UCI Names Renowned Computer Scientist as Bren Professor

Ramesh Jain, Acclaimed Computer Scientist, Named Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences

Date: Irvine, Calif. , January 10, 2005
Contacts: Michelle Williams (949) 824-1562; Jennifer Hieger (949) 720-2681

Ramesh Jain, professor of embedded and experiential systems at Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named the first Donald Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine. Jain is a renowned pioneer in multimedia information systems, image databases, machine vision and intelligent systems, a collection of work that is classed as experiential computing — exploring information through the senses.

“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Jain join ICS,” said Debra J. Richardson, dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. “He is an exceptionally talented scientist who brings to the position an outstanding reputation, a strong commitment to teaching and a passion for impacting industry as well as creating new research opportunities.”

Jain has been named a fellow by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the Society for Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR). In 1999, he was a finalist for the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Active in industry, Jain has founded three companies, managed them in initial stages and then turned them over to professional management. Most recently, he was the co-founder, CEO and CTO of PRAJA Inc. located in San Diego. PRAJA was acquired by Tibco, a provider of visual and interactive interfaces that make it easy to analyze business operations. Prior to PRAJA, he was the founding CEO and chairman of Virage (NASD: VRGE), a San Mateo-based company developing systems for media management solutions and visual information management. He also was the founder and chairman of ImageWare Inc. that provided solutions for surface modeling, reverse engineering rapid prototyping and inspection. ImageWare was acquired by SDRC. He serves as adviser to several companies.

“I am very pleased to be joining ICS at such an exciting time in the school’s history,” said Jain. “Technology is in transition — in the process of transforming an information society to an experiential society, which will require systems and applications that allow us to immerse ourselves in rich sets of multimedia data and information that we can directly observe, and I am eager to continue my research along side some of technology’s greatest contributors.”

Jain received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Nagpur University in 1969 and earned his doctorate in electronics and communications engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1975. He comes to UCI from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he held the Rhesa “Ray” S. Farmer, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Embedded Experiential Systems and was named a GRA Eminent Scholar. At Georgia Tech, Jain founded the Experiential Systems Group, his fourth significant research laboratory. Other academic posts include University of Hamburg (1976-1978), Wayne State University (1979-1982), University of Michigan (1982-1993) and the University of California, San Diego (1993-1999).

Jain, whose appointment begins this month, is UCI’s tenth Donald Bren Professor and the first of ten such professors created by Donald Bren’s recent $20 million gift to the computer science school that now bears his name. Other Bren professors at UCI include noted evolutionary biologist and 2002 National Medal of Science honoree Francisco J. Ayala; atmospheric chemist F. Sherwood Rowland, a 1995 Nobel Laureate in chemistry; and Douglas Wallace, a National Academy of Science member and geneticist whose explorations into mitochondrial DNA are helping cure disease and increasing the understanding of human evolution.

The Donald Bren Foundation created and continues to fund the Donald Bren Endowment to help UCI attract and retain the nation’s foremost scholars. In addition to the Donald Bren Professors, the endowment provides support for Claire Trevor Professors at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Donald Bren, chairman of The Irvine Company, has contributed more to support endowed chairs than any single donor in the history of the UC system. Last year, UC recognized his contributions by awarding him the UC Presidential Medal, the university’s highest honor.

Recruitments for the other nine positions in ICS are ongoing.

About the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences: The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is the first independent computer science school within the UC system and one of the fastest-growing programs of its kind in the nation. Elevated from department to school status in December 2002, information and computer sciences enrollment at UCI has grown by more than 125 percent since 1998, to more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. With experts in areas ranging from embedded computer systems and networking to bioinformatics and the social impacts of computing, the school currently ranks 15th among all public university computer science graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with approximately 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.