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Nikil Jayant: Professional Biography

Dr. Nikil Jayant joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998, as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, as the John Pippin Chair in Wireless Systems, and as the Director of the Georgia Tech Wireless Institute. In 1999, he created the Georgia Tech Broadband Institute, of which he is the Founding Director. In 2000, Dr. Jayant was named the Executive Director of the Georgia Centers for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT). In 2004, he assumed campus-wide responsibility as the Director of Strategic Partnerships in Information Technologies and Services.

Earlier at Bell Laboratories, Dr. Jayant created and managed the Signal Processing Research Department, the Advanced Audio Technology Department, and the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory. Contributions from these organizations include the definition of unified structures for signal processing and computing, the invention of new technology for high-density magnetic recording, the creation of the 16 kbps CCITT international standard for network telephony, channel equalization and data coding technologies for the IS54 North American Digital Cellular standard, coding and transmission methodologies for voiceband videotelephony and High Definition Television, the establishment of perceptual coding as a definitive criterion for low bit rate coding of audiovisual signals, and the development of a Digital Audio Broadcast system for CD-quality radio broadcasting in the United States. More recent contributions include software for text-to-speech synthesis, automatic speech recognition and natural language dialog; software for Internet communications of speech, music and video signals; and multimedia systems for messaging and the human-computer interface.

Dr. Jayant's personal research has been in the field of digital coding and transmission of information signals. The above work has led to pioneering techniques for adaptive quantization and ADPCM coding. These techniques have been incorporated in international CCITT standards for low bit rate voice and digital audio. His research has also defined techniques for speech encryption, packet voice, signal enhancement, robust vector quantization and image coding. Dr. Jayant has published more than 170 papers and five books, and is the author of 40 patents. Most recently, his research has addressed cross-disciplinary challenges in Telehealth, including reliable wireless communication of visual information in pediatrics and pathology.

Businesses created by Dr. Jayant's research and leadership span several segments in audiovisual and data communications. They include low bit rate speech codecs for digital transmission, multiplexing, cellular telephony and AUDIX voice storage; high-quality audio coding for teleconferencing and advanced DAT; video coding for advanced television, Internet video and voiceband videotelephony; and high-density magnetic disks for computer data. Other emerging businesses include natural language call centers, systems for message translation and filtering, set-top boxes, solid-state multimedia players and recorders, DVD systems, CD-quality broadcast receivers and Internet Multimedia. In his role as the Director of Multimedia Communications Laboratory at Bell Labs, Dr. Jayant managed an annual discretionary budget of $18M, and helped raise $6M for internal ventures. As an entrepreneur in a Georgia Tech seeded startup EGT, a Georgia Tech - ATDC company, he helped raise nearly $20M in venture capital. EGT was acquired by Arris Corporation in 2009. Dr. Jayant is also a co-founder of another ATDC company VQLink .

Dr. Jayant was the co-guest-editor of a special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Communications (1982) on Bit Rate Reduction and Speech Interpolation, co-guest-editor of a special issue of the IEEE Communications Magazine on Speech Processing (1993), the editor of a special issue of the AT&T Journal on Multimedia Technologies (1995), and the editor of a Special Issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE (2004) on Gigabit Wireless. He is the author of a book chapter, "Digital Coding of Speech in Data Communications, Networks and Systems", Volume 2 (Howard Sams, 1986), the co-author of a book chapter, "Image Coding Based On Human Visual Models in Image Processing" (Academic Press, 1995), the editor of a book section on Digital Audio in the IEEE-CRC handbook on Signal Processing (1997), and the co-author of a book chapter "Broadband in the Last Mile: Current and Future Applications" in the Marcel Dekker book on Broadband Last Mile Technologies (2005).

Dr. Jayant is also the author or co-author of five books. He is the editor of an IEEE Reprint Book (1976) on Waveform Quantization and Coding, the co-author of a seminal text book published by Prentice Hall, "Digital Coding of Waveforms: Principles and Applications To Speech And Video" (1984), the editor of a World Scientific Book (1997) on Signal Compression, the co-editor of the National Academies Monograph, "Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits", (NRC Press,2002), and the editor of the book "Broadband Last Mile: Access Technologies for Multimedia Communications", published by CRC Press and Marcel Dekker (2005). Dr. Jayant was the first editor-in-chief of the ASSP Magazine, a publication of the Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing Society of IEEE.

Dr, Jayant's professional contributions have included the organization and chairing of conference sessions in communications and signal processing, presentations of seminars, courses, and conference keynotes in several countries and consultancies with representatives of industry, defense, and government establishments. He has served on panels appointed by the National Science Foundation to evaluate equipment grants and research proposals, and on technical committees for establishing international standards in audio and image compression, and US standards for digital audio broadcasting. He and his Bell Labs team have contributed to numerous national and international standards, most notably those related to Cellular Telephony, MP3 and HDTV.

Dr. Jayant has served as the Chairperson of the National Academies Committee on Broadband Last Mile Technologies, and this work resulted in the National Research Council publication "Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits". He has co-founded two startup companies on the Georgia Tech campus, EGT and VQLink, for commercializing innovations in advanced video technologies and services. He is the Founder and President of MediaFlow, a consulting company. Dr. Jayant has also served on the Advisory Boards of the Singapore Institute for Infocomm Research and NTT-DoCoMo (USA).

Dr. Jayant received his Ph.D. in Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 1970. As part of this doctoral program, he was a Research Associate at Stanford University for one year prior to joining Bell Labs, Murray Hill, in 1968.

Dr. Jayant's honors include the Alfred Hay Gold Medal (for the best student in communication engineering, Indian Institute of Science, 1965), the IEEE Browder Thompson Memorial Prize Award (for the best IEEE Publication by an author under 30 years of age, 1974), the Industry Paper Award from the Institution of Electrical and Telecommunication Engineers (India, 1990), the IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award (for the best tutorial paper in an IEEE publication, 1995), and the Lucent Patent Recognition Award (1997). In 1982, Dr. Jayant was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to adaptive quantization and digital speech communication. In 1996, Dr. Jayant was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the coding and compression of speech, audio and image signals. In 1998, Dr. Jayant was inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for his contributions to the reduction of noise in communication systems. In 2000, he was named as a recipient of the IEEE Third Millennium Medal. In 2008, Dr. Jayant was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science.