Congratulations to MCL Director, Professor Kuo, for receiving the 2019 IEEE Signal Processing Society Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist technical achievement award. Originally, the award would be presented in an Award Ceremony held in ICASSP 2020, Barcelona, Spain. However, due to the COVID-10 pandemic, the Award Ceremony became a virtual one. It took place on May 8 (Friday), 9:30-10:30am, in Los Angeles local time. Here is a short interview with Professor Kuo.

Question: It is a great honor to receive the prestigious IEEE Signal Processing Society Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award. Do you have any words about this honor?

Answer: I would like to thank my family and all my former and current students for their strong support. It is a teamwork. The credit should go to all people surrounding me.

Question: You have been conducting research for nearly 40 years since you were a graduate student. What keeps you work so hard for so long?

Answer: Passion and curiosity are the key driving factors. I enjoy research. It is not work but fun. Certainly, recognitions from peers and technical communities boost the morale, too.

Question: What was your impactful research?

Answer: I have been working on multimedia computing for 30 years. Many multimedia technologies have become mature and they are widely used today. To give an example, video streaming and conferencing play an important role nowadays. This is especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been working on video coding technologies and contributed to standardization activities. Video coding plays a central role in video streaming and conferencing.

Question: What is your current and future research focus?

Answer: Data science and engineering is an emerging field. Sometimes, people give it another name – Artificial Intelligence (AI). There are many fascinating research problems in this field. Especially, the neural network solutions are widely adopted by the community to solve the big data problems. Yet, they are black boxes. I would like to pursue another approach that is explainable.

Question: Do you have any advice to junior researchers?

Answer: I would like to emphasize the importance of fundamental and impactful research. Most people are working on applied technologies in solving the real-world problems. This is fine. Yet, we still need some good people who are committed to fundamental research. The latter will bring major breakthroughs in science and technology. I feel that we lose a good balance between the two nowadays and hope some talented young people can enjoy the beauty of basic research.