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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Dec. 17, 2019) -- The world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, known as IEEE, honored an Army-funded researcher for making a lasting impact on the field of signal processing.

Dr. Rama Chellappa, a distinguished university professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland, will be formally honored with the 2020 IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal in May 2020 at an awards ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In selecting Chellappa to receive the prestigious medal, the IEEE board of directors specifically noted, "his contributions to image and video processing, especially applications to face recognition."

Chellappa is part of a research team, funded by the Army and led out of Johns Hopkins University, that aims to improve the effectiveness and reliability of data analysis and understanding, with potentially far-reaching impacts to machine learning and data science.

The team is focusing on developing a semantic information theory to quantify the amount of information contained in data and to facilitate the development of algorithms for object recognition from datasets that could enable better situational awareness and decision-making.

"The ability to break down data into semantic nuggets is profoundly important to quickly interpreting scene images and to making informed and intelligent decision making for autonomous agents," said Dr. Hamid Krim, program manager, information processing and fusion at the Army Research Office. "That could hence lead to new technologies for reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence, robotic perception, precision targeting, counter-terrorism and homeland security."

The Army Research Office is an element of the U.S. Army 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.

IEEE established the award in 1995 to honor Jack S. Kilby, whose innovation was a monumental precursor to the development of the signal processor and digital signal processing.

Chellappa has a permanent appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, where he does much of his research. This includes projects involving signal and image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, multi-dimension stochastic processes, statistical interference, image analysis, robust and secure biometrics and artificial intelligence in computer vision.

Chellappa's research group is involved in many aspects of designing robust image and video-based recognition systems. They have spearheaded a new approach for improving the performance of image and video-based recognition systems by using domain adaptation methods. Their approach has been demonstrated for face and object recognition using dictionaries and manifolds, sensor adaptation, and cross-view action recognition.

Chellappa's other awards include being named an International Association for Pattern Recognition Fellow; American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow; Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Fellow; Association for Computing Machinery Fellow; and IEEE Fellow.

Chellappa received his doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1981.


The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, the laboratory 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.

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U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

Army Futures Command