PROGRESS Workshop at ICIP 2024

The PROGRESS Initiative by the IEEE Signal Processing Society aims to foster diversity and inclusivity within the signal processing domain, especially by encouraging and aiding women and underrepresented minorities in pursuing academic paths in this field. Acknowledging the strides made in diversifying STEM student populations, the Initiative also acknowledges the ongoing deficiency in diversity among professors and academic leaders in these disciplines.

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PROGRESS Workshop registration is free; however, space is limited! Students are encouraged to attend. Lunch included for registrants.

ICIP 2024 PROGRESS Organizing Committee

Naoufel Werghi, Khalifa Univerity, Abu Dhabi, UAE  (Chair)

Diana W. Dawoud, College of Engineering & IT, University of Dubai

Farokh Atashzar, New York University, New York, NY, USA (Chair)

Theodora Chaspari, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA

Abhishek Appaji, B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India

Athina Petropulu, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA


9:00-9:10Welcome Remarks
9:10-9:40Keynote speaker 1:
Opportunities and Challenges for Women in Engineering in the MENA Region

Dr. Kinda Khalaf
Khalifa University, UAE
9:40-10:20Panel discussionModerator: Prof. Dima Jamali
VP, Academic Affairs, Candian University of Dubai

Dr. Kinda Khalaf
De. Habiab AlSafar, Khalfa University
Dean of College of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr Guila Maseni, Khalifa University
10:20-10:50Coffee Break
10:50-11:20Keynote speaker 2:
Democratizing AI and RISING with limited resources

Dr. Islem Rekik:
Imperial College of London, UK
11:20-12:00Panel discussionModerator: Prof Ernesto Damiani
Director of the Center for Cyber-Physical Systems (C2PS), Khalifa University

Dr Islem Rekik

Prof. Khaled Assaleh
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Ajman

Prof.. Leontios Hadjileontiadis
Department Chair
Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology
Khalifa University

Prof. Mohammed Ghazal
Chair of Compute and Biomedical Engineering
Abu Dhabi University

Prof. Hasan Al Nashash
American University of Sharjah
13:00-14:00Professional Activity-1:
Tools towards a bright career
Natasha Parikh
MyLearningCurve, UAE
14:00-14:20Coffee break
14:20-15:20Professional Activity-2:
Vision Language Models: Foundations and Applications
Dr. Muzaamil Nasir

Speakers Bio

Islem Rekik
Islem Rekik (Member, IEEE) received the PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh, U.K., in 2014, and enjoyed two years of post-doctoral fellowship with IDEA Lab, University of North Carolina from 2014-2016. She is an assistant professor and director of the Brain and Signal Research and Analysis (BASIRA) Laboratory (, Istanbul Technical University. She is the former president of the Women in MICCAI (WiM) and the co-founder of the international RISE Networkto Reinforce Inclusiveness & diverSity and Empower minority researchers in Low-Middle Income Countries (LMIC). In 2019, she was awarded the 3-year prestigious TUBITAK 2232 for Outstanding Experienced Researchers Fellowship and in 2020 she became a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow under the European Horizons 2020 program. She served as a PC member of MICCAI, IPMI, ISBI, area chair of MICCAI (2019-2021), and MIDL (2019). She is a member of the organizing committee of MICCAI 2023 (Vancouver) and 2024 (Marrakesh), the proposer/co-chair (2018-2021) of the MICCAI Workshop on Predictive Intelligence in MEdicine (PRIME), a co-chair of MICCAI workshops, including CNI, FAIR, and MLMI as well as NeurIPS workshops including “Medical Imaging meets NeurIPS” 2021 and 2022. She is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including more than 10 awarded papers (e.g., 5 at MICCAI and 1 at ATSIP)

Kinda Khalaf
Dr. Kinda Khalaf is currently the Associate Dean of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, where for the last 10 years she served as founding interim chair, associate chair and accreditation leader of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to joining KU, she held faculty appointments in Engineering and Medicine at the University of Miami (Florida, USA), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), where she held the first joint appointment between the faculties of Engineering and Medicine, and the American University of Sharjah (UAE). Dr Khalaf is a US National Merit Scholar and is on the list of International Who is Who of Professionals since 2012. She has been awarded the prestigious LAMME Scholarship, the Woman of Engineering Award for outstanding Academic Achievement, the Presidential Fellowship Award, the University of Miami College of Engineering Teaching Award, and the Khalifa University Faculty Excellence award. An advocate of innovation in engineering and medical education, she has co-established an interdisciplinary education research group focusing on implementing curricular innovative pedagogies and the design of quantitative assessment instruments and employability skills in engineering and medical programs. Dr. Khalaf serves on the Board of Trustees for Emirates College of Technology since 2021, Siemens Healthineers Innovation Think Tank since 2020 and is on the review board of the Abu Dhabi Council for Education (ADEK) Programs since 2019.

Panelists Moderators

Prof Ernesto Damiani
Ernesto Damiani is a Professor of Practice in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and the Senior Director of the Khalifa University Center for Cyber Physical Systems (C2PS). Dr. Damiani holds a full professorship at the Department of Computer Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, where he leads the SESAR research lab. Ernesto’s research interests include data-intensive service-oriented architectures, Cyber-Physical Systems security and privacy-preserving Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics.

Dr. Damiani has held visiting positions at a number of international institutions, including George Mason University in Virginia, US; Tokyo Denki University, Japan; LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia; and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) at Lyon, France. He has been a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Progress of Science.

Dr. Damiani is the Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions on Service Computing, the flagship Transaction on Services of the IEEE Computer Society. He has served in the editorial board of several others international journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems and the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. He served as Vice-Chair of the  ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing, and of IEEE Technical Committee on Industrial Informatics.

In 2008, Ernesto was nominated ACM Distinguished Scientist. He received many awards, including the Chester Sall Award from the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, the Research and Innovation Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Homeland Security and the Outstanding Service Award from the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP).

Prof. Dima Jamali
Dima Jamali is currently serving as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Canadian University in Dubai, UAE.  She also served as Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Sharjah, UAE, from August 2020 to August 2023.  She has been highlighted by Forbes and Insights Success Magazine as one of the most admired women in the educational sector in 2023.

She served as a Tenured Professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB). At AUB, Associate Dean for the Olayan School of Business, and Director for Strategic Partnerships. Full Professor in 2010 and became the Endowed Chair in Responsible Leadership in 2014.Her accolades include the 2016 National Council for Scientific Research Excellence Award for Lebanon and the 2015 Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award, described by the Financial Times as the “Oscars of the Business School World.” She was ranked among the top 2% of global scholars by Stanford University in sustainability for 2020 and 2021 and was 30th among the top 100 scientists in the UAE in 2022, placing 2nd in Business and Management.Over the past five years, she has led the UN Global Compact Network for Lebanon, collaborating with top private sector firms to advance the SDGs and UN 2030 agenda through national social, humanitarian, and environmental projects.