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Indian-American Engineer Receives Texas' Top Academic Honor


Ashok Veeraraghavan, an accomplished Indian-American computer engineer and professor at the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, has received the prestigious Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in engineering from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology (TAMEST). This accolade is considered one of the highest academic honors in Texas.

Veeraraghavan was specifically recognized for his innovative work in computational imaging, focusing on revolutionary imaging technology aimed at making the invisible visible. His research, conducted at the computational imaging lab at Rice University, encompasses a holistic approach to imaging processes. It involves the integration of optics, sensor design, and machine learning processing algorithms, which collectively tackle imaging challenges that often go beyond the capabilities of existing technologies.

The award, presented annually by TAMEST, acknowledges researchers engaged in groundbreaking work in various fields, including medicine, engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, and technology innovation. Veeraraghavan's recognition in the engineering category highlights the impact of his group's advancements in imaging technology.

Born in Chennai, India, Veeraraghavan expressed his delight at receiving the award, attributing it to the collaborative and innovative research efforts of students, postdocs, and research scientists in his lab over the last decade.

One distinctive aspect of Veeraraghavan's work is the co-design approach, which considers optics, sensor design, and machine learning together, providing new degrees of freedom and enabling the achievement of imaging functionalities not possible with separate designs. This approach has proven instrumental in addressing challenges posed by scattering media in imaging scenarios.

Veeraraghavan's research aims to find solutions for scenarios where the visualization target is obscured by the scattering of light in participating media. This includes challenges in imaging through fog, clouds, or biological tissues, where traditional imaging systems face limitations due to light interaction and scattering.

Luay Nakhleh, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering at Rice University, congratulated Veeraraghavan, emphasizing his well-deserved recognition. This achievement is particularly notable for the university, marking the second consecutive year that one of its faculty members has received the O'Donnell Award.

Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Rice University's executive vice president for research, commended Veeraraghavan's impactful research, highlighting its broad applications in fields such as human health, microscopy, national security, autonomous vehicles, and photography. The Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award thus underscores Veeraraghavan's significant contributions to advancing knowledge and technology in the realm of imaging.

Feb. 26, 2024 11:59 a.m. 1610

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