Photo of Kavita Bala

Kavita Bala

Dean of CIS and Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science
Gates Hall, Room 315


Kavita Bala is the Dean of  Computer and Information Science (CIS) at Cornell University. She received her S.M. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and her B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Bombay). She co-founded GrokStyle, and serves as its Chief Scientist (2015--), and she is a faculty Fellow with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Bala specializes in computer vision and computer graphics, leading research projects in recognition and visual search; material modeling and acquisition; realistic, physically-based rendering; and material perception. Bala's research has been adopted by industry in Autodesk's core rendering engine, and GrokStyle's visual search.

Bala is the Editor-in-Chief of Transactions on Graphics (TOG), and has served on 60+ editorial boards, advisory boards, and program committees in vision and graphics. Bala co-authored the graduate-level textbook "Advanced Global Illumination". Her work on 3D Mandalas was featured at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. Bala has received a Google Faculty Research Award, the NSF CAREER award, and Cornell's College of Engineering Fiona Li and Donald Li Excellence in Teaching Award (2015), James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award (2006 and 2009).

Research Interests

Teaching Interests

4620/4621/5620/5621: Intro to Graphics and Practicum 4670/5670: Computer Vision 5625: Interactive Graphics


Service Interests

Cornell Sesquicentennial Talk: "Virtual Realism and Computer Graphics"

Selected Publications

  • Zhao, Shuang , Fujun Luan, Kavita Bala. 2016."Fitting Procedural Yarn Models for Realistic Cloth Rendering."ACM Transactions on Graphics35(4).
  • Bell, Sean, Kavita Bala. 2015."Learning visual similarity for product design with convolutional neural networks, SIGGRAPH July 2015."ACM Transactions on Graphics34(4): 98:1-10.
  • Bala, Kavita, Sean Bell, Paul Upchurch, Noah Snavely. 2015."Material Recognition in the Wild with the Materials in Context Database."Paper presented at Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June.
  • Bonneel, Nicolas, Balazs Kovacs, Sylvain Paris, Kavita Bala. 2017."Intrinsic Decompositions for Image Editing."Computer Graphics Forum (Eurographics State of the Art Reports).
  • Luan, Fujun, Sylvain Paris, Eli Shechtman, Kavita Bala. 2017."Deep Photo Style Transfer."Paper presented at The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)

Selected Awards and Honors

  • GrokStyle, "Top 100 promising private AI companies" by CB Insights2017
  • Atkinson Center Faculty Fellow2016
  • Google Faculty Research Award2016
  • Third place in the Microsoft COCO 2015 Detection Challenge2015
  • Fiona Ip Li '78 and Donald Li '75 Excellence in Teaching Award(Cornell College of Engineering)2015


  • M. Sc.(Computer Science),MIT,1995
  • Ph D(Computer & Information Science),Massachusetts Institute of Technology,1999