P. R. Kumar obtained his B. Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering (Electronics) from I.I.T. Madras in 1973, and the M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Systems Science and Mathematics from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1975 and 1977, respectively. From 1977-84 he was a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Since 1985 he has been at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently Franklin W. Woeltge Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, Research professor in the Information Trust Institute, and Affiliate Professor of the Department of Computer Science.
He has worked on problems in game theory, adaptive control, stochastic systems, simulated annealing, neural networks, machine learning, queueing networks, manufacturing systems, scheduling, and wafer fabrication plants. His current research interests are in wireless networks, sensor networks, and networked embedded control systems. He has received the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council, the IEEE Field Award in Control Systems, and the Fred W. Ellersick Prize of the IEEE Communications Society. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He was awarded a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, by Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, Zurich in 2008.