Rico’s technical contributions include the development of lapped transforms (used in multimedia formats, Internet telephony, DSL modems, and other applications), and Malvar wavelets (a class of local trigonometric transforms, also known as Malvar-Wilson bases or Malvar-Coifman-Meyer wavelets). At Microsoft his contributions include co-development of the Windows Media Audio digital audio format, image and data compression technologies for Microsoft Windows, Office, Hyper-V, Tablet PC, Bing Maps, and Xbox, rights management technologies for Windows Media, entropy coders for bitmap compression in Windows RDP/RemoteFX, new video transformation and quantization and new color transformation techniques that were adopted into H.264 (the most used video format for digital TV and Internet video, e.g. YouTube, Netflix, etc.), and audio signal processing technologies for Windows, Lync, RoundTable, Xbox, and Kinect. Rico’s PTC image codec was the basis for the development of the new Microsoft HD Photo format for digital pictures, which has been adopted by the ISO and the ITU-T as the new JPEG XR standard. His technical interests include signal enhancement and compression, especially of audio and images, multirate signal processing, signal decompositions (filter banks, transforms, wavelets), fast algorithms, coding theory, and electronic circuits and hardware.
Rico is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Brazilian National Academy of Engineering and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He has been an Affiliate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington since 1998, where he now chairs the UWEE Advisory Board. He is also a member of the industry advisory boards at MIT (LIDS). He was a member of the advisory board for the IEEE Future Directions Committee, a past member of the advisory boards for Ming-Hsieh EE Department at USC and the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL, and a past member of the advisory committee for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate at the National Science Foundation. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis (ACHA), Foundations and Trends in Signal Processing, APSIPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing, and the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine; he was a past member of the Signal Processing Theory and Method Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and a past associate editor of the journal IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing.