Lalitha Sankar is a Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University. She joined ASU as an assistant professor in fall of 2012, and was an associate professor from 2018-2023. She received a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, a master's degree from the University of Maryland, and a doctorate from Rutgers University in 2007. Following her doctorate, Sankar was a recipient of a three-year Science and Technology Teaching Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University, following which she was an associate research scholar at Princeton. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a senior member of technical staff at AT&T Shannon Laboratories.
Sankar's research interests are at the intersection of information and data sciences including a background in signal processing, learning theory, and control theory with applications to the design of machine learning algorithms with algorithmic fairness, privacy, and robustness guarantees. Her research also applies such methods to complex networks including the electric power grid and healthcare systems.
For her doctoral work, she received the 2007-2008 Electrical Engineering Academic Achievement Award from Rutgers University. She received the IEEE Globecom 2011 Best Paper Award for her work on privacy of side-information in multi-user data systems. She was awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2014 for her project on privacy-guaranteed distributed interactions in critical infrastructure networks such as the Smart Grid. She has led an NSF Institute on Data-intensive Research in Science and Engineering (I-DIRSE), is a recipient of an NSF SCALE MoDL (Mathematics of Deep Learning) grant, and a Google AI for Social Good grant. Sankar was a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Information Theory Society from 2020-2022. She serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security as well as the IEEE BITS Magazine.