kim Y, Varshney A, Jacobs DW, Guimbretière F.  2010.  Mesh saliency and human eye fixations. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP). 7(2):12:1–12:13-12:1–12:13.

Patro R, Ip CY, Varshney A, Hagen H.  2010.  Saliency Guided Summarization of Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Scientific Visualization: Advanced Concepts. 1:321-335.


Lee CH, Kim Y, Varshney A.  2009.  Saliency-guided lighting. IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems. 2:369-73.

Barni R, Comba J, Varshney A.  2009.  Salient Clustering for View-dependent Multiresolution Rendering. Computer Graphics and Image Processing (SIBGRAPI), 2009 XXII Brazilian Symposium on.

Stantchev G, Juba D, Dorland W, Varshney A.  2009.  Using Graphics Processors for High-Performance Computation and Visualization of Plasma Turbulence. Computing in Science Engineering. 11(2):52-59.

Sankaranarayanan AC, Patro R, Turaga P, Varshney A, Chellappa R.  2009.  Modeling and visualization of human activities for multicamera networks. EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing. 2009


Kim Y, Varshney A.  2008.  Persuading Visual Attention through Geometry. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 14(4):772-782.

Juba D, Varshney A.  2008.  Parallel, stochastic measurement of molecular surface area. Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling. 27(1):82-87.

Stantchev G, Juba D, Dorland W, Varshney A.  2008.  Confluent Volumetric Visualization of Gyrokinetic Turbulence. Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on. 36(4):1112-1113.


Schatz MC, Trapnell C, Delcher AL, Varshney A.  2007.  High-throughput sequence alignment using Graphics Processing Units. BMC Bioinformatics. 8(1):474-474.

Stantchev G, Juba D, Dorland W, Varshney A.  2007.  Plasma Turbulence Simulation and Visualization on Graphics Processors: Efficient Parallel Computing on the Desktop. Bulletin of the American Physical Society. Volume 52, Number 11

Hussein M, Varshney A, Davis LS.  2007.  On implementing graph cuts on cuda. First Workshop on General Purpose Processing on Graphics Processing Units.


Kim Y, Lee C H, Varshney A.  2006.  Vertex–transformation streams. Graphical Models. 68(4):371-383.

Lee C, Varshney A.  2006.  Computing and displaying intermolecular negative volume for docking. Scientific visualization: the visual extraction of knowledge from data. I:49-64.

Lee CH, Hao X, Varshney A.  2006.  Geometry-dependent lighting. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 12(2):197-207.

Sankaranarayanan J, Samet H, Varshney A.  2006.  A Fast k-Neighborhood Algorithm for Large Point-Clouds. Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE/Eurographics Symposium on Point-Based Graphics. ACM, Boston, MA, USA.

Kim Y, Varshney A.  2006.  Saliency-guided Enhancement for Volume Visualization. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 12(5):925-932.


Lee C H, Varshney A, Jacobs DW.  2005.  Mesh saliency. ACM transactions on graphics. 24(3):659-666.


Lee C H, Hao X, Varshney A.  2004.  Light Collages: Lighting Design for Effective Visualization. Proceedings of the conference on Visualization '04.

Hao X, Varshney A.  2004.  Real-time rendering of translucent meshes. ACM Trans. Graph.. 23(2):120-142.


Kalaiah A, Varshney A.  2003.  Statistical point geometry. Proceedings of the 2003 Eurographics/ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on Geometry processing.

Kalaiah A, Varshney A.  2003.  Modeling and Rendering of Points with Local Geometry. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 9(1):30-42.

Hao X, Baby T, Varshney A.  2003.  Interactive subsurface scattering for translucent meshes. Proceedings of the 2003 symposium on Interactive 3D graphics.


Lee CH, Varshney A.  2002.  Representing thermal vibrations and uncertainty in molecular surfaces. SPIE Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis. 4665:80-90.

Chen B, Kaufman A, Mueller K, Varshney A.  2002.  State of the art in data representation for visualization. IEEE Visualization Tutorial.

