Venkat Venkatasubramanian


819 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4721

Tel(212) 854-2487
Fax(212) 854-3054

By inclination and education, Venkatasubramanian is attracted to foundational questions that are at the intersection of different disciplines. A leitmotif in his work is understanding emergent phenomena in self-organized and complex dynamical systems, particularly using artificial intelligence, statistical mechanics, game theory, and systems engineering concepts and techniques.  

Research Interests

Risk management, materials design, emergence, income inequality, artificial intelligence, statistical mechanics, game theory, and systems engineering

Venkatasubramanian’s research contributions have been in the areas of process fault diagnosis and risk management, materials discovery analytics, pharmaceutical engineering, free-market dynamics, and income inequality. In risk management, his group has developed a novel framework for modeling and analyzing systemic failures such as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Global Financial Crisis, and the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. In materials discovery, by combining first principles knowledge with data science techniques, his group pioneered the development of a framework, called Discovery Analytics, for the rapid discovery and design of new materials such as fuel additives, rubber compounds, catalysts, pharmaceuticals, and nanomaterials. In the area of emergence, an important challenge facing 21st century science is in understanding how complex adaptive systems composed of millions of relatively simple interacting entities produce complex emergent behavior. Such emergent behavior is seen in a wide range of phenomena such as the behavior of ant colonies, market bubbles, income inequality, and brain consciousness. Venkatasubramanian has developed a novel conceptual framework, called statistical teleodynamics, that synthesizes key concepts and techniques from artificial intelligence, game theory, statistical mechanics, systems engineering, economics, biology, and philosophy to understand and model such emergent phenomena.

Venkatasubramanian received his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Madras, his MS in Physics from Vanderbilt, and a PhD in chemical engineering from Cornell. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which also awarded him the Computing in Chemical Engineering award in 2009. He joined the faculty of Columbia Engineering in 2012. Prior to that, he taught chemical engineering at Purdue University, where he won the Norris Shreve Prize for outstanding teaching three times.


  • Postdoctoral fellow in computer science, Carnegie Mellon, 1983-84


  • Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2012 –
  • Professor of industrial engineering and operations research (Affiliated), Columbia University, 2013 -
  • Professor of computer science (Affiliated), Columbia University, 2012 –
  • Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 2011 – 2012
  • Professor of chemical engineering, Purdue University, 1995 - 2011
  • Associate professor of chemical engineering, Purdue University, 1988 - 1995
  • Assistant professor of chemical engineering, Columbia University, 1985 - 1988


  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Association for the Advancement  of Artificial Intelligence


  • Roger S. H. Sargent Lecturer, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London, U.K., 2015
  • Top three most cited papers, out of 2072 papers published, in Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2003-2013
  • Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2011
  • Computing in Chemical Engineering, AIChE, 2009
  • Norris Shreve Prize Outstanding Teaching, Purdue University, 1993, 2004, 2006


  • V. Venkatasubramanian, How Much Inequality is Fair? Mathematical Principles of a Moral, Optimal, and Stable Capitalist Society, Columbia University Press, July 2017.
  • M. M. Remolona, M. F. Conway, S. Balasubramanian, L. Fan, Z. Feng, T. Gu, H. Kim, P. M. Nirantar, S. Panda, N. R. Ranabothu, N. Rastogi, V. Venkatasubramanian, "Hybrid ontology-learning materials engineering system for pharmaceutical products: Multi-label entity recognition and concept detection", Comp. and Chem. Eng., online, 21 March 2017.
  • Y-F. Li and V. Venkatasubramanian, "Leveraging Bayesian Approach to Predict Drug Manufacturing Performance", Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovation, Volume 11(4), 2016.
  • V. Venkatasubramanian and Z. Zhang, "TeCSMART: A hierarchical framework for modeling and analyzing systemic risk in sociotechnical systems", AIChE Journal, 62(9), 2016.
  • Y. Luo, G. Iyengar, and V. Venkatasubramanian, "Soft Regulation with Crowd Recommendation: Coordinating Self-Interested Agents in Sociotechnical Systems under Imperfect Information", PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150343, 2016.
  • R. Bookstaber, P. Glasserman, G. Iyengar, Y. Luo, V. Venkatasubramanian, and Z. Zhang, “Process Systems Engineering as a Modeling Paradigm for Analyzing Systemic Risk in Financial Networks”, Journal of Investing, Summer 2015.
  • C. R. Behera, B. Srinivasan, K. Chandran, and V. Venkatasubramanian, “Model based predictive control for energy efficient biological nitrification process with minimal nitrous oxide production”,  Chemical Engineering Journal, volume 268,  p. 300–310, 2015.
  • B. Srinivasan, T. Vo, Y. Zhang, O. Gang, S. Kumar and V. Venkatasubramanian, “Designing DNA-grafted particles that self-assemble into desired crystalline structures using the genetic algorithm”, PNAS, 110(46), p. 18431-18435, 2013.
  • V. Venkatasubramanian, C. Zhao, G. Joglekar, A. Jain, L. Hailemariam, P. Sureshbabu, P. Akkisetti, K. Morris, and G. V. Reklaitis, “Ontological Informatics Infrastructure for Chemical Product Design and Process Development”, Computers and Chemical Engineering, CPC 7 Special Issue, 30(10 – 12), p. 1482 – 1496, 2006.
  • V. Venkatasubramanian, R. Rengaswamy, K. Yin, and S. N. Kavuri, “A Review of Process Fault Detection and Diagnosis – Parts I, II, and III”, Computers and Chemical Engineering, 27 (3), p. 293 – 346, 2003.