Visual computing expert Tsuhan Chen leads School of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Tsuhan Chen, an expert in visual computing from Carnegie Mellon University, joined the Cornell faculty earlier this month as director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Chen succeeds Clifford Pollock, the Ilda and Charles Lee Professor of Engineering, who served as director since 2001.

"[Cornell's] depth and history immediately got my attention," Chen said. "But what really impressed me is how the faculty have stayed so dynamic over the years, constantly finding new ways to do things -- staying out in front."

Chen joined Carnegie Mellon's engineering faculty in 1997 where he served as associate department head of electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Laboratory, a collaborative research program with ITRI in Taiwan. His group worked in the area of visual computing, which includes computer vision and pattern recognition, computer graphics and multimedia coding and streaming.

"This is an opportunity for the department to bring in a fresh perspective from the administrative point of view while also attracting a research star who can take the department in new directions," said Chris Ober, interim dean of the College of Engineering.

Chen earned his B.S. from National Taiwan University and M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, all in electrical engineering. He worked at Bell Labs before Carnegie Mellon.

In 2007 Chen was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which recognized Chen's contributions in the area of multidisciplinary multimedia signal processing. In 2004 and 2008, he delivered the keynote address at the International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, IEEE's flagship conference on multimedia technologies. From 2002 to 2004, he served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, a publication designed to integrate all aspects of multimedia systems and technology, signal processing and applications.

Recognized as an outstanding educator as well as researcher, Chen received the Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award in 2006 from Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering for his consistent excellence in graduate and undergraduate education. He was cited particularly for his success with a large undergraduate course serving students with diverse backgrounds and interests, in which he provided clear explanations of complex mathematical methods for analyzing signals and systems.

Laura McGrath is a freelance writer in Corning, N.Y.


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