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Thanks to Professor Rashid Ansari for serving seven years as head of the ECE Department

Prof. Rashid Ansari stepped down as department head of UIC’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in August 2019, after serving in that role for more than seven years. He was appointed acting department head in 2012 and named department head two years later.

“Rashid has done a terrific job as head of ECE. Under his leadership, the department grew in size and reputation. I have big shoes to fill!” Tuninetti said. “He has been a thoughtful and caring mentor since I met him. His advice has been invaluable during the first months in my new role. Rashid truly cares about the success of people and of the department. We are fortunate to have him as colleague.”

Ansari, who is co-director of the Multimedia Communications Lab, has dedicated more than two dozen years to UIC, first joining the ECE department in 1995. His primary research interest is signal processing and communications, including image and video processing, layered video compression and packetized transmission, multi-modal signal analysis, multi-rate filter banks and wavelets, and speech processing. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

“I am genuinely grateful for having had the opportunity to serve as ECE head,” said Ansari. “It was a pleasure to work with a wonderful and enthusiastic group of faculty, staff, and students, and I thank them for all their cooperation and friendship.”

Natasha Devroye, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies for the department, is thankful for Ansari’s commitment to the staff and department as a whole.

“Rashid was a very empathetic head, which I really appreciated. He worked very hard, often (too) late into the night and always put the department first,” Devroye said. “He was great at nominating faculty and staff for awards, and I often saw him put much time and efforts into these nomination packages.”

Professor Miloš Žefran noted Ansari’s sense of fairness and hard work on behalf of the department.

“As a department head, Rashid was very attentive to fairness. Rashid never rushed and carefully considered his decisions. As a person, he is incredibly kind and emphatic, and he would always put other people’s needs above his own,” Žefran said. “His judgement was spot on when it came to evaluating faculty candidates, and he was able to identify and recruit some outstanding young faculty.”

Ansari has enjoyed a return to research this semester and his office in ERF. He marvels at how far the department has come in his time at UIC.

“The recent growth in the size of our faculty and our student body and the trajectory of my colleagues’ and our students’ remarkable accomplishments make me confident in a great future for the department,” Ansari said. “I look forward to continuing to be part of the ECE family.”