Prof Svetha Venkatesh

Professor Svetha Venkatesh

Professor Svetha Ventatesh
ARC Australian Laureate Fellow Alfred Deakin Professor
Co-Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) at Deakin University

Professor Venkatesh is an internationally renowned researcher and trailblazing leader in large scale data pattern recognition. Her commitment to innovation has driven highly practical and impactful outcomes for health, security and aged care.

She was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition in 2004 for contributions to formulation and extraction of semantics in multimedia data, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2006. In 2017, Professor Venkatesh was appointed an Australian Laureate Fellow, the highest individual award the Australian Research Council can bestow.

As the Co-Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2 ) at Deakin University, she undertakes research into areas such as deep learning, Bayesian optimisation, AI for biology and health, Trojan AI and AI for behaviour understanding. Professor Venkatesh has received over $43M of external research funding.

A2I2 tackles real-world problems using methods grounded in modern machine learning and deep learning to make discoveries to advance knowledge and build systems that can benefit society.

Professor Venkatesh has tackled complex pattern recognition tasks by drawing inspiration and models from widely diverse disciplines, integrating them into rigorous computational models and innovative algorithms.

Her main contributions have been in the development of theoretical frameworks for pattern recognition and    novel applications for analysing large scale, multimedia data. This includes development of several Bayesian parametric and non-parametric models, solving fundamental problems in processing multiple channel, multi-modal temporal and spatial data.

Professor Venkatesh and her team have tackled a wide range of problems of social significance, including the critical areas of autism, security and aged care.

The outcomes have impacted the community and evolved into publications, patents, tools and spin-off companies. This includes three full patents, one start-up company (icetana) and two significant products - TOBY Playpad and Virtual Observer.

Selected Awards and Honours

2019: Ranked in the list of the top 15 women with the most AI publications on Arvix

2018: Victorian Honour Roll of Women

2017: Australian Laureate Fellow, Australian Research Council

2015: Recognised as a “STEM hero” by The Australian - The newspaper recognised 19 Australians who have “emerged as transformers and innovators”

2013: Geelong Researcher of the Year, Geelong Chamber of Commerce

2013: Excellence in International Education – Research Engagement, Victorian International Education Awards - for TOBY Playpad

2012 & 2013: Smart Technology Award, Geelong Chamber of Commerce - for TOBY Playpad, and identifying suicidal patients via machine learning; respectively

2011: WA Inventor of the Year, iiNet Award - for icetana


PhD in Computer Science, University of Western Australia

MTech in Electrical Engineering, IIT, New Delhi, India

BTech in Electronics and Telecommunications, IIT, Roorkee, India

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