Jonsson School Professor Earns Professional Leadership Award
Dr. Nasser Kehtarnavaz
For more than 20 years, Dr. Nasser Kehtarnavaz, professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas, has introduced innovative educational approaches for students to learn practical implementation aspects of signal processing.
His innovative spirit and career track record of preparing students for jobs in demand by industry recently earned him the Professional Leadership Award given by the national unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA). IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional society with about 400,000 members in more than 160 countries.
Kehtarnavaz received the award at the IEEE-USA annual meeting in Milwaukee in May. The citation on the award reads, “in recognition of his dedicated efforts in advancing engineering education, especially in the field of signal processing, and promoting events of great benefits to IEEE’s U.S. members.
Kehtarnavaz’s latest innovation employs the power of the smartphone to eliminate the need for lab hardware and enables students to experiment anytime or anywhere.
Kehtarnavaz, director of the Signal and Image Processing Lab in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, uses these powerful devices — which most students already have — to implement and run signal processing algorithms in real time, as opposed to hardware boards currently used in instruction that are confined to a specific space and available only during lab hours.
“This new implementation approach that I have developed based on smartphones for teaching and research provides a mobile and cost-free laboratory environment for students,” he said. “It enables students to take the lab with them so that anywhere they go they can experiment.”
“Dr. Kehtarnavaz has made outstanding contributions and shown leadership in advancing the professional aims of IEEE through his notable service to the IEEE Dallas Section,” said Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara, professor of electrical engineering, holder of the Distinguished Chair of Engineering and Kehtarnavaz’s nominator. “He has also made significant contributions to advancing engineering education.”
In Dr. Nasser Kehtarnavaz’s signal processing classes and labs, the smartphone has replaced all sizes of traditional hardware boards. Kehtarnavaz recently earned the Professional Leadership Award from the national unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA).
Kehtarnavaz has authored or co-authored nine books to help fill the need for practical aspects of signal processing application. His latest book, just published, Smartphone-Based Real-Time Digital Signal Processing, describes his smartphone implementation approach.
“My main motivation has been to come up with those approaches that are in demand in industry for both student hiring and research purposes,” he said. “I am honored to see the impact of my educational contributions throughout my career is recognized by IEEE.”
Kehtarnavaz has served IEEE in many capacities, including as chair of the Dallas Chapter of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. Through his involvement, 80 seminars have been hosted — a majority at UT Dallas — that benefited the Dallas engineering community. He also has served as a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society and IEEE Dallas Section vice chair. His service includes being the university relations chair of the IEEE Dallas Section and the faculty advisor of the Kappa Kappa Chapter of the IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society at UT Dallas.
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