Doug Jones named new director of Advanced Digital Sciences Center
The University of Illinois has named Professor Doug Jones as the new director of the Advanced Digital Sciences Center in Singapore. Jones, who will begin his new position on July 1, is succeeding Marianne Winslett, an Illinois professor of computer science, who will step down from her role and return to Illinois as a professor emeritus as of June 30, 2013.
“We greatly appreciate and will miss Marianne’s leadership at ADSC,” said Coordinated Science Laboratory Director and ADSC Associate Director Bill Sanders. “She has established a great team of researchers and staff who have made significant breakthroughs in interactive digital media, smart grid and other research. We look forward to this new phase that ADSC is stepping into as Doug Jones begins to guide ADSC’s future.”
Winslett has led ADSC, a research center funded by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), since November 2009 and looks forward to being in Illinois during the remainder of her daughter’s high school career. Winslett plans to remain with ADSC as a seconded faculty member, continuing her work on ADSC’s DAMSON: Database Management, Security and Optimization project, as well as other ADSC initiatives.
During Winslett’s tenure as director, ADSC received 12 best paper nominations, awards and other honors, while publishing over 150 papers in conferences and journals. ADSC also facilitated four start-up companies and licensed four pieces of IP, with two more currently under negotiation. Today ADSC employs almost 60 full-time researchers living in Singapore, in addition to a substantial internship program that brought in over 40 interns from nine countries in 2012.
“Marianne and Executive Director Jesse Delia and the current leadership did a great job of building up ADSC, so it’s a great opportunity to step into,” Jones said. “It’s a unique opportunity to participate in research in Singapore, where we can bring the benefit back to Illinois and the U.S., as well as contribute to Singapore’s knowledge-based economy.”
Jones has been on the faculty of Illinois’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 1988, and is a professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and the Beckman Institute. Jones, who holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Rice University and is an IEEE Fellow, has been on the faculty of ADSC since July 2010. He is currently leading the project, RATEM: Realistic Audio Telepresencing for Entertainment and Meetings, in the center’s interactive digital media theme. This research focuses on creating a low-cost, high-quality and real-time audio telepresence, to allow participants in distant places to communicate with each other in a natural environment.
“Singapore is an unparalleled living laboratory to plug into,” Jones said about why conducting research in Singapore is beneficial to Illinois. “Singapore is very focused on the future and advancing technology, so it’s great for us to plug into people who are interested in research and have different areas of emphasis that maybe aren’t such a high priority in the U.S. or as effective in the U.S.”
Jones’ research interests lie in the general area of signal processing and his research at Illinois has led to significant advancements in intelligent hearing aids, biologically inspired sensory systems and ultra-low-power electronic systems, among other areas. He also is the principal investigator of the Neuroengineering IGERT at Illinois, which trains engineers and neuroscientists to attack problems in a collaborative way. In November, he and colleagues at eight other universities, led by UC Berkeley, received $27.5 million to integrate smart, networked sensors and actuators into our cyber-physical world.
“Almost all of my research has been collaborative,” Jones said. “I enjoy putting people together to go after interesting new problems. I’m excited to do that on another scale, as A*STAR is a larger operation with many possibilities. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can help facilitate some of those relationships.”
Looking forward, Jones plans to continue to lead ADSC in the areas it already excels in, such as computer vision, digital hardware, information mining, depth imaging, video tracking and smart grid, as well as facilitating collaborations in Singapore and the U.S. and strategically focusing ADSC’s areas of research emphasis.
“ADSC needs to take advantage of the unique opportunities that come from being located in Singapore,” he said. “So far, we’ve been in a growing phase and always trying to get bigger. Going forward, we’re going to be a little more strategic on what we want to focus on and emphasize.”
The Advanced Digital Sciences Center is a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research center in Singapore. Its research is led by Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science faculty at the University of Illinois. ADSC focuses on innovations in information technology.