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New Mexico State University engineering professor receives $350,000 NSF grant

Charles Creusere, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at New Mexico State University, has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support his research on audio file compression.



New Mexico State engineering professor Charles Creusere is the recipient of a $350,000 NSF grant for his research on audio file compression. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The five-year grant was awarded through the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, which the foundation describes as its most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. The NSF established the CAREER program in 1995 to help top performing scientists and engineers early in their careers to develop their contributions to research and education.

Creusere's project is titled "Efficient Audio Compression with Perceptually Embedded Scalability." It focuses on compressing audio files so they will take up less file space, but still have good sound quality when they are decompressed and listened to.

"Compression is the idea of trying to reduce the number of bits it takes to store a file -- it could be music, it could be anything," Creusere said. This would make the time it takes to send or download a song much shorter.

Creusere says these files have layers of sound quality that can essentially be "peeled off" like an onion. In the future this will allow people to download different levels of sound quality as one file, as opposed to downloading and storing several, which takes up more file space.

Creusere said he will use the grant for student researchers and for funding his research during the summer. The NSF does not allow the money to be used for equipment or funding during the academic year. Creusere will also use the money to fund his travel to conferences.

Creusere will travel to the Data Compression Conference in Snowbird, Utah, in April to present a paper on his preliminary research on audio compression. This research included exposing about 20 volunteers to two imperfect audio sequences on a computer.

"They were given two compressed and decompressed audio sequences and they had to rate the relative quality of the two," Creusere said.

The audio compression research is not the only project Creusere is currently involved in. He is also working on imaging video compression projects for the Office of Naval Research and Sandia National Laboratories.

"Audio is an interest of mine, but it's not the only area I do work in," he said.

He was recently chosen as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, a journal of peer-reviewed publications concentrating on theoretical and experimental papers.

Creusere earned his Ph.D in electrical engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1993. Before joining the New Mexico State University faculty in January 2000, he conducted research at the U.S. Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, Calif.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/creusere_charles.jpg.
CUTLINE: New Mexico State engineering professor Charles Creusere is the recipient of a $350,000 NSF grant for his research on audio file compression. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Sarah Wheeler
March 12, 2002