Partha Niyogi specialized in human and machine intelligence. He focused his research on applying computation to the analysis of speech recognition, language evolution, and data analysis.

Born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India on July 31, 1967, and raised in Bombay (Mumbai), he studied electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, graduating in 1989. He earned his doctoral degree from MIT in 1995. He then served as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT before joining the technical staff at Bell Laboratories. Niyogi joined the Department of Computer Science at UChicago in 2000 and was named the Louis Block Professor in Computer Science and Statistics nine years later.

Machine learning emerged as a new field in computer science in the mid-1980s, and Niyogi became one of its leading contributors in the mid-1990s. A mathematician and statistician at heart, he believed there was a great deal that could be learned about human language and its use through the development of better mathematical models. He also made fundamental contributions to the field of data analysis, where he developed methods for finding low-dimensional manifolds in high-dimensional data. These methods were some of the first in this area to allow rigorous mathematical analysis, and they were later further developed by researchers at Princeton into a widely used approach called diffusion maps.

During his career, Niyogi authored or co-authored more than 90 academic publications and two books: one that grew out of his dissertation on neural nets and another that charted new paths in developing mathematical models of the dynamics of language change. Niyogi died of brain cancer on October 1, 2010. He was 43 years old.

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# PARTHA

NIYOGI

## 1967-2010

Computer Science faculty member and machine-learning pioneer who made fundamental contributions to the field of data analysis

Photo Source: University of Chicago News