Arce named first Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair
Gonzalo Arce


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10:07 a.m., March 31, 2010----Gonzalo Arce, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware, has been selected as the first recipient of the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies.

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Funded by the Nokia Foundation and the Finnish Fulbright Commission, the position offers one American scholar each year a unique opportunity to collaborate with a higher education institution in Finland. The award includes a monthly stipend, a travel allowance, housing, and administrative and academic support for the scholar.

“The Fulbright Distinguished Chair position is viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program,” says Kenneth Barner, chairperson of UD's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We are very honored to have one of our faculty members be the first recipient of the Fulbright-Nokia position.”

Arce will spend the six months from June to December 2010 in Helsinki and Stockholm developing collaborative research with Nokia Research Centers and the Helsinki University of Technology.

His research will focus on exploring new frontiers of compressive sensing in communications and imaging. Compressive sensing allows the accurate recovery of signals and images from far fewer data measurement than required by traditional methods. The technology has potential impacts in a broad array of applications from microscopy and medical imaging to communications and consumer electronics.

“Underlying this methodology is a protocol for sensing and compressing data simultaneously,” Arce says. “Following this protocol would bypass the current wasteful acquisition process in which massive amounts of data are collected, only to be in large part discarded at the compression stage, which is necessary for storage and transmission purposes. In the compressed sensing paradigm, one could translate analog data into already compressed digital form, obtaining super-resolved signals from just a few sensors.”

According to Arce, Finland and Nokia are world-class leaders in these technologies, so the work is ideally suited for the program. He will be hosted by Prof. Visa Koivunen, the Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor and director of the Signal Processing Laboratory at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT). “HUT, which is close to Nokia's research center and other high-technology hubs, will provide an ideal collaborative environment for the project,” Arce says.

The collaboration will include researchers at several centers of excellence across Finland, including the Center of Excellence in Signal Processing at the Tampere University of Technology and the Finnish Center of Excellence in Inverse Problems, co-led by HUT and several other universities.

Arce's project will include not only research but also a set of short courses on compressive sensing theory and applications to disseminate knowledge in this emerging field to the broad scientific and engineering community.

The Fulbright-Nokia research project will leverage funding from the National Science Foundation and several other U.S. government funding agencies to further develop the theory and applications of compressive sensing. The U.S. partner for the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chairs Program is the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

“Gonzalo has already led the establishment of strategic global partnerships by forming alliances with internationally renowned universities around the world, including a partnership with a consortium of universities in Colombia,” says Michael Chajes, dean of UD's College of Engineering. “The Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chairs Program will provide him with unique opportunities to explore collaborative research and education relationships on information technologies with academic institutions in Finland.”

Arce joined the UD faculty in 1982 and served as department chair from 2000 to 2009. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas and his master's and doctoral degrees from Purdue University.

Article by Diane Kukich