June 5, 2020

ARD/ZDF nominate Fraunhofer HHI researcher for the "Women + Media Technology" award

Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is pleased to announce that Dr. Jennifer Rasch, a former research associate in the institute’s Video Coding & Analytics (VCA) department, has been nominated for the prestigious ARD/ZDF “Women & Media Technology” award. The award recognizes female scientists whose stellar research results in media technology were demonstrated by either bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor’s thesis. The final award ceremony was originally planned to take place at IFA in Berlin on September 4, 2020, but will most probably be delayed with a new date and place being officially announced later.

Dr. Rasch, who originally hails from Berlin, completed her higher education at Humboldt University Berlin (Diploma in Mathematics) and Technical University Berlin (Doctorate in Engineering Science). While being a research associate at Fraunhofer HHI’s VCA department, she wrote her doctoral thesis entitled “Signal Adaptive Methods to Optimize Prediction Signals in Video Coding,” which she submitted and defended at Technical University Berlin in August 2019 under the academic guidance of Prof. Thomas Wiegand. Additional day-to-day guidance was provided by Dr. Detlev Marpe, Prof. Heiko Schwarz, and Dr. Jonathan Pfaff.

The thesis, which is the basis of the nomination, develops novel prediction filters for compressing and decompressing video. Dr. Rasch shows that these prediction filters derived from the diffusion equation are able to remove noise and artifacts from predictions without blurring video edges. With considerable volumes of video regularly uploaded, downloaded, and transmitted across the globe, video compression (and decompression) technologies, such as those advanced by Dr. Rasch, are critical for the successful distribution of media and preservation of quality.

The thesis resulted in three patent applications, five scientific articles, and five contributions to international video coding standardization. “With her thesis Dr. Rasch produced a mathematically challenging and scientifically sound piece of work,” says Dr. Detlev Marpe, Head of the VCA department at Fraunhofer HHI. “Moreover, Dr. Rasch was able to show that by using her proposed set of prediction filters the quality of decompressed video could be substantially improved. Considering that compressed video data already make up more than 75% of all Internet traffic today, Dr. Rasch’s contribution to the field of video coding has a large potential of making a practical impact on our daily life.”

We are extremely proud of Dr. Rasch’s accomplishments. We wish her the best for her new endeavors and will be crossing our fingers for the grand finale!