Rico Malvar

Chief Scientist and Distinguished Engineer
Microsoft Research

Henrique "Rico" Malvar is the Chief Scientist of Microsoft Research (MSR), overseeing cross-lab collaborative projects, as well as the Advanced Technology Labs (ATL). Before taking on his current Chief Scientist role, Rico was the Managing Director of Microsoft Research Redmond, and before that he was a Principal Researcher and founder of the Signal Processing research group at MSR.

Rico is a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He is an Affiliate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he also chairs the UWEE Advisory Board. He is also a member of advisory boards at MIT (LIDS) and EPFL (IC). He was a member of the advisory board for the IEEE Future Directions Committee, a past member of the advisory board for Ming-Hsieh EE department at USC, and a past member of the advisory committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis (ACHA), Foundations and Trends in Signal Processing, and APSIPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing; he was a past member of the Signal Processing Theory and Method technical committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, a member and a past associate editor of the journal IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing.

At Microsoft his contributions include co-development of the Windows Media Audio digital audio format, image and data compression technologies for Microsoft Windows, Office, Hyper-V, Tablet PC, Bing Maps, and Xbox, rights management technologies for Windows Media, new video transformation and quantization and new color transformation techniques that were adopted into H.264 (the latest video format for digital TV and Internet video), and audio signal processing technologies for Windows, Windows Messenger, Office Communicator and Lync, Xbox, and Kinect. Rico's PTC image codec was the basis for the development of the new Microsoft HD Photo format for digital pictures, which has been adopted as the new JPEG XR standard by the ISO and the ITU-T.  Rico's technical contributions include the development of lapped transforms (used in multimedia formats, Internet telephony, DSL modems, and other applications), and Malvar wavelets (a class of local trigonometric transforms, also known as Malvar-Wilson bases or Malvar-Coifman-Meyer wavelets). His technical interests include signal enhancement and compression, especially of audio and images, multirate signal processing, signal decompositions (filter banks, transforms, wavelets), fast algorithms, coding theory, and electronic circuits and hardware.

Before coming to Microsoft in 1997, Rico was Vice President of Research and Advanced Technology at PictureTel (later acquired by Polycom). Prior to that, he headed the Digital Signal Processing research group at Universidade de Brasília, Brazil.

He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, under the advice of Prof. David Staelin, in 1986, a M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE-UFRJ) in 1979, under Prof. Luiz P. Calôba, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Universidade de Brasília in 1977. He is the author or co-author of over 117 issued patents and over 160 technical articles in journals, conferences, technical reports, and standards contributions. Rico is a "carioca", which means he was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.