Lav Varshney is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, as well as of computer science (by courtesy) and neuroscience, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He is also leading curriculum initiatives for the new B.S. degree in Innovation, Leadership, and Engineering Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering there. He was previously a research staff member at IBM, where he conceptualized, initiated, and led the Chef Watson project on culinary computational creativity to worldwide acclaim. His current research interests include information theory, data science, and artificial intelligence. His work in concept learning and computational creativity now focuses on several creative domains including culinary, materials science, music, education, and fashion, as well as theoretical foundations of creativity. He also maintains strong interests in the role of data through the food pipeline, from agriculture to flavor to wastewater management. He serves on the advisory board of the AI XPRIZE, has presented in public science events like the World Science Festival, and has consulted for multinational corporations in the food and beverage industry.