Koushik Kar

Associate Professor
Department of Electrical, Computer & Systems Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Contact Information:

ECSE Department, JEC 6048,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Troy, NY 12180, USA.
Ph :  (518) 276-2653
Email :  

Brief Bio

I have been with the Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) since Fall 2002. I obtained the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002, and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the same university in 1999. I received the B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, in 1997. I have also held visiting research positions at Bell Laboratories, NJ, and IBM TJ Watson Research Center, NY.

I specialize in the area of computer and communication networks. More details on my research, teaching and other professional acitivities can be found below.


My research is in the field of computer and communication networks, and I am broadly interested in performance modeling, analysis and optimization questions for the Internet as well as wireless networks. At a high level, a unifying theme that characterizes most of my recent research activities is the design and analysis of solution approaches that can optimize usage of critical resources like bandwidth and energy in wired and wireless networks, with the goal of attaining maximum global network utility or fair sharing of resources in the network. A significant part of this research is focused on solutions/algorithms that can be implemented in a distributed manner, through local coordination, often only requiring limited information about the network topology and conditions. A distinguishing feature of my work is the use of linear, non-linear and stochastic optimization techniques to study these network algorithm design/resource allocation questions.

Major research interests/projects are listed below. Some of the key papers that I have written on each topic can be found by clicking on the specific links.

My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), US Army R&D, MIT Lincoln Labs, and Cisco Systems.

I am a part of the Center of Pervasive Computing and Networking at RPI.

Selection of Recent Papers, Technical Reports and Preprints


I teach courses in the areas of computer systems and communication networks, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The courses that I have taught at RPI are:

Professional Actitivities

Member of the Graduate Admissions Committee and Faculty Recruiting Committee of the Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Member of the IEEE Communications Society since 2002.

Honors and Awards

My academic genealogy goes back to the legendary mathematician Gauss. Find it here :)

Research Students

I am always looking for graduate students with a high motivation for research and a strong mathematical background. Here is a list of my former and current graduate research students:



Undergraduate students who are looking for some research experience over the academic year or summer are also welcome. Some URP students who have worked/are working with me (mostly on loss-tolerant TCP and sensor networking projects):