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Justin Romberg Named ECE Associate Chair for Research

Romberg Also Appointed as Schlumberger Professor

Atlanta, GA

Justin Romberg has been appointed as the new associate chair for Research, and independent of that new role, as the Schlumberger Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Both appointments are effective September 1.

In his role as associate chair, Romberg will oversee all aspects of the School’s research enterprise and research program space-related issues. He will also work to integrate junior faculty members into ECE research activities and coordinate ECE responses to and participation in College- and Institute-level research initiatives, as well as other large-scale initiatives.

Romberg joined the ECE faculty in 2006 and conducts research that is on the interface between signal processing, applied harmonic analysis, and optimization. He and his current team of six Ph.D. students are interested in both the mathematical theory and real-world implementation of algorithms to make difficult processing tasks much easier.

A couple of examples of Romberg’s work have been in the news recently, including a project with MIT colleagues where they have developed a computational imaging system that can correctly identify letters on the top nine sheets of paper in a book and that could be used to examine manuscripts that are too fragile to handle. He has also worked with ECE Associate Professor Arijit Raychowdhury to develop a low-power, always-on camera with gesture recognition that can watch for specific types of movement without draining batteries or running up electricity bills. These stories have appeared in media outlets such as Wired, Yahoo! Finance, NSF Science 360 News Service, TechCrunch, Motherboard, Inverse, LiveScience, the Associated Press, PBS Newshour, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Romberg has published 90 refereed journal and conference papers, and he has made over 150 keynote and lecture presentations during his career. From 2008-2011, he was an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and he is currently on the editorial board for the SIAM Journal on Imaging Science and is guest editor for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing. Romberg has also served on the review board for the Army Research Office, where he was part of the team that assessed a sector of the applied mathematics program, and on the technical advisory group for HRL, where he assessed their research programs in complex networks, sensor exploitation, and neural systems.

Dedicated to high quality teaching and scholarship, Romberg has contributed to the Connexions Project at Rice University since he was a graduate student and is an author of signal processing modules that have been accessed over a million times. He has also developed an open database of probability questions now being used by multiple professors in ECE and at three other universities. At Georgia Tech, Romberg has created three courses from scratch–ECE 3077 Introduction to Probability and Statistics; an advanced DSP graduate course that draws students from ECE, ISyE, and mathematics; and a graduate course on convex optimization. He has participated in the Center for Teaching and Learning Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows Program and has received a teaching effectiveness award from that same group.

The cross-disciplinary nature of Romberg’s work can be seen through his campus activities. He is a member of the steering committee for the Algorithms and Randomness Center in the College of Computing and is on the search committee for the chair of the School of Mathematics. He is an associate director of the newly formed Machine Learning IRC, and played an active role in the development of the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS).

Romberg is a past recipient of several prestigious honors including the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the PECASE Award, and the Packard Fellowship. He also participated in the National Academy of Engineering’s U.S. Frontiers in Engineering Symposium in 2010 and received the SPIE Pioneer Award in 2013. He has also been honored with a Rice University Outstanding Young Engineering Alumnus Award in 2010 and the ECE Outstanding Junior Faculty Member Award in 2012.

Last revised May 15, 2020