[Raja's Picture]     Raja Sooriamurthi, PhD
Teaching Professor
Information Systems Program, Carnegie Mellon University

Mailing address:
Dr. Raja Sooriamurthi
Information Systems Program
Porter Hall 224D
Carnegie Mellon University
5000, Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
raja /at/ cmu.edu
Phone: 412.268.9593

Dept. phone: 412.268.3259
Dept. fax: 412.268.9946

Teaching Interests

Decision Support: data science, database systems, analytics, big data
Puzzle-based Learning: critical thinking, problem solving
System Development: The full system development life cycle


PBL Book cover
For the past several years I have periodically offered a seminar on Puzzles, Games, and Problem Solving. The theme of the seminar is Puzzle-based learning. Zbigniew Michalewicz, Nick Falkner, and Ed Meyer have been working in this area for several years. Our collective pedagogical experience has been shared in our recent book Guide to Teaching Puzzle-based Learning Springer, 2014

The pedagogical objectives of project-based learning include dealing with ambiguity and complexity, integration of a variety of approaches, user-testing of the value of proposed solutions, and working with a team of people with diverse backgrounds and skills. In problem-based learning we use domain specific knowledge (for, for example, electromagnetism, data-structures, circuit-theory, accounting etc.) to solve problems in the domain. In both problem and project-based learning the problem drives the learning: students need to assess what they already know, what they need to know to address the problem, and how to bridge the knowledge/skill gap. Puzzle-based learning focuses on domain independent transferable skills of critical thinking and abstract reasoning. In addition, puzzle-based learning aims to foster introspection and reflection on the personal problem solving process. What was I thinking? What is the solution? Why did I not see it?

Teaching Awards

Other Awards / Honors

Research Interests

Artificial intelligence and cognitive science with an emphasis on case-based reasoning, knowledge-management, distributed reasoning and machine learning.

My other interests include higher order programming languages, software development, computer science / information systems pedagogy.


I am the pas President of the Alpha Iota Delta international honor society. I've also been active with Toastmasters (CL, ATM-B) having served as my club's President, Secretary, VP for Membership, and VP for PR.


Sample Talks/Presentations

Where I've Been

Over the years I've had the good fortune to experience multiple cultures, both socially (India and US) as well as academically (engineering, science, and business). Below is a reverse chronology of the places I've been (I'm from Madurai but Chennai was the closest place I could get weather stats on).

Click for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Forecast Click for Bloomington, Indiana Forecast Click for Pensacola, Florida Forecast Click for Chennai (Madras), India Forecast Click for Doha, Qatar Forecast

Last modified: Sun Sep 16 20:26:22 EDT 2007