Dr. Rabab Kreidieh Ward

      Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering


                                                  - Biography
                                                  - Research
                                                  - My Lab
                                                  - Publications
                                                  - My CV 
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Dr. Rabab K. Ward is a Professor Emeritus in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. She is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Canadian Academy of Engineers and the Engineering Institute of Canada. She has received the UBC Applied Science Dean’s Medal of Distinction (2016), Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2013), Career Achievement Award of CUFA, BC, the organization representing all professors and academic staff at BC's doctoral universities (2011), UBC Engineering Co-op Faculty Member of the Year Award (2010), the IEEE Signal Processing Society top award "The Society Award" (2008), the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award (2008), British Columbia's top engineering award "The RA McLachlan Memorial Award" (2006) and UBC Killam Research Prize (1998).


Dr Ward's research interests are mainly in the areas of signal, image and video processing. She has made contributions in the areas of signal detection, image encoding, compression, recognition, restoration and enhancement, and their applications to cable TV, HDTV, medical images, infant cry signals and brain computer interfaces. She has published around 180 refereed journal papers, 330 refereed conference articles and holds eight patents related to cable television picture monitoring, measurement and noise reduction. Applications of her work have been transferred to U.S. and Canadian industries. She is the inventor of the non-intrusive measurement methods for TV video impairments (licensed to Hewlett-Packard) and co-inventor of a non-interfering video system for measuring size and biomass of fish in cages and Tanks (licensed to J. B. Thompson and Associates).


She is the President of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. She was the Vice President of this Society (2003 - 2005) and a member of the Society's Board of Governors (2003-2995 and 2008-1010). She was the co-chair of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustic Speech & Signal Processing (2013) and the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (2000), the vice chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits & Systems (2004) and is the chair of the IEEE Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology (2006).

She was the Principal Investigator of the $22.2 million CFI/BCKDF award which resulted in a new building at UBC that houses the most modern equipment in all areas related to human centered technologies.


You can download my CV here.                             



Current Research Projects


·         Developing asynchronous Brain Computer Interface systems: The ultimate aim is to use the EEG as a direct communication channel from the brain of a person with severe motor disabilities to the real world. This is achieved by analyzing a person's EEG signal to detect whether or not it contains an activity relating to the person's intention to control his/her environment or a device.

·          Fast Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a versatile medical imaging modality. It can produce very high quality images without any biological side-effects. However it is a slow imaging modality. There has been physics (hardware) based and signal processing (software) based acceleration techniques to speed-up MR acquisition times. Our research is driven by recent advances in Compressed Sensing. We intend to speed-up data acquisition times, by collecting less data (than required by traditional MRI techniques) and reconstructing the image by using smart Compressed Sensing algorithms. In particular we focus on the following areas on MR Imaging:
  o Single slice MR imaging from single and multiple K-space scans.
  o Quantitative MR imaging.
  o Combining signal processing and physics based techniques for parallel MRI.
  o Dynamic MRI.

·         Content based multimedia fingerprinting:  This project addresses copy detection and copyright protection in multimedia sharing websites. The aim is to develop algorithms that can identify whether a query video (or part of it) has been copied form an existing video in a large database of videos . The approach used is called fingerprinting . Fingerprinting extracts from a video, compact signatures that  should uniquely identify this video or any distorted versions of it. The main two challenges in video fingerprinting are the design of the fingerprinting algorithm and the search algorithm that can identify a certain fingerprint in a huge database of fingerprints in a correct and fast fashion .

·         Information hiding and quality monitoring using watermarking: Data hiding is usually used in secret communication between two parties. Towards this aim, a binary secret message is imperceptibly inserted into the content. For example, this message could be the identification number of the content owner. At the receiver side, the hidden information should be extracted as accurately as possible. Watermarking has also been adopted as a technique to provide a blind measure of the quality of service (QoS) in multimedia communications. In such applications, the watermark is embedded into the original image at the transmitter side. The image quality is estimated at the receiver side by extracting the watermark from the received image and comparing it with the original watermark.

·         Human activity recognition in real videos: This project aims at recognizing human action under occlusion, scale and viewpoint changes. The task is highly challenging as we work on real world videos collected from Youtube, movies, TV broadcasts etc.

·         Digital image interpolation: Digital image interpolation is also known as image enlargement /reduction has many application in the advertising industry, digital cameras, video compression etc. Content-adaptive and Wavelet-based image interpolation techniques are developed. Efforts are also directed to finding efficient methods for edge enhancement, removing edge zigzagging and solving the loss of contrast after image enlargement.

·         Reversible integer-to-integer wavelet/subband transforms in the context of JPEG-2000 standardization effort.



Selected Recent Publications


For the complete list of publications, please refer to my publication list.



