All times are Eastern Time (Toronto / New York)
Friday, 4 June
07:00 - 07:10
Welcome Remarks
Ahmed H. Tewfik Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering
University of Texas at Austin, USA
IEEE Signal Processing Society President
07:10 - 07:15
Introduction to PROGRESS
PROGRESS Organizing Committee
07:15 - 08:00
Panel PANEL-1: On Faculty Hiring I


K.V.S. Hari (Moderator) Professor, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, INDIA
IEEE Signal Processing Society VP Membership
Hema Murthy Professor, IIT Madras, INDIA
Celia Shahnaz Professor, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
IEEE Signal Processing Society Women in Signal Processing Committee Chair
Konstantina Nikita Professor, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Isabel Trancoso Professor, Univ of Lisbon, LISBON
08:00 - 09:00
Workshop WS-1: Preparing for the Interview - Breakout Rooms I

China Focused

Zhi-Quan Tom Luo (Moderator) Vice President (Academic), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China
Meixia Tao Shanghai Jiaotong University, China
Zi Xu Shanghai University, China
Angela Zhang The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

India Focused

Celia Shahnaz (Moderator) Professor, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
IEEE Signal Processing Society Women in Signal Processing Committee Chair
Soma Biswas Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Mita C. Paunwala Dean Alumni Affairs, CKPCET
Associate Professor,
C.K.P. College of Engg. and Tech.
Surat, Gujarat
09:00 - 10:00
Plenary PLEN-1: Jelena Kovačević: Our Hidden Figures
Jelena Kovačević William R. Berkley Professor and Dean
NYU Tandon School of Engineering


Our Hidden Figures

Dr. Kovacevic will share her personal story and thoughts on how her thinking transformed on the subject over the years starting as a little “math geek”, through high-school and university years, followed by PhD at Columbia University and her career since. She will share how the position of Department Head of ECE at Carnegie Mellon helped evolve her thinking and what she is doing as the Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Jelena Kovačević received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University. She then joined Bell Labs, followed by Carnegie Mellon University in 2003, where she was currently the Hamerschlag University Professor and Head of the Department of ECE, and a Professor of BME. She is currently the William R. Berkley Professor and Dean of the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. She received the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award, Dowd Fellowship at CMU, Belgrade October Prize, and the E.I. Jury Award at Columbia University. She has co-authored a number of award-winning papers and is a coauthor of the textbooks Wavelets and Subband Coding and Foundations of Signal Processing. Dr. Kovačević is the Fellow of the IEEE and was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. She was a keynote speaker at a number of meetings and has been involved in organizing numerous conferences. Her research interests include applying data science to a number of domains such as biology, medicine and smart infrastructure; she is an authority on multiresolution techniques, such as wavelets and frames.

10:00 - 11:00
Panel PANEL-2: Diversity Faculty Sharing Experiences I


Hong (Vicky) Zhao (Moderator) Associate Professor, Tsinghua University, China
Jing Dong Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Liang Xiao Professor, Xiamen University, China
Anubha Gupta Associate Professor, IIIT Delhi, India
Islem Rekik Assistant Professor, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
Yonina C. Eldar Professor, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
11:00 - 12:00
Plenary PLEN-2: Donald S. Williamson: Deep Learning, Speech and the Engineering Experience
Donald S. Williamson Assistant Professor, Indiana University


The Winding Path to a Career in Academia

For some, the path to a career in academia is straight and narrow. They have clearly defined goals and objectives that guide them from undergraduate students to Ph.D. students and finally to a faculty position. For others, like me, the path to a faculty position involves many turns, since the final objectives may be somewhat blurry. In this talk, I will discuss how a career in academia is possible, even when you may be unsure of your overall goals. In particular, I will discuss how weighing different career options (e.g. industry vs academia, Master’s vs Ph.D., etc.) can be helpful to you as you navigate a career in academia. Along the way, I will discuss my engineering experiences and corresponding research efforts.

Donald Williamson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Indiana University (IU), where he is also a member of the Data Science and Cognitive Science programs. He received his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from The Ohio State University, a M.S. in electrical engineering from Drexel University and his B.E.E. from the University of Delaware. Prior to earning his Ph.D., he was a Member of the Engineering Staff at Lockheed Martin. His research interests are at the intersections of speech, human computer interaction, machine learning, and signal processing. He is the recipient of a Toyota Research Institute award, an IU Faculty Research Support Program award, and two NSF awards, including an NSF CRII and NSF CAREER award.

12:00 - 13:00
Panel PANEL-3: Diversity Faculty Sharing Experiences II


Z. Jane Wang (Moderator) Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
Editor-in-chief: IEEE Signal Processing Letters
Rabab Ward IEEE Director (Division 1X)
Past President, IEEE Signal Processing Society
Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of British Columbia, Canada
Lin Cai Professor, University of Victoria, Canada
Min Wu Professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and Programs, A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Lina Karam Dean, School of Engineering, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Emerita Professor, Arizona State University
13:00 - 14:00
Q&A QA-1: Question & Answer I


Monica Bugallo (Moderator) Professor and Director of WISE Program, Stony Brook University, USA
Petar Djuric Department Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stony Brook University, USA
14:00 - 15:00
Panel PANEL-4: On Faculty Hiring II


