Sankar Kumar Pal obtained his BSc (Hons) (Physics) (1969), BTech (1972), MTech (1974) and PhD (1979), all from Calcutta University. In 1982, he received another PhD (Electrical Engineering) along with Diploma of the Imperial College (DIC), London. He worked at the University of California, Berkeley and University of Maryland, College Park (1986-87) as Fulbright Fellow, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston (1990-92, 1994) as NRC-NAS Senior Research Associate, Distinguished Visitor of IEEE Computer Society (USA) for Asia-Pacific Region (1997), and US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC (2004) as Visiting Scientist. His research career started as CSIR SRF (1975) at Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, where he later became Professor (1987), Distinguished Scientist (1998) and Director (2005).
Academic and Research Achievements: Pal has made semantic contributions in the field of pattern recognition and machine intelligence using both classical and soft computing paradigms. He pioneered the development and use of fuzzy sets and neuro-fuzzy approach allowing soft decisions for reducing uncertainty and enhancing performance and flexibility of pattern recognition and image processing methodologies. Notable operators/tools developed by him include: correlation between fuzzy sets, entropy measures, fuzzy-MAT, rough image entropy, fuzzy multilayer perceptron, mixed category perception network, feature-similarity based unsupervised feature selection for large data, density based multiscale data condensation algorithm, fuzzy feature evaluation network, Hough transform network, optimal stopping time for genetic algorithms, variable-length chromosome genetic classifier, evolutionary-modular-rough-fuzzy knowledge based network, fuzzy-granular case generator, generalized rough-fuzzy c-means algorithm, generalized rough-fuzzy entropy, granular neural networks, nearest fragment operator for gene ordering, fuzzy web surfer model, fuzzy granular social network models, and Z*-numbers. He demonstrated applications in biometrics, medical imaging, space mission, data mining, bioinformatics, web intelligence, video tracking and computing with words. He co-authored 19 books and more than 400 research papers, and mentored 21 PhD students. His Google scholar h-index is close to 70 with 23K+ citations.
Other Contributions: Pal founded the reputable Machine Intelligence Unit of ISI in 1993. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, India's first Center for Soft Computing Research was established at ISI, Kolkata under his leadership. He served as Asssociate Editor, Guest Editor and Advisory Editor of about 20 internationally reputed journals, Series Editor for World Scientific, Singapore and IOS Press, Netherlands, Founding President, Indian National Academy of Engineering, Kolkata Chapter, and former Chairman, IT Academic Council, West Bengal. He visited fourty countries as keynote/ invited speaker or academic visitor.
Awards and Honours: Professor Pal was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1990), Vikram Sarabhai Award (1993), JN Fellowship (1993), Om Bhasin Award (1998), GD Birla Award (1999), Khwarizmi International Award, Iran (2000), FICCI Award (2000-01), NASA Tech Briefs Award, USA (1993), Neural Networks Outstanding Paper Award by IEEE (1994), Patent Application Award by NASA (1995), IETE-Wadhwa Gold Medal (1997), INSA-Zaheer Medal (2001), ISC-PC Mahalanobis Birth Centenary Gold Medal (2005-06), JC Bose Fellowship (2007), Vigyan Ratna Award by Science-Culture Organization, West Bengal (2008), Padma Shri (2013), INAE Chair Professor (2013), IETE Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) and INAE SN Mitra Award (2015). He is an elected Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), International Association for Fuzzy Systems (IFSA), National Academy of Sciences (India), Indian Academy of Sciences, and Indian National Academy of Engineering.