Rozell Named Julian T. Hightower Chair
Christopher John Rozell has been appointed to the Julian T. Hightower Chair, effective April 1, 2022. He has been a faculty member in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2008.
Rozell's research interests focus on developing the algorithms underlying closed-loop autonomous interactions between biological and artificial intelligence systems. His work combines aspects of neuroscience, neuroengineering, control theory, and machine learning. The goal of his efforts is to advance the understanding of brain function, the engineering of effective interventions for neurologic disorders, and the development of more intelligent engineered systems.
The impact of this work ranges from the development of novel approaches for deep brain stimulation therapy in treatment resistant depression patients, to the innovation of new computing approaches based on models of biological neural networks.
Beyond his technical contributions, Rozell's scholarly activity includes research and creative work that advances public engagement on ethics and policy considerations around emerging areas such as AI, neurotechnology, and neuroethics.
“Chris has made extensive contributions, not only to scholarship and research, but also teaching, pedagogy and access to education for diverse and first-generation college students,” said Arijit Raychowdhury, Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor. “We’re thrilled to have him as the Hightower Chair, a position where he can continue to do great things for ECE and beyond.”
As a first-generation student, Rozell has been committed to supporting initiatives and programs at Georgia Tech that support students who are the first in their family to attend college. During his time as a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow, he led the creation of the local chapter of "Growing Up In Science" — a conversation series featuring personal narratives of becoming and being a scientist. This effort was done in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Education and has become one of the signature components of Georgia Tech's First-Generation Student Programs.
Rozell received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 2014 for his project entitled "Exploiting Low-Dimensional Structure in Data for More Effective, Efficient, and Interactive Machine Intelligence." He was named one of six international recipients of the James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative Scholar Award the same year. He previously held the Demetrius T. Paris Junior Professorship in 2013.
Additionally, he has won several teaching awards at Tech, including the Class of 1940 W. Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award and the CTL/BP America Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, both in 2013.
He attended the University of Michigan, receiving a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering and a B.F.A. in Performing Arts Technology (Music Technology) in 2000, and attended graduate school at Rice University, receiving the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Following graduate school, Rozell joined the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2007.