Unnikrishna   Pillai

Unnikrishna Pillai


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Unnikrishna Pillai, currently (half-time) Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic School of Engineering, NYU, joined the Polytechnic Institute of New York (Brooklyn Poly) in 1985 as an Assistant professor after graduating from University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in Systems Engineering (1985), and from IIT, Kanpur, India with an MS in Electrical Engineering in 1982. His research interests include adaptive signal processing, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging and extracting moving targets from them,  other radar signal processing, and risk/reward strategies for portfolio optimization and money nanagement.. Along with other activities, he has coauthored five textbooks and monographs related to electrical engineering. Within the classroom, he has started generating short video sessions on selected topics to complement his lectures mainly for his students, wherein the students, if they like, can review the key material and examples, and work out problems before or after the class sessions.

Unni has also helped publish (Guest editor) two translations of "Bhagavad Gita" in Malayalam into one book with an introduction by him with the hope of spreading Bhagavan's (God's) words among the literate, ... He has also produced a Kathakali music CD containing selected Indian mythology excerpts from classic Kathakali plays performed by some of his favorite artists from Kerala ...

Journal Articles

Around 30 Journal papers; Around 125+ Conference papers; Five books; Two e-books on Amazon Kindle

See http://eeweb.poly.edu/~pillai/

Other Publications


1.  "5-minute Videos" on Probability and Stochastic Processes at:


 2. Over 600 slides of Lecture Notes on "Probability and Stochastic Processes" at:


 3. "Engineering Probabilty",  (2012) on Amazon Kindle

 4. "401(k) and the Curse of Volatility",  (2012) on Amazon Kindle.


Moore School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, PA, 1985

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Systems Engineering: Array Signal Processing and Spectrum Estima

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, India, 1982

Master of Technology (MTech), Electrical Engineering

Institute of Technology, BHU, Varanasi, India, 1977

Bachelor of Technology (B Tech), Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering


Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York University

Professor ( Sept. 1995 - Present)

On half-time leave-of-absence on a permanent basis since September 2010. Teaching and Research

From: August 1995 to present

Polytechnic University, New York

Department Head (Sept. 1998 - July 1999)

"Cleaner": Managed to get rid of some of the inefficient practices within the Dept. Helped Dean hire the next department head.

From: August 1998 to July 1999

Polytechnic University, New York

Associate Professor (Sept. 1989 - Aug. 1995)

Teaching and research.

From: August 1989 to August 1995

Polytechnic Institute of New York

Assistant Professor (Sept. 1985 - Aug.1989)

Teaching and Research

From: August 1985 to August 1989

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL),

Deputy Radar Engineer

Entry level Radar Engineer. Mostly desk job, designing and wiring up alpha numeric display terminals.

From: January 1978 to July 1980

Authored + Edited Books


1. Array  Signal Processing (1989)

2. Spectrum Esimation and System Identification (1993)

3. Prof. Papoulis'  "Probability, Random Variables, and Stochastic Processes" (2002). Tranlated into Greek, Chinese.


4. Space Based Radar (2008)

5. Wavefrom Diversity (2011)

Awards + Distinctions

  • All India Rank: 438, Joint Entrance Examination for UG admission to Indian Institue of Technologies (IITs)
  • Fellow, IEEE

Research Interests

  • Signal Processing and Communications
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging
  • Radar Waveform Design
  • System Identification
  • Rational and Stable Approximation of Non-Rational systems
  • Array Signal Processing
  • Portfolio Optimization
  • 3D Printing