Bovik and Team Recognized at 72nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards

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Friday, November 05, 2021

Professor Alan Bovik and his research team were recognized for algorithms that optimize streaming media at the 72nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards. While winners were announced earlier this year, the awards were presented in a virtual ceremony livestreamed on November 4.

The team included WNCG alumni Kalpana Seshadrinathan, Rajiv Soundararajan, and Hamid Sheikh; all three researchers completed doctoral programs at the University of Texas at Austin, where they were advised by Bovik. 

Today, the researchers' algorithms for perceptually optimized compression of streaming video control 70% to 80% of all bits transmitted across the internet and are used by streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. The algorithms control the compression of videos as they are streamed, using theories of visual neuroscience to make them perceptually optimal—as visually appealing to the human eye as possible. These compression algorithms greatly reduce the bandwidth needed for streaming media, while increasing video quality and making it easier for people with slower internet connections to access content online.

This is the second Emmy® for Prof. Bovik, who won a Primetime Engineering Emmy Award in 2015 with collaborators Zhou Wang, Hamid Sheikh, and Eero Simoncelli for "Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development" for inventing the Structural Similarity (SSIM) Video Quality Measurement Model.