ECE Researchers win First Prize at the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo Grand Challenge

Assistant Professor Vishal Patel and ECE PhD student He Zhang have won the 1st prize at the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME) Grand Challengefor their work on heterogeneous face recognition.  Their algorithm for polarimetric thermal-to-visible face recognition achieved the best performance on the Heterogeneous Face Recognition Grand Challenge organized by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) as part of the 2018 IEEE ICME.  Professor Patel and Zhang's approach is based on a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) which uses a multi-stream feature-level fusion technique to synthesize high-quality visible images from polarimetric thermal images.  They will receive a $1000 cash prize for winning this challenge.  More information about the ICME Grand Challenge can be found at

Congratulations to Vishal and He on this accomplishment!

Salim El Rouayheb receives 2018 DURIP Award

Assistant Professor Salim El Rouayheb has won a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) Award for his project titled "Secure Coded Cooperative Computations for Internet of Battlefield of Things (IoBTs)."  The DURIP instrumentation awards provide the unique means through which the Depart of Defense supports universities in the acquisition of essential laboratory equipment, usually out of reach for most research grants. As part of this project, Dr. El Rouayheb in collaboration with Dr. Seferoglu from the University of Illinois, Chicago has received a $138,738 award for equipment to study cooperative computations for Internet of Battlefield of Things (IoBT), which is emerging as a new paradigm for networks supporting mission critical army operations.

Congratulations Salim!

Professor Marco Gruteser Receives Peter D. Cherasia Faculty Scholar Award

Dean Tom Farris has announced that Professor Marco Gruteser was selected for the Peter D. Cherasia Faculty Scholar Award!

The Cherasia Award, established by Peter D. Cherasia, a Rutgers ECE alumnus, recognizes and fosters excellence in teaching and scholarly activity in highly quantitative and computational aspects of engineering research related to financial problems. The Award is for a three year term and includes $10,000 per year that can be used to support scholarly activity. The funding period begins with the current academic year and runs through the 2021.

Congratulations to Marco for this great and well deserved recognition of his work!

Waheed Bajwa receives DARPA Award

Congratulations to Associate Professor Waheed Bajwa for his new DARPA award for the project titled "Nonconvex Matrix Optimization: Geometry, Algorithms, and Distributed Implementations." This is an 18-month $1.21M collaborative effort between Rutgers University (Waheed Bajwa- PI) , Colorado School of Mines and University of Wisconsin. Rutgers' share of this award is $327,716.

As part of this project funded under the DARPA Lagrange Program, Waheed and his team will develop  theory and algorithms for  nonconvex matrix optimization problems that arise in machine learning for ultrahigh-dimensional data, particularly problems in civilian and military Internet-of-Things (IoT) systems. The theory and algorithms developed in this project will be applied to matrix optimization problems arising in machine learning contexts. However, they will also be broadly applicable to nonconvex optimization problems arising outside of machine learning. This project a collaboration between experts in several areas: optimization theory and algorithms; and applications in signal processing, information theory, and networks.

Congratulations Waheed!

Salim El Rouayheb wins 2018 Google Faculty Research Award

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Salim El Rouayheb for receiving the prestigious 2018 Google Faculty Research Award for his project titled "Towards efficient Single-Server Private Information Retrieval and Search." The Google Faculty Research Awards Program aims to recognize and support world-class faculty members pursuing cutting-edge research in areas of mutual interest to Google, with the goal of identifying and strengthening long-term collaborative relationships with faculty working on problems that will impact how future generations use technology. Google Faculty Research Awards are structured as seed funding to support one graduate student for one year and are awarded as an unrestricted gift. The award is highly competitive - only 15% of applicants receive funding - and each proposal goes through a rigorous Google-wide review process.

As part of this project, Dr. El Rouayheb has received a $ 89,096 award to study efficient single-server Private Information Retrieval (PIR) algorithms. PIR algorithms allow users to search an online search engine without revealing what they are searching for and thus protecting their privacy. This project addresses challenges in PIR by focusing on low-complexity single-server algorithms that leverage the users' previous queries and searches using tools from information theory and differential privacy. The obtained algorithms have the potential to be implemented in Google applications, such as Google Search and Google Drive, to provide desirable privacy guarantees without performance degradation.

Congratulations Salim!

Vishal Patel wins Award at the 2018 IAPR International Conference on Biometrics

Assistant Professor Vishal Patel and his collaborators Ester Gonzalez-Sosa, Ruben Vera-Rodriguez, and Julian Fierrez from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain have won the Honorable Mention Paper Award at the 2018 IAPR International Conference on Biometrics (ICB 2018) held in Gold Coast, Australia for their paper titled "Person recognition beyond the visible spectrum: combining body shape and texture from mmW images." In this paper, the authors study the problem of person recognition using millimeter wave (mmW) images.

ICB, technically co-sponsored by IAPR (Technical Committee on Biometrics – TC4, International Association for Pattern Recognition), IEEE (Biometrics Council), and APRS (Australian Pattern Recognition Society), is the premier forum for the presentation of new advances and research results in the field of biometrics.

Congratulations Vishal!

ECE Alumni Networking Event

Approximately 50 Electrical and Computer Engineering alumni, faculty, and friends attended the inaugural ECE Alumni Networking Event on April 25, 2018, in The Cove, Busch Campus Student Center. Congratulations to P.B. Ram Reddy, Ph.D., BS'73, recipient of this year's Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. Please watch for news on upcoming events.


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