Ana Isabel Pérez-Neira (Moderator) Professor, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain
IEEE Signal Processing Board of Governors
John Anderson Dean, Howard University, USA
Stella Batalama Dean, College of Engineering & Computer Science
Florida Atlantic University, USA
Carol Y. Espy-Wilson Professor, University of Maryland, USA
Christian Jutten Emeritus Professor Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, France
Michela Svaluto Director of Quality Programs
Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya, Spain
15:00 - 16:00
Workshop WS-2: Preparing for the Interview - Breakout Rooms II


Georgios Giannakis (Moderator) Endowed Chair in Wireless Telecommunications, and McKnight Presidential Chair in ECE Digital Technology Center, Director, University of Minnesota, USA
Xiaoli Ma Professor, GaTech, USA
Nikos Sidiropoulos Louis T. Rader Professor and Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Virginia, USA
Yanning Shen Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine, USA
Roy Yates Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University, USA
Saturday, 5 June
07:00 - 08:00
Panel PANEL-5: How to Obtain Research Funding I


Woon-Seng Gan (Moderator) Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Christian Jutten Emeritus Professor Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, France
Yong-Chao Wang Professor, Xidian University, Xi’an, China
08:00 - 09:00
Workshop WS-3: Proposal Writing Workshop - Breakout Rooms I

China-focused Breakout Room

Jing Dong (Moderator) Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Shixia Liu Professor, Tsinghua University, China
Huimin Ma Professor, University of Science and Technology of Beijing, China
Jiaying Liu Associate Professor, Peking University, China

India-focused Breakout Room

Abhishek Appaji (Moderator) B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India
Monika Aggarwal Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India
Lalitha Vadlamani International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India
09:00 - 11:00
Workshop WS-4: Recognizing and Responding to Bias and Microaggressions
Yvette M. Huet, PhD Professor of Kinesiology and Director
ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office
University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA


This workshop is designed to begin a conversation about the biases we hold but are not consciously aware of and how this may impact how we interact, review and process information about others. The content encourages:

  • developing an understanding of inherent bias;
  • developing an understanding of microaggressions;
  • enhance our understanding of our own and others actions;
  • an awareness of how this impacts self and others

Dr. Yvette Huet is the Director of the UNC Charlotte ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office and a Professor of Kinesiology. Her research interests include women and faculty of color in the academy; mentoring; the role of estrogen in immune function and liver disease; the effects of neonatal exposure to environmental estrogens on adult disease; and the roles of nitric oxide in early pregnancy. Dr. Huet earned her B.S. in Human Biology: Microbiology from the University of Kansas; her Ph.D. (with Honors) in physiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center (the first Latina to do so); and had a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Monsanto Company in Missouri. Her honors include a National Science Foundation Minority Graduate Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Minorities. She has served in many other leadership roles at UNC Charlotte, including as Coordinator of faculty development, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Interim Chair, Kinesiology.

11:00 - 12:00
Plenary PLEN-3: Swati Mohan: "Perseverance"
Swati Mohan Guidance, Navigation, & Control Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory



On February 18th, 2021, the Perseverance rover touched down safely on the surface of Mars. Those final “7 minutes of terror” were preceded with years of hard work from the diverse team that formed the Mars 2020 Entry, Descent, and Landing team. This talk gives a glimpse into the personal life journey of Perseverance landing mission commentator, Dr. Swati Mohan. Dr. Mohan reflects on the life lessons that have helped her get to where she is today: 1) knowing yourself, 2) creating a support system, and 3) actively doing your best. These three tenets are described using stories from her past to highlight the importance in shaping her path, to JPL and to the Mars 2020 Entry, Descent, and Landing team.

Dr. Swati Mohan joined NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory first in 2004, after completing her B.S from Cornell University in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. After working as a systems engineer on Cassini during Saturn Orbit Insertion and Huygens Probe release, she returned to graduate school in 2005 to MIT. Dr. Mohan received her M.S. and Ph.D in Aeronautics/Astronautics from the MIT Space Systems Laboratory. Since her return to JPL in 2010, Dr. Mohan has worked on multiple missions such as GRAIL and OCO-3. Swati also co-founded and manages the Small Satellite Dynamics Testbed. For the past 8 years, she has been the Lead Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Systems Engineer for Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, focusing on Cruise and EDL. For the last year, her role was the Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Operations Lead. Dr. Mohan was the mission commentator for the landing of the Perseverance rover on February 18, 2021. She is currently the supervisor for the Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Systems Engineering group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

12:00 - 13:00
Panel PANEL-6: How to Obtain Research Funding II


Zhi Tian (Moderator) Professor, George Mason University, USA
IEEE Signal Processing Society Board of Governors
Hamid Krim Army Research Office, USA
Michael Qin Program Officer, Office of Naval Research, USA
Zhengdao Wang Program Director, ECCS Division, Directorate for Engineering, National Science Foundation, USA
Negar Saei Google, USA
13:00 - 14:00
Workshop WS-5: Proposal Writing Workshop - Breakout Rooms II


Zhi Tian (Moderator) Professor, George Mason University, USA
IEEE Signal Processing Society Board of Governors
Petar Djuric Department Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stony Brook University, USA
Phillip A. Regalia Program Director, CISE/Computing and Communications Foundations
National Science Foundation, USA
Anna Scaglione Professor, Arizona State University, USA
Waheed Bajwa Associate Professor, Rutgers University, USA
14:00 - 14:15
Closing Remarks
Athina Petropulu