About Karan

I'm a 4th year Ph.D. student at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Dr. Chris Harrison and Dr. Mayank Goel. My research focuses on Machine Learning and Sensing. I use my background in computer vision, signal processing and applied machine learning to imbue practical sensing in mobile and IoT platforms, thus enabling them to be the drivers of ubiquitous and unobtrusive sensing. This enables a broad range of applications spanning across various domains, including health monitoring, activity recognition, context-aware computing and novel interaction techniques.

Selected Research

I publish my research at premiere venues in computer science. Click on the details button to open the project-specific webpage to access supporting materials. For a full list of my patents and publications, please download my CV.

To Appear

Cool Moves: User Motion Accentuation in Virtual Reality

Karan Ahuja, Eyal Ofek, Mar Gonzalez-Franco, Christian Holz, Andrew Wilson UbiComp 2021

Classroom Digital Twin

Classroom Digital Twins with Instrumentation-Free Gaze Tracking

Karan Ahuja, Deval Shah, Sujeath Pareddy, Franceska Xhakaj, Amy Ogan, Yuvraj Agarwal, Chris Harrison CHI 2021


Pose-on-the-Go: Approximating Partial User Pose with Smartphone Sensor Fusion and Inverse Kinematics

Karan Ahuja, Sven Mayer, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison CHI 2021


Vid2Doppler: Synthesizing Doppler Radar Data from Videos for Training Privacy-Preserving Activity Recognition

Karan Ahuja, Yue Jiang, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison CHI 2021


Direction-of-Voice (DoV) Estimation for Intuitive Speech Interaction with Smart Devices Ecosystems

Karan Ahuja, Andy Kong, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison UIST 2020

BodySLAM: Opportunistic User Digitization in Multi-User AR/VR Experiences

Karan Ahuja, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison SUI 2020

MeCap: Whole-Body Digitization for Low-Cost VR/AR Headsets

Karan Ahuja, Robert Xiao, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison UIST 2019
Honorable Mention Award

LightAnchors: Appropriating Point Lights for Spatially-Anchored Augmented Reality Interfaces

Karan Ahuja, Sujeath Pareddy, Robert Xiao, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison UIST 2019

EduSense: Practical Classroom Sensing at Scale

Karan Ahuja, Dohyun Kim, Franceska Xhakaj, Virag Varga, Anne Xie, Stanley Zhang, Jay Eric Townsend, Chris Harrison, Amy Ogan, Yuvraj Agarwal UbiComp 2019

ScratchThat: Supporting Command-Agnostic Speech Repair in Voice-Driven Assistants

Jason Wu, Karan Ahuja, Richard Li, Victor Chen, Jeffrey Bigham. UbiComp 2019

GymCam: Detecting, recognizing, and tracking simultaneous exercises in unconstrained scenes

Rushil Khurana, Karan Ahuja, Zac Yu, Jennifer Mankoff, Chris Harrison, Mayank Goel. UbiComp 2019

Ubicoustics: Plug-and-Play Acoustic Activity Recognition

Gierad Laput, Karan Ahuja, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison. UIST 2018

EyeSpyVR: Interactive Eye Sensing Using Off-the-Shelf Smartphone based VR headsets

Karan Ahuja, Rahul Islam, Varun Parashar, Kuntal Dey, Chris Harrison, Mayank Goel. UbiComp 2018

OptiDwell: Intelligent Adjustment of Dwell Click Time

Anand Nayyar, Utkarsh Dwivedi, Karan Ahuja, Nitendra Rajput, Seema Nagar, Kuntal Dey. IUI 2017

Convolutional Neural Networks for Ocular Smartphone-Based Biometrics

Karan Ahuja, Rahul Islam, Ferdous Barbhuiya, Kuntal Dey. PRL 2017

Eye center localization and detection using radial mapping

Karan Ahuja, Ruchika Banarjee, Seema Nagar, Kuntal Dey, Ferdous Barbhuiya. ICIP 2016

Professional Experience

  • 2019 Microsoft Research Labs (Redmond, USA)
  • 2016 IBM Research Labs (New Delhi, India)
  • 2015 IBM Research Labs (New Delhi, India)

Awards and Honors

  • 2021 Facebook Fellowship Finalist
  • 2021 Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%), ACM CHI
  • 2020 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship Finalist
  • 2020 Collegiate Inventors Competition Graduate Finalist
  • 2020 Fast Company Innovation by Design Finalist
  • 2019 Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%), ACM UIST
  • 2017 President's Gold Medal India
  • 2017 IBM Blue Scholar

Academic Service

  • 2021 Editor-in-Chief, ACM XRDS (Crossroads) Magazine
  • 2021 ACM CHI, Session Chair: Input, Spatial Interaction
  • 2021 ACM CHI, Session Chair: UX, Interaction Design, Research
  • 2021 ACM UIST, Program Committee, AC, Papers
  • 2021 ACM UIST, Organizing Committee, Video Co-Chair
  • 2021 ACM MobileHCI, Program Committee, AC, Papers
  • 2021 ACM CHI, Program Committee, AC, Late-Breaking Work
  • 2020 ACM CHI, Program Committee, AC, Late-Breaking Work
  • 2020 ACM UIST, Organizing Committee, Video Chair

Reviewing (50+ Papers)

  • ACM CHI '19, '20, '21
  • ACM UIST '19, '20, '21
  • ACM IMWUT '18, '19, '20, '21
  • ACM MobileHCI '19, '21
  • ACM ISS '20
  • IEEE ISMAR '20
  • IEEE TBIOM '21
  • IET Image Processing '18
  • Elsevier CVIU '17


Presented live demos to conference attendees at several venues, including:

UbiComp '18, '19
UIST '19
CONIX '18, '19

Presented demos of my research to numerous companies and popular press, including: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, GE, Phillips, Butler Technology and Intel.


  • CMU, Building User-Focused Sensing Systems, TA
  • CMU, Machine Learning and Sensing, Guest Lecture

Invited Talks and Presentations

  • 2020 Carnegie Mellon University, Edge Computing
  • 2020 Microsoft Research AI Breakthroughs
  • 2020 Apple Machine Hearing and Sensing
  • 2020 Apple AI and Machine Interaction
  • 2019 AREA Research

Selected Press Coverage