·         Majumdar, A., and R. K. Ward, MRI: Physics, Image Reconstruction,

            and Analysis. CRC Press, 2015


 Journal Papers


·         Sheikhzadeh, F., Ward, R. K., Carraro, A., Chen, Z., van Niekerk, D., Miller, D., Ehlen, T., MacAulay, C., Follen, M., Lane, P., and Guillaud, M. “Quantification of confocal fluorescence microscopy for the detection of cervical interaepithelial neoplasia.” BioMed Eng OnLine (2015) 14:96.

·         Palangi, H., R. Ward, and L. Deng, “Distributed Compressive Sensing: A Deep Learning Approach", in IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing (submitted, 2015).

·         Palangi, H., L. Deng, Y. Shen, J. Gao, X. He, J. Chen, X. Song, and R. Ward, “Deep Sentence Embedding Using the Long Short-Term Memory Networks", in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing (under review, 2015).

·         Mahrous, H., and R. Ward, R., “Block Sparse Compressed Sensing of EEG Signals by exploiting Linear and Non-linear Dependencies”, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, (submitted 2015).

·         Liu, A., X. Chen, J. Chiang, J. Wang, M.J. McKeown, and R.K. Ward, “Removing Muscle Artifacts from EEG Data: Multichannel or Single-Channel Techniques?”, IEEE Sensors Journal, (accepted November 2015).

·         Bashashati, H., and R. Ward, R., “User-Customized Brain Computer Interfaces Using Bayesian Optimization”, Journal of Neural Engineering, (accepted, November 2015).

·         Karimi, D., and R. Ward, R., “Sinogram Denoising via Simultaneous Sparse Representation in Learned Dictionaries”, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, (submitted August 2015).

·         Karimi, D., and R. Ward, R., “A Sinogram Denoising Algorithm for Low-Dose Computed Tomography”, BMC Medical Imaging, (submitted July 2015).

·         Karimi, D., and R. Ward, R., “Reducing streak artifacts in computed tomography via sparse representation in coupled dictionaries”, Medical Physics, (submitted September 2015).

·         Bashashati, H., Ward, R.K., Birch, G.E., and Bashashati A., “Comparing Different Classifiers in Sensory Motor Brain Computer Interfaces," Plos One, (accepted 2015).


  Conference Papers

·         Rouf, M., D. Reddy, K. Pulli and R. Ward, “Fast edge-directed single-image super-resolution”, IS&T International Symposium on Electronic Imaging 2016.

·         Sheikhzadeh, F.,  Carraro, A., Korbelic, J.,  MacAulay, C., Guillaud, M., and Ward, R. K. Automatic labeling of molecular biomarkers on a cell-by-cell basis in immunohistochemistry images using convolutional neural networks. Accepted in SPIE- Medical Imaging 2016, San Diego, US (February 27- March 3, 2016).

·         Karimi, D., and R. Ward, “Sinogram smoothing and interpolation via alternating projections onto the slope and curvature constraints”, SPIE Medical Imaging Symposium, February 27- March 3 2016, San Diego CA.

·         Karimi, D., and R. Ward, “A novel structured dictionary for fast processing of 3D medical images, with application to computed tomography restoration and denoising”, SPIE Medical Imaging Symposium, February 27- March 3 2016, San Diego CA.

·         Palangi, H., R. Ward, and L. Deng, “Exploiting Correlations Among Channels in Distributed Compressive Sensing with Convolutional Deep Stacking Networks", in IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), (submitted, 2016).

·         Bashashati, H., and R. K.Ward and A. Bashashati,  "Customizing Brain Computer Interfaces Using Bayesian Optimization", submitted to IEEE ICASSP 2015.

·         Bashashati, H., R. K.Ward and A. Bashashati, “Hidden Markov Support Vector Machines for Self-Paced Brain Computer Interfaces”, International Conference on Machine Learning Applications (IEEE ICMLA), 2015.

·         Valizadeh, S., P. Nasiopoulos, and R. Ward, " Optimal Lagrange Multiplier in Perceptually-Friendly High Efficiency Video Coding for Mobile Applications” , The International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC16), CNC Workshop, Hawaii, USA, Feb. 2016.

·         Valizadeh, S., P. Nasiopoulos, and R. Ward, “Perceptual Distortion Measurement in the Coding Unit Mode Selection for 3D-HEVC”, IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics ICCE 2016, Las Vegas, NV, USA, January 8-11, 2016.




Address:         University of British Columbia


c/o The Fred Kaiser Building

5500 - 2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Telephone:     (604) 822-9428

Fax:                (604) 822-9013

email:             rababw-at-ece.ubc.ca

Homepage:    http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~rababw/