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Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor He elevated to IEEE fellow

Few honors within the electrical engineering community are as prestigious as being named a fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. And Henry He, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri, recently was honored by being named an IEEE fellow.

Henry He, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri recently was honored by being named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow.

Henry He, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri recently was honored by being named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow.

He was elevated to IEEE fellowship for his contributions to video communication and visual sensing technologies. He, who joined the ECE faculty in the fall 2003, said he appreciated the acknowledgement.

“If you are elected to fellow, certainly they know your work is at a certain level,” He said. “Your work has been recognized in the field by peer researchers.

He’s research at MU began to earn widespread acknowledgement thanks to a project involving small, wireless video cameras called “DeerCams,” which allowed researchers to observe different animals, improving understanding of behaviors of animals in their natural habitat. The project has expanded in scope to large-scale camera-trap cyber-infrastructure, as well as a sizeable group of volunteers called citizen scientists, who review generated footage allowing them to identify, track and study a wide array of species. And he’s excited about what the future holds with the project.

“Basically we have three groups — expert, computer tools and citizen scientist — that work together to do large-scale sensing,” he said. “Right now, we are trying to work into Phase Two, up to 1,000 cameras. We’re trying to get funding to move into the next phase on a larger scale. Once you have accumulated data for five or even 10 years, you can study important ecology and biology questions.”

He has also been involved with various other video communication and sensing projects, particularly those that involve compressing video in order to make it quickly transmittable across common bandwidths, helping make it possible for instantaneous video communication. He’s also been involved in several collaborative projects, including the eldercare sensor project headed by fellow ECE Professor Marge Skubic.

Earning IEEE fellow status is a lengthy, involved process. To become eligible, one must first be elevated to senior member status, which requires involvement in an IEEE-designated field, 10 years of professional experience and at least five years of prolific performance in the field. Fellow candidates must be members of the organization for five or more years and must be nominated by an IEEE fellow. Between five and eight letters of recommendation are required, and once the complete nomination packet is turned in, it is evaluated twice — first by the IEEE Society/Technical Council, then by judges on the IEEE Fellow Committee.

“It’s like becoming a full professor. You get some recognition,” He said. “You get some confirmation from the peer researchers for the organization. They agree that you did some good work. They recognize your work.”