I am actively recruiting to fill open postdoc positions for research in machine learning theory and methods, computational sensing/imaging, and sparse signal processing. The Rice DSP and Machine Learning groups offer an energizing environment for research; 25 recent postdocs and PhD students have been placed in top faculty positions. Apply here!
Rice University professor and engineer Richard Baraniuk has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is one of 228 new members announced today by the academy, which honors some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists and civic, business and philanthropic leaders. The academy is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. It convenes leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing - and opportunities available to - the nation and the world.
Richard Baraniuk is one of 13 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows announced today by the U.S. Defense Department. The fellows program provides extensive, long-term financial support for distinguished university scientists and engineers to pursue “blue sky” basic research that could produce revolutionary new technologies. The program was launched in 2008 as the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program and renamed this year in honor of Vannevar Bush, the famed American engineer and inventor who headed U.S. scientific research during World War II and later helped found the National Science Foundation. Baraniuk, Rice's Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a leading expert on compressive sensing, a branch of signal processing that enables engineers to glean useful information from far fewer data samples than would typically be required.
Richard Baraniuk, Rice University's Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is one of 175 academic inventors named this year, and is now among 757 fellows representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. NAI Fellows have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation to create or facilitate inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Combined, they are named inventors on more than 26,000 U.S. patents.
The National Educational Technology Plan for Higher Ed has been published by the US Department of Education. The document is an outgrowth of the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP), which presents a shared vision and call to action for transformational learning enabled by technology at all levels of our education system. The NETP recommends actions that would enable everywhere, all-the-time learning and ensure greater equity and accessibility to learning opportunities over the course of a learner’s lifetime. (Richard Baraniuk served on the Technical Working Group that reviewed drafts of the guide and provided feedback, writing, and examples from their experiences.)
Using the deep rendering mixture model, the network largely teaches itself how to distinguish handwritten digits using the MNIST dataset of 10,000 hand written digits. Results presented this month at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrate state-of-the-art training results using just 10 correct examples of each handwritten digit plus several thousand additional unlabelled examples. The trained algorithm was more accurate at correctly distinguishing handwritten digits than almost all previous algorithms, even those trained with thousands of correct examples of each digit.
A. Aghazadeh, A. Y. Lin, M. A. Sheikh, A. L. Chen, L. M. Atkins, C. L. Johnson, J. F. Petrosino, R. A. Drezek, R. G. Baraniuk, “Universal Microbial Diagnostics using Random DNA Probes,” Science Advances, vol. 2, 28 September 2016.
Abstract: Early identification of pathogens is essential for limiting development of therapy-resistant pathogens and mitigating infectious disease outbreaks. Most bacterial detection schemes use target-specific probes to differentiate pathogen species, creating time and cost inefficiencies in identifying newly discovered organisms. We present a novel universal microbial diagnostics (UMD) platform to screen for microbial organisms in an infectious sample, using a small number of random DNA probes that are agnostic to the target DNA sequences. Our platform leverages the theory of sparse signal recovery (compressive sensing) to identify the composition of amicrobial sample that potentially contains novel or mutant species. We validated the UMD platform in vitro using five random probes to recover 11 pathogenic bacteria. We further demonstrated in silico that UMD can be generalized to screen for common human pathogens in different taxonomy levels. UMD’s unorthodox sensing approach opens the door to more efficient and universal molecular diagnostics.
More than 1.5 million college students have used a free textbook from OpenStax, the Rice University-publisher announced today. The number of students using OpenStax textbooks in college and high school courses has more than doubled since January 2016, and OpenStax estimates it will save students $70 million in the 2016-17 academic year.
"More than 811,000 students are using our books this fall, which is a 106% increase over spring 2016. Our books are being used in over 4,500 courses at 2,688 universities, colleges and high schools. This is 27% of all US degree-granting institutions," said Richard Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax and Rice's Victor E. Cameron Professor of Engineering. "Our books are making it possible for more students to afford college at a time when a college education has never been more important."
Based on the number of instructors who have notified OpenStax that they are adopting the books in their courses, OpenStax knows that 1.5 million students have used its books since 2012. Based on the date of adoptions, the one millionth student is among the students in instructor Shawna Brandle's American Government course this fall at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"I'm so happy to be using the OpenStax American Government textbook," said Brandle, an assistant professor of political science at Kingsborough. "I taught for years using expensive textbooks I didn't like before trying a different free digital book that wasn't great. I even tried making my own book, but nothing at any price is as good as the OpenStax book. I'm doubly happy knowing that my students are not paying for a book and are still getting the best resource available, regardless of price."
OpenStax launched in 2012 with two titles and a unique OER business model: Use philanthropic grants to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print.
Current titles include College Physics; Biology; Concepts of Biology; Anatomy and Physiology; Chemistry; University Physics, volume 1; Microbiology; Sociology 2e; Principles of Economics; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics; Psychology; American Government; U.S. History; Introductory Statistics; Precalculus; Calculus, volumes 1-3; Algebra and Trigonometry; College Algebra; and Prealgebra.