Arnab Nandi


Arnab Nandi
Assistant Professor
Computer Science & Engineering
The Ohio State University

Office: DL 687 [send email / phone: 614-292-6377]

Picture of Arnab    

Arnab’s research is in the area of database systems, focusing on challenges in big data analytics and interactive query workloads. The goal of his group is to allow humans to explore and interact with large and complex data. This involves solving problems that span the areas of databases, visualization, human-computer interaction, and information retrieval.

Arnab has been on Program Committees of SIGMOD (2015), VLDB (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), SOCC (2013) and ICDE (2013) conferences and has reviewed for several conferences and journals including SIGMOD, TKDE, TODS, PVLDB, VLDB Journal, and WWW. Closer to home, Arnab serves on Ohio State’s university-wide Discovery Themes Data Analytics Collaborative‘s Advisory Committee.

Arnab is also a founder of The STEAM Factory, a collaborative interdisciplinary research and public outreach initiative, and faculty director of the OSU Hackathon. Arnab has been a recipient of the Google Faculty Award, the BETHA award, and a Yahoo! PhD Fellowship.


Current Research: Interactive Data Systems [GROUP WEBSITE].

  • GestureDB — Gestural querying of databases using non-keyboard interfaces
  • DICE — Large-scale Distributed Interactive Analytics [ supported by an NSF award ]



  • Meris Mandernach presented our interdisciplinary work on interactive data exhibits at the Library Research Seminar VI on Oct 8, technical publication coming soon!
  • OHI/O, the 2nd Annual OSU Hackathon, was amazing! We’ll have a report soon; in the meanwhile, here is some newspaper and TV coverage for it.
  • My group is at VLDB 2014! We’ll be demoing DICE on Sep. 2nd / 4th and presenting a full paper about GestureDB ‘s query specification and usability components on Sep. 4th. Read our trip report.
  • Talk on “Successful Research: Planning, Collaborating, and Executing” at the SIGMOD New Researcher Symposium on June 24.
  • Talk about Building Interactive Database Systems at MIT on May 1.
  • We presented DICE at ICDE 2014.
  • Video archives of the Big Data Future conference we organized are now up!
  • Blog post about Gestural Databases is featured on the ACM SIGMOD Blog!
  • The OSU::Hackathon was a big success, here is our report about it. It was covered by The Dispatch and The Lantern .
  • GestureQuery concept was presented at Franklinton’s GO WEST Festival as part of The STEAM Factory’s booth.
  • Talk about Gestural Querying at Trifacta, Inc. on Sep. 9.
  • GestureQuery concept and PLASMA-HD were both presented as demos at VLDB 2013 in Riva del Garda.


Publications [dblp] [citations]

Gestural Querying:

  • Arnab Nandi: Querying Without Keyboards: CIDR 2013 (Vision Track: Best Paper Award) [pdf] [concept video]
  • Arnab Nandi, Lilong Jiang, Michael Mandel: Gestural Query Specification: VLDB 2014 [pdf]
  • Lilong Jiang, Arnab Nandi, Michael Mandel: GestureQuery: A Multitouch Database Query Interface: VLDB 2013 (demo)
  • Arnab Nandi, Michael Mandel: The Interactive Join: Recognizing Gestures for Database Queries: CHI 2013 (Works-In-Progress) [pdf]

Large Scale / Interactive Analytics:

  • Prasanth Jayachandran, Niranjan Kamat, Kathik Tunga, Arnab Nandi: Combining User Interaction, Speculative Query Execution and Sampling in the DICE System: VLDB 2014 (demo) [pdf] [video]
  • Niranjan Kamat, Prasanth Jayachandran, Kathik Tunga, Arnab Nandi: Distributed Interactive Cube Exploration: ICDE 2014 [pdf] [slides]
  • Arnab Nandi, Cong Yu, Philip Bohannon, Raghu Ramakrishnan: Data Cube Materialization and Mining over MapReduce: IEEE TKDE “Best Papers in ICDE 2011” Special Issue [pdf]

