Behnaam Aazhang

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Behnaam Aazhang is a Fellow of IEEE and AAAS, and a distinguished lecturer of IEEE Communication Society. He received his B.S. (with highest honors), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1981, 1983, and 1986, respectively. From 1981 to 1985, he was a Research Assistant in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois. In August 1985, he joined the faculty of Rice University, Houston, Texas, where he is now the J.S. Abercrombie Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Neuroengineering, a multi-university research center in Houston, Texas. From 2006 till 2014, he held an Academy of Finland Distinguished Visiting Professorship appointment (FiDiPro) at the University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. Dr. Aazhang is a Fellow of IEEE and AAAS, a distinguished lecturer of IEEE Communication Society.

He received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Oulu, Finland (the highest honor that the university can bestow) in 2017 and IEEE ComSoc CTTC Outstanding Service Award “For innovative leadership that elevated the success of the Communication Theory Workshop” in 2016. He is a recipient of 2004 IEEE Communication Society’s Stephen O. Rice best paper award for a paper with A. Sendonaris and E. Erkip. In addition, Sendonaris, Erkip, and Aazhang received IEEE Communication Society’s 2013 Advances in Communication Award for the same paper. He has been listed in the Thomson-ISI Highly Cited Researchers and has been keynote and plenary speaker of several conferences.

His research interests are signal processing, information theory, and their applications to neuroengineering and wireless communication and networks. Particular focus is on modeling neuronal circuits connectivity and the impact of learning on connectivity, on real-time closed-loop stabilization of neuronal systems to mitigate disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson, depression, and obesity, on developing an understanding of cortical representation and fine-grained connectivity in the human language system, and on building microelectronics with large data analysis techniques to develop a fine-grained recording and modulation system to remediate language disorders.

Research Areas

Data Science, Neuroengineering, Systems, Communication theory, information theory, wireless communication with a focus on the interplay of communication systems and networks; including network coding, user cooperation, spectrum sharing, and opportunistic access.


1986 Ph.D. in E.E.,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1983 M.S in E.E.,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1981 B.S.E.E., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Honors & Awards

2017 Honorary Doctorate, University of Oulu

2013 IEEE Communication Society Award for Advances in Communication

2012 Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)

2004 IEEE Communication Society Stephen O. Rice Best Paper Award

1999 Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)