Klara Nahrstedt recognized for mentoring

4/2/2024 Bruce Adams

Written by Bruce Adams

Klara NahrstedtComputer Science Professor Klara Nahrstedt at The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign was named the recipient of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) 2024 Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award. The NCWIT award recognizes faculty members who distinguish themselves through outstanding research and those who recruit, encourage, and promote women and minorities in computing.

“Klara is an outstanding researcher and mentor to her own PhD students and PhD students in a wider circle around her. She has built a highly successful research group, leading to many pioneering directions in the area of multimedia systems and networking, as well as highly successful researchers in leading academic and industrial organizations and companies,” one recommender wrote for NCWIT.

Nahrstedt said of the award: “All the current and past research is done with outstanding PhD, MS, and undergraduate students who are highly motivated, curious, and innovative. I enjoy working, advising, and guiding them toward successful outcomes and, ultimately, employment very much. This NCWIT award is an honor to receive to acknowledge the joint successful work that I and my past and current students have done and recognition for me that my students became and are becoming productive members of society.”

Thirty-six PhD students mentored by Nahrstedt have graduated and gone on to become faculty members at major research universities and companies and leaders in their respective research communities. The NCWIT announcement noted, “Her inclusive advising practices center around creating a sense of community and belonging for diverse mentees.”

In describing her research, Nahrstedt said, “I work on multi-modal systems and networks with the emphasis on video and Internet of Things (IoT) systems and streaming of video and other time-sensitive streams if it is for teleconference, tele-immersion, video-on-demand, telemetry, or life broadcasting applications and services.  At this point, my research group works on multiple projects looking at multi-view videos.”

Nahrstedt will be honored at the 2024 NCWIT Summit in Kansas City, Mo., where $10,000 will be donated to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to continue her work.

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This story was published April 2, 2024.