Guided Interaction:

  • David Fuhry, Yang Zhang, Venu Satuluri, Arnab Nandi, Srinivasan Parthasarathy: PLASMA-HD: Probing the LAttice Structure and MAkeup of High-dimensional Data: VLDB 2013 (demo)
  • Manish Singh, Arnab Nandi, H. V. Jagadish: Skimmer: Rapid Scrolling of Relational Query Results: SIGMOD 2012 [pdf] [slides]
  • Arnab Nandi, H. V. Jagadish: Guided Interaction: Rethinking the Query-Result Paradigm: VLDB 2011 (Challenges & Visions Track) [pdf] [slides]


Database Usability:

  • H. V. Jagadish , Arnab Nandi, Li Qian: Organic Databases: DNIS 2011 [pdf]
  • Arnab Nandi, H. V. Jagadish: Qunits: queried units in database search: CIDR 2009 [html] [pdf] [slides]
  • H. V. Jagadish, Adriane Chapman, Aaron Elkiss, Magesh Jayapandian, Yunyao Li, Arnab Nandi, Cong Yu: Making database systems usable: SIGMOD 2007 [pdf]
  • Magesh Jayapandian, Adriane Chapman, V. Glenn Tarcea, Cong Yu, Aaron Elkiss, Angela Ianni, Bin Liu, Arnab Nandi, Carlos Santos, Philip Andrews, Brian D. Athey, David J. States, H. V. Jagadish: Michigan Molecular Interactions (MiMI): putting the jigsaw puzzle together: Nucleic Acids Research 35(Database-Issue) 2007

Search / Query Log Mining / Data Integration / Privacy / Social:

  • Arnab Nandi, Stelios Paparizos, John Shafer, Rakesh Agrawal: With a Little Help from My Friends: ICDE 2013 (demo) [pdf]
  • Daniel Fabbri, Arnab Nandi, Kristen LeFevre, H. V. Jagadish: PrivatePond: Outsourced Management of Web Corpuses: WebDB 2009 [html] [pdf]
  • Soumen Chakrabarti, Jeetendra Mirchandani, Arnab Nandi: SPIN: searching personal information networks: SIGIR 2005 (demo) [pdf]

This research is made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Yahoo! Labs, and Google Research.


I also have a sporadically maintained blog.





  • Fall 2012: CSE 5249 Large-scale Data Analytics
  • Spring 2013: CSE 5242 Advanced Database Systems



Arnab received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan where he was awarded the Yahoo! Research PhD Fellowship. At Michigan, he was part of the Database Research Group and was advised by H. V. Jagadish. His thesis addressed the problem of making search in databases easier, as part of the group’s broader goal of making databases usable. During internships at Yahoo! Research, Google and Microsoft Research, Arnab worked on various large-scale systems, dealing with problems in web and social search, data integration and data cubing.

During his PhD, Arnab was involved with the Michigan CSE Graduate Society board in various capacities including Secretary, Treasurer and President.
Before graduate school, he worked with Prof. Soumen Chakrabarti and Prof. S. Sudarshan at IIT Bombay. Arnab was part of the BANKS and SPIN projects, where he worked on various aspects of ranking graph-based data.
During his undergraduate years at the University of Delhi, Arnab teamed up with 2 of his college-mates to start idya Research, where he developed novel web-based applications.
He has also had the opportunity of interning with Media Lab Asia, and the technical research group at Yahoo! Bangalore. He worked with the Question Answering group at Google in the summer of 2007, the Database Group at Microsoft Research in the summer of 2008, the Web Information Management Group at Yahoo! Research in the summer of 2009 and the Search Labs group at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley in the summer of 2011.
Apart from research, he has also been a contributor to Drupal, the framework that runs this website. Arnab created the Captcha and Similar Entries modules, which are now maintained by other members of the Drupal community. He also wrote BaconSnake, parts of which eventually made its way into Apache Pig 0.8’s Jython UDF feature.