Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy

H-133, BITS Hyderabad Campus,
Jawahar Nagar,
Hyderabad 500078,

Phone: +91-40-66303740

About me

I am an Assistant Professor at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, in Hyderabad, India. At BITS, I have affiliations with the Department of Computer Science, as well as the Anuradha & Prashanth Palakurthi Centre for AI Research. I was recently a Grass Fellow.

Prior to this, I was an independent Simons Fellow affiliated to the Simons Centre for the Study of Living Machines at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, which is part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bangalore, India. Before that, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Haim Sompolinsky in the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I graduated with a Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at the University of Florida, where I was advised by Arunava Banerjee.

My research is in Theoretical & Computational Neuroscience, the intersection of Deep Learning & Neuroscience, and in building a theoretical understanding of the principles that govern Deep Learning.



Ph.D. Student

Simran Ketha

Undergraduate Researchers

Aswath Vinayak K
Deepti Kumar
Garvit Kashyap
The Thinker - Rodin
Prakhar Agarwal

"Visiting" Undergraduate Researcher

Divyansh Gupta


  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy,
    An Algorithmic Barrier to Neural Circuit Understanding,
    [BioRxiv], 2019.

    [BioRxiv download stats]

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy,
    Hierarchies & Lower Bounds in Theoretical Connectomics,
    [BioRxiv], 2019.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Arunava Banerjee,
    Connectomic Constraints on Computation in Neural Circuits,
    Janelia Conference: Analysis and Interpretation of Connectomes, Ashburn, VA, 2018.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy
    An Algorithmic Barrier to Neural Circuit Interrogation
    Integrated Systems Neuroscience 2017 meeting, Manchester, UK.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy
    An Algorithmic Question concerning the Experimental Interrogation of Neural Circuits,
    International Conference on Mathematical NeuroScience (ICMNS), 2017.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy
    Lower Bounds in Theoretical Connectomics,
    International Conference on Mathematical NeuroScience (ICMNS), 2015. [PDF]

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Arunava Banerjee
    Connectomic Constraints on Computation in Feedforward Networks of Spiking Neurons,
    Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 37(2): 209-228, 2014.   [Main text]    [Supplement]
    (DOI: 10.1007/s10827-014-0497-5)

    A talk on Theoretical Connectomics that describes this work is also available.
    (Sound is a bit weak (albeit still audible in full volume) till 16:05)

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Arunava Banerjee
    Theoretical Connectomics,
    Max Planck / HHMI Connectomics Conference 2014.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Arunava Banerjee
    Connectomic Constraints on Computation in Networks of Spiking Neurons,
    Computational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne) 2013.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Ariel Furstenberg, Assaf Breska, Leon Y. Deouell and Haim Sompolinsky
    Single-trial decoding of intention from EEG,
    Israel Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2012.

  • Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Arunava Banerjee
    On the trade-off between single-neuron complexity and network size with respect to spike-timed computations,
    Twenty First Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2012. [PDF]

  • Tamer Kahveci, Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, Han Tao, Tao Li
    Approximate Global Alignment of Sequences,
    Proceedings of IEEE 5th Symposium on Bioinformatics & Bioengineering 2005 (BIBE 05), Minneapolis, 2005. [PDF]

  • Ravi Gummadi, N.S. Narayanaswamy, Venkatakrishnan R
    Algorithms for Satisfiability using Independent Sets of Variables,
    Proceedings of Seventh International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing (SAT 2004), Vancouver, 2004.
    Revised Selected Papers, Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), Vol. 3542: 133-144, 2005 . [PDF]


  • The Transformational Complexity of Acyclic Networks of Neurons, Ph.D. Thesis, 2011.
  • Empirical Study of Divide and Conquer Algorithms for Satisfiability, B.Tech. Project Report, 2004.


At BITS, I teach,
  • CS F214 Logic in Computer Science (I Semester 2020-2021)
  • CS F211 Data Structures & Algorithms (II Semester 2020-2021).

In the past, I have taught (at the University of Florida)

and served as a Teaching Assistant for
  • CAP 6610 Machine Learning (Spring 2010)
  • COT 5405 Analysis of Algorithms (Fall 2008, Summer 2007, Spring 2007 and Fall 2006)
  • COT 3100 Applications of Discrete Structures (Spring 2009, Fall 2007, Spring 2006 and Fall 2005)
  • CIS 3023 Programming for CIS Majors II (Summer 2005 and Spring 2005)
  • CIS 3020 Introduction to Computer Science (Fall 2004).


At NCBS, I organized the following seminars.

  • Samose (with David Farris and Amit Vutha) -- an eclectic Math seminar, where mathematics of all stripes is welcome; and
  • Rusmalai (with Sahil Moza, Sriram Narayanan and Dinesh Natesan) -- a Machine Learning seminar with an emphasis on Deep Learning.


My Erdös number is 4, through the path VR - N.S. Narayanaswamy - C. E. Veni Madhavan - Renu C. Laskar - PE.

Academic Genealogy

The Satrapy

What a misfortune, although you are made
for fine and great works
this unjust fate of yours always
denies you encouragement and success;
that base customs should block you;
and pettiness and indifference.
And how terrible the day when you yield
(the day when you give up and yield),
and you leave on foot for Susa,
and you go to the monarch Artaxerxes
who favorably places you in his court,
and offers you satrapies and the like.
And you accept them with despair
these things that you do not want.
Your soul seeks other things, weeps for other things;
the praise of the public and the Sophists,
the hard-won and inestimable Well Done;
the Agora, the Theater, and the Laurels.
How can Artaxerxes give you these,
where will you find these in a satrapy;
and what life can you live without these.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1910)

Last modified: Fri Mar 6 15:20:05 2021
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