EECS Professor Awarded the 2009 P. L. Kapitsa Prize Gold Medal by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences

Rui J. P. de Figueiredo honored for pioneering contributions to the mathematical foundations and applications of signal processing

Rui J. P. de Figueiredo, Ph.D., research professor of electrical engineering and computer science and mathematics, has been awarded the prestigious 2009 P. L. Kapitsa Gold Medal by the U.S. Branch of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS) for his pioneering contributions to the mathematical foundations and applications of signal processing.

These contributions include the invention of generalized spline filters, and in particular, the Butterworth and Chebyshev generalized spline filters, for dynamical-source-model-based recovery of analog signals from linear observations; and the generalization of the symmetric Fock space, the state space of non-self-interacting boson fields in quantum field theory, to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space F for the input-output maps of nonlinear dynamical systems.  De Figueiredo called this space a “neural space,” as it provides a rigorous framework and tools for the modeling and design of kernel-based neural networks and intelligent machines.

De Figueiredo has successfully applied this underlying technology to telecommunications, biomedical engineering, and other machine intelligence applications. Additional contributions with collaborators cited in the award are the invention of a generalized-moments-invariant/attributed-graph approach for application to 3-D robotic vision for the Space Station Freedom; the development of a new theory of photometric stereo for Lambertian surfaces; and, the introduction of computer-oriented pattern recognition techniques into combined seismic-and-well-log-data-based analysis for application in petroleum exploration.

The P. L. Kapitsa Gold Medal was instituted in 1994 by RANS to honor the academician Pyotr L. Kapitsa, D.Ph., Nobel Prize winner (physics), and a world-acclaimed author of scientific discoveries.  Numerous highly recognized scholars have been decorated with the P. L. Kapitsa Gold Medal, including: Nobel Laureates Aleksandr M. Prokhorov, Ph.D. (physics) and Ilya Prigogine, Ph.D. (chemistry); the Nobel Laureate, Director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at USC, George A. Olah, Ph.D.; and, member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Petroleum Engineering, and Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, Yannis Yortsos, Ph.D.