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White text on orange background Speaker Series Fireside Chat, photos of Ruzena Bajcsy (left) and Klara Nahrstedt.

Fireside Chat with Ruzena Bajcsy and Klara Nahrstedt

Event Type
Department of Computer Science
May 11, 2022   11:30 am  
Originating Calendar
Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series

Please join us in person or online for a Fireside Chat with Ruzena Bajcsy and Klara Nahrstedt, the first mother and daughter to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), on Wednesday, May 11, at 11:30 am.

Computer Science Department Head Nancy M. Amato will moderate the event at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) auditorium, room 1122, and online at

A lunch will follow in the NCSA atrium at 12:30 pm. 

Speaker's Biographies

Ruzena Bajcsy is the NEC Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. She was the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in 2001, a multicampus organization comprising 4 campuses: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Merced. As part of her activities in CITRIS, and together with the University of California Center for the Humanities, she played a founding role in establishing a program in Digital Humanities.

Before joining UC Berkeley, Bajcsy headed the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation (1999–2001). From 1972 to 2001 she was a professor in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she established the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab in 1978. Throughout her 28 years at UPenn, she worked on robotics research, including computer vision, tactile perception, and in general the problem of system identification. She also worked on medical imaging and, with her student, developed a digital anatomy atlas coupled with elastic matching algorithms that made it possible to automatically identify anatomic structures of the brain, first in X-ray tomography, later with MRI and positron image tomography. The use of this technology is now standard in medical practice.

Bajcsy is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (1997) and National Academy of Medicine (1995) as well as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). In 2001 she received the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award, and in November 2002 she was named one of the 50 most important women in Discover Magazine. She is the recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Computer and Cognitive Sciences (2009) and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Award (2013) for her contributions in the field of robotics and automation.
Her current research is in the use of robotic technology, namely measuring and extracting noninvasively kinematic and dynamic parameters of individuals in order to assess their physical movement capabilities or limitations. If there are limitations, her students have designed assistive devices that can compensate for the lack of kinematic agility and /or physical strength.

Klara Nahrstedt is the Grainger Distinguished Chair of Engineering Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is the Director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory. Her research interests are directed toward trustworthy multimedia distributed systems and networking, quality of service (QoS) and resource management in Internet and mobile systems, real-time security in wireless networks for trustworthy power grids, edge-cloud systems, cyber-physical system security for electric vehicles, health systems, 3D tele-immersive systems, and advanced edge-cloud-based cyber-infrastructures for scientific instruments.
She is the recipient of the IEEE Communication Society Leonard Abraham Award for Research Achievements, the 2008 University Scholar Award, the 2009 Humboldt Research Award, the 2012 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, and the 2014 ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) Technical Achievement Award, 2018 Robert Piloty Prize, and 2019, 2019 Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Award in the College of Engineering, and 2020 Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering.

Nahrstedt has been the editor-in-chief of the ACM/Springer Multimedia Systems journal; associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications; associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia; associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security; associate editor of IEEE Multimedia Magazine; general co-chair of ACM Multimedia 2006; IEEE PerCom 2009, ACM/IEEE IOTDI 2019, and IEEE Smartgridcomm 2020. She was the elected chair of the ACM SIGMM between 2007 and 2013.

Nahrstedt received her diploma in mathematics from Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, in 1985. In 1995, she received her Ph.D. from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.


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