Portrait of Rico Malvar

Rico Malvar

Distinguished Engineer


Henrique (Rico) Malvar is Research Area Manager in the Microsoft Research lab in Redmond, WA. He oversees the New Experiences and Inclusive Design area, including the research groups Ability, Enable, and EPIC. Our area strives to design and implement new interfaces and experiences, including new devices, platforms, systems, and user interfaces. We are especially interested in new experiences with multiple devices and with virtual and augmented reality, in making interfaces and experiences that are more inclusive of all users, irrespective of background and ability, and new interfaces designed specifically for people with disabilities.

Previously, Rico’s roles were Chief Scientist for Microsoft Research, Managing Director of Microsoft Research Redmond, and Partner Researcher and founder and manager of the Communications, Collaboration, and Signal Processing group at Microsoft Research.

Rico is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, 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 and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington since 1999, where he was also a past chair of the UW ECE Advisory Board. 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, the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL, and the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT, as well as 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 Foundations and Trends in Signal Processing, APSIPA Transactions on Signal and Information Processing, and a past member of the editorial boards of Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis (ACHA) and the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. He was a past member of the Signal Processing Theory and Methods Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and a past associate editor of the journal IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing.

Before coming to Microsoft in 1997, Rico was Vice President of Research and Advanced Technology at PictureTel (later acquired by Poly, which was then acquired by HP). Prior to that, he headed the Digital Signal Processing research group at Universidade de Brasília, Brazil. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, under the advice of the late Prof. David Staelin, in 1986, a M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE-UFRJ) in 1979, under Prof. Luiz P. Calôba, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Universidade de Brasília in 1977, working with the late Prof. Carlos Lisboa.

Rico is a “carioca”, which means he was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.