Li Z, Varshney A.  2002.  A real-time seamless tiled display system for 3D graphics. Immersive Projection Technology Symposium of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2002 Conference (VR2002 IPT).

Luebke D, Watson B, Cohen JD, Reddy M, Varshney A.  2002.  Level of Detail for 3D Graphics.


Chang CF, Varshney A, Ge QJ.  2001.  Haptic and aural rendering of a virtual milling process. ASME 2001 Design Engineering Technical Conference and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Chang CF, Varshney A, Ge QJ.  2001.  Hierarchical image-based and polygon-based rendering for large-scale visualizations. Hierarchical and Geometrical Methods in Scientific VisualizationHierarchical and Geometrical Methods in Scientific Visualization.

Hao X, Varshney A.  2001.  Variable-precision rendering. Proceedings of the 2001 symposium on Interactive 3D graphics.

Varshney A.  2001.  Guest Editor's Introduction: Special Issue on Visualization 2000. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. 7(3):193-194.

Li ST, Ge QJ, Varshney A.  2001.  Web-based interactive design of freeform motions. Proceedings of the ASME 2001 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

Varshney A, Kalaiah A.  2001.  Differential point rendering. Proceedings of 12th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering.


El-Sana J, Evans F, Kalaiah A, Varshney A, Skiena S, Azanli E.  2000.  Efficiently computing and updating triangle strips for real-time rendering. Computer Aided Design. 32(13):753-772.

El-Sana J, Varshney A.  2000.  Continuously-adaptive haptic rendering. Virtual Environments. 2000:135-135.


El-Sana J, Varshney A.  1999.  View-dependent topology simplification. Virtual Environments. 99:11-22.

El‐Sana J, Varshney A.  1999.  Generalized View‐Dependent Simplification. Computer Graphics Forum. 18(3):83-94.

El-Sana J, Azanli E, Varshney A.  1999.  Skip Strips: maintaining triangle strips for view-dependent rendering. Visualization '99. Proceedings.


Kim Y, Patro R, Ip CY, O’Leary DP, Anishkin A, Sukharev S, Varshney A.  1998.  Salient Frame Detection for Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Scientific Visualization: Interactions, Features, Metaphors. 2:160-175.

Ge QJ, Varshney A, Menon JP, Chang CF.  1998.  Double quaternions for motion interpolation. Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference.

El-Sana J, Varshney A.  1998.  Topology simplification for polygonal virtual environments. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 4(2):133-144.


Varshney A, El-Sana J, Evans F, Darsa L, Costa B, Skiena S.  1997.  Enabling virtual reality for large-scale mechanical CAD datasets. Proceedings of ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Sept. 14:17-17.

Darsa L, Costa Silva B, Varshney A.  1997.  Navigating static environments using image-space simplification and morphing. Proceedings of the 1997 symposium on Interactive 3D graphics.

Xia JC, El-Sana J, Varshney A.  1997.  Adaptive real-time level-of-detail based rendering for polygonal models. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. 3(2):171-183.

Heckbert P, Rossignac J, Hoppe H, Schroeder W, Soucy M, Varshney A.  1997.  Multiresolution surface modeling. SIGGRAPH 1997 Course Notes.

El-Sana J, Varshney A.  1997.  Controlled simplification of genus for polygonal models. Visualization '97., Proceedings.

Mishra P, Varshney A, Kaufman A.  1997.  Collabcad: A toolkit for integrated synchronous and asynchronous sharing of cad applications. Proceedings TeamCAD: GVU/NIST Workshop on Collaborative Design, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Evans F, Skiena S, Varshney A.  1997.  Efficient triangle strips for fast rendering. ACM Transactions on Graphics.


Cohen J, Varshney A, Manocha D, Turk G, Weber H, Agarwal P, Brooks F, Wright W.  1996.  Simplification envelopes. Proceedings of the 23rd annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Evans F, Skiena S, Varshney A.  1996.  Optimizing triangle strips for fast rendering. Visualization '96. Proceedings..

Xia JC, Varshney A.  1996.  Dynamic view-dependent simplification for polygonal models. Visualization '96. Proceedings..