Veeravalli: Henry Magnuski Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professorship: Henry Magnuski Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Alumnus H.S. "Hank" Magnuski (BSEE '65) and his wife, Cynthia Jose, established the Magnuski Professorship in ECE as a way to honor Hank's father, Henry, a longtime Motorola employee who designed the circuits that were used in the first portable FM two-way radios, or walkie-talkies. A native of Poland, Henry Magnuski fled his homeland in 1939, shortly before the Nazi invasion. He accumulated 25 patents in VHF communication and microwave fields during his career before he passed away in 1978.

An entrepreneur, Hank Magnuski invented PC-to-fax technology and co-founded GammaLink Co. to commercialize his discovery. As one of the nation’s fastest growing privately held companies GammaLink merged with Dialogic Corporation in 1989 and the combined companies’ worth exceeded $100 million. Intel ultimately acquired Dialogic Corporation in 1999.

In 1995, Magnuski founded Internet Video Services, Inc. (IVS), one of the first providers of video services over the internet. As a part of IVS, he also created MediaMart, one of the first e-commerce sites. Magnuski co-founded NCast Corp. in 1998 to develop reliable and easy ways for people to communicate over the internet.

Faculty: Venugopal V. Veeravalli

Venugopal Varadachari Veeravalli
Venugopal Varadachari Veeravalli

Venugopal V. Veeravalli received a PhD in 1992 from Illinois, master’s degree in 1987 from Carnegie-Mellon University, and B. Tech. degree in 1985 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, (Silver Medal Honors), all in electrical engineering. He joined Illinois faculty in 2000. In addition to his professorship in Illinois ECE, he holds appointments in the Department of Statistics, the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the Information Trust Institute. Prior to joining Illinois, he was on the faculty of the School of ECE at Cornell University. He served as a program director for communications research at the U.S. National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, from 2003-05.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has been on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society and on the SPTM Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. He has been an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Signal Processing Society during 2010-11.

Veeravalli’s research interests include statistical signal processing, machine learning,detection and estimation theory, information theory, sensor networks, cyberphysical systems, and wireless communications. A recent emphasis of his research has been on signal processing and machine learning for data science applications.

Veeravalli received the 1996 IEEE Browder J. Thompson Award, an award given annually to an outstanding paper by authors under the age of thirty selected from all the publications of the IEEE. In 1998 he received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and he was one of the twenty CAREER awardees from all the disciplines of the NSF to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the White House in 1999. He received the Abraham Wald Prize in Sequential Analysis in 2016. While at Cornell, he received the Michael Tien Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Engineering. At Illinois, he has received the Beckman Associate Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in 2002, the Xerox Award from the College of Engineering in 2003, and has been included multiple times on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.