FAU’s Hari Kalva, Ph.D., Inducted into National Academy of Inventors®
(From left): Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., president and founder of NAI; Hari Kalva, Ph.D.; and Elizabeth Dougherty, Eastern Regional outreach director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (Photo credit: Mark Skalny)
Florida Atlantic University’s Hari Kalva, Ph.D., an associate chair and professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, has been elected to the rank of National Academy of Inventors® (NAI) Fellow for his cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of video compression and communication.
The NAI is a member organization comprising United States and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutes, with more than 4,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide.
“We are incredibly proud of professor Kalva on his election to Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, which is the highest professional distinction given solely to academic inventors,” said Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This prestigious recognition is a testament to his stellar and long-standing track record of research, discovery and innovation. His inventions in video compression and communication are making a tangible and beneficial impact on our society and economic development.”
Kalva, in FAU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is a named inventor on more than 18 standard essential patents that are used in virtually all modern video distribution and streaming products and services. Through a research partnership with OP Solutions, a Boston-based tech company, Kalva’s inventions contributed to the novel technology that comprises the latest Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard alongside some of the biggest companies in the world such as Qualcomm, Apple, Tencent, Ericsson and ByteDance.
From YouTube to Netflix to Zoom, video compression technology is critical for streaming video applications to generate high-quality video. Video compression reduces the video file size to enable transmission with no discernible loss of quality and also is instrumental for other video platforms such as telemedicine, drones and autonomous vehicles.
Kalva and his colleague Borko Furht, Ph.D., professor and director of the NSF Research Center in the FAU Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, are leading the FAU team working on technologies related to the VVC standard. This standard has been jointly developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the ITU Telecommunications Standardization Sector, which assembles experts from around the world to develop these standards. VVC is the direct successor to the well-known and widely used Advanced Video Coding (AVC) and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and is necessary for higher resolution video, faster and more reliable streaming and 30 to 50 percent bandwidth savings.
“I am truly honored to be elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of my contributions in this field of technology and I am deeply grateful for their support of academic innovation,” said Kalva. “Election to the academy is the highest professional distinction for academic inventors and I am proud to join an outstanding cadre of distinguished National Academy of Inventors Fellows worldwide.”
Kalva’s research interests are in the areas of visual computing that considers the entire video pipeline –capture, compression, communication and applications in various domains. His work also addresses enabling and optimizing visual computing targeting new applications areas and modalities such as AR/VR. One key area of focus is video processing targeting machine consumption.
“With a machine (computer vision system) as the end consumer, we reimagine video representation and compression,” said Kalva. “A machine does not care about pixel fidelity, just feature fidelity necessary to perform a visual computing task.”
Kalva also has taken secure online file-sharing to the next level and received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a novel invention that controls how and when shared documents are displayed. This new technology offers new control mechanisms that limit opportunities for capturing information displayed on screens using an external capture device such as a camera. The system restricts individuals from viewing documents based on individual identity (e.g., face ID, a voice sample), their social network, and when and where the document is being viewed.
Kalva received a B.Tech. degree in electronics and communications engineering from N.B.K.R. Institute of Science and Technology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India. In 1991, he received a M.S. degree in computer engineering from FAU. He received a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University in 2000.
The NAI was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.