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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- U.S. Army-funded researchers working on a project to extract information from data sensing and processing earned top scientific honors.

Dr. Vahid Tarokh, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University was named to the National Academy of Engineering, and Dr. Alfred O. Hero, III, a professor of engineering at University of Michigan was honored with the 2020 IEEE Fourier Award for Signal Processing.

Tarokh and Hero are part of a research team, funded by the Army Research Office, and led out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that aims to speed-up and improve the ability to collect and analyze data and subsequently adapt decisions as new information comes in. The team is developing approaches to sensing and processing that exploit the information resulting from an ordered structure of measured data.

"The impact of this research permeates a broad swath of Army-centric applications," said Dr. Hamid Krim, program manager, Information Processing and Fusion at Army Research Office. "For example, it could help detect a missile as a result of two inferences as an infra-red sensor precedes the consensus of an explosion by an optical sensor."

Other applications range from social network analysis to interactive machine learning that involves humans, such as brain computer/robot interfaces.

The Army Research Office is an element of the Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory. The research grant, part of the Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, known as MURI, supports research teams whose efforts intersect more than one traditional scientific and engineering discipline.

The awards are typically funded at $1.25 million per year for three years with an option for two additional years.

Tarokh is one of the world's most cited researchers in computer science. He is known for his singular contributions to signal processing and his current work to create new methods for modeling and making predictions from small amounts of data.

As part of the MURI project, Tarokh is investigating theoretical limits on information gathering from an ordered structure of measured data. He also has ongoing collaborations focused on inventing new methods for securing and maximizing the Internet of Things and designing brain-inspired organic networks that can reorganize themselves.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions for engineers. As a members of the academy, Tarokh will help carry out the academy's mission of providing engineering leadership in service to the nation.

He joins more than 2,500 peer-elected members and foreign members in the NAE, which serves as an advisor to the federal government and conducts independent studies to examine important topics in engineering and technology.

Hero has been a leader in the development of the theoretical foundations of signal processing for decades. These foundations have been applied to network data analysis, personalized health, multi-modality information fusion, data-driven physical simulation, materials science, dynamic social media, and database indexing and retrieval, among other areas.

As part of the MURI project, Hero has developed algorithms exploiting asymmetrical data flows in contested environments with applications to multi-agent interaction assessment, semi-autonomous robotic search, and anomaly detection.

Hero was awarded the IEEE Fourier Award for Signal Processing for contributions to the foundations of statistical signal processing with applications to distributed sensing and performance benchmarking.

The Fourier Award is an IEEE Technical Field Award sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing Society and the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. He is the sixth individual to receive the award.


The CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more effective to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

Related Links:

U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

Army Futures Command