Alumna Namrata Vaswani wins Best Paper Award

Associate Professor Namrata Vaswani, currently teaching electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University, in an alumnus of ECE @ UMD with exciting news to share! Vaswani and her former student have been awarded the 2014 IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award.

Vaswani’s research focuses on sparse recovery algorithms, commonly known as compressive sensing. This signal processing technique is used in medical imaging technology, among other things, and involves measuring cross-sections of a subject, then reconstructing those measurements one element at a time. The goal of this process is to reduce the number of measurements necessary to create accurate images—fewer measurements mean faster scans and less time for patients to be exposed to an MRI.

“Most people thing that you measure the image of a cross-section in an MRI, but that isn’t correct,” Vaswani explains. “You actually measure a function of the image; then need to design algorithms to recover the image from those measurements. We are making the process more efficient by using fewer measurements that will enable us to get an accurate reconstruction.”

In 2010, Vaswani and her Ph.D. student Wei Lu coauthored, “Modified-CS: Modifying compressive sensing for problems with partially known support.” As one of the first papers written on recovering sparse signals when partial knowledge of the sparsity pattern is available, Vaswani’s work gained significant attention. The paper is the second most-cited among all papers published in September 2010 or later, and the 5th most-cited among all papers from 2010 or later in IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing according to Google Scholar metrics.

Congratulations Professor Vaswani!

Published January 22, 2015