Raj Acharya earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering/bioengineering from the University of Minnesota in 1981 and 1984, respectively. He began his teaching career at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) in 2016 as an adjunct professor of medical and molecular genetics. Later in 2016, he earned the title of Dean & James H. Rudy Professor at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. He was promoted to associate vice president for research for AI innovation in 2020. In this role, he develops and oversees the Indiana AI Collaboration Center, a collaboration between IU Bloomington, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, the Indiana National Guard's new Cyber Battalion, and the Indiana industry on the development of AI applications in areas that include microelectronics, cybersecurity, supply chain integrity, and fraud prevention and detection.
Acharya served as dean of the Luddy School from 2016-20. During his tenure, he cultivated and secured a $60 million gift from Mr. Fred Luddy to advance the mission of the newly named Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. He also oversaw the successful launch of IU's first-ever engineering program. Further, he initiated undergraduate degrees in data science, and cybersecurity & global policy, jointly with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.
Prior to coming to IU, he was the founding director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Penn State University. He also held an appointment at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory for conducting classified research. He served as a research scientist at General Electric (Thomson) CSF Laboratory in Paris, France, and has been a research fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center, US Air Force Wright Labs, and US Army Center for Night Vision and Electro-Optics. He serves on the board of Videomining, Indiana Ventures, and Techpoint.
Acharya received the IU Bicentennial Medal in August 2019 in recognition of his distinguished service as the dean for the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, Indiana University Bloomington.