Team


 Chris Rowen,PhD
CEO/Cofounder
Chris is a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technologist.  Most recently, he has led Cognite Ventures, a specialized analysis, investment and advisory company for deep learning start-ups.  He has served as CTO for Cadence’s IP Group, where he and his team develop new processor and memory for advanced applications in mobile, automotive, infrastructure, deep learning and IoT systems.  Chris joined Cadence after its acquisition of Tensilica, the company he founded to develop extensible processors. He led Tensilica as CEO and later, CTO, to become one of the most prolific embedded processor architectures.  Before founding Tensilica in 1997, he was VP and GM of the Design Reuse Group at Synopsys. Chris also was a pioneer in developing RISC architecture and helped found MIPS Computer Systems, where he was VP of Microprocessor Development. He holds an MSEE and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and a BA in physics from Harvard.  He holds more than 40 US and international patents.  He was named an IEEE Fellow in 2015 for his work in development of microprocessor technology.  


 Dror Maydan, PhD
VP Engineering/ Cofounder

Dror is a deeply experience technical leader, architect and software expert.  He created and led the Tensilica configurable processor software tools and team.  He also lead the architecture, hardware and software development for the Tensilica HiFi family, the most widely-used modern audio DSP.  He’s a widely recognized expert on compilers and parallel programming, previously leading the parallel compiler group at SGI, co-inventing the OpenMP programming API and teaching a compiler class at Stanford.  He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford and a BS in EECS from UC Berkeley.  He holds approximately 20 patents.


 Samer Hijazi, PhD
CTO/Cofounder
Samer is a life-long machine learning and signal processing researcher and product developer. He holds degrees from Lehigh Univ (MBA) , Kansas State (PhD), South Dakota State (MSEE), and Univ of Jordan (BSc). His BS, MS, and PhD degrees followed a mix of machine learning, image processing, and communications DSP. He has worked at the potent intersection of these technologies for over a dozen years at Qualcomm, Philips Research, Agere Systems, LSI Logic, Tensilica, and Cadence. Most recently he was Engineering Group Director, spearheading Cadence’s efforts in building a widely respected position in neural networks and establishing a core team of more than a dozen researchers focused exclusively on deep learning technologies.   He holds more than 30 patents.


 Raul Casas, PhD
Chief Scientist/Cofounder
Raul is an expert in wireless signal processing and neural network algorithms.  He served as lead researcher in Cadence deep learning vision research.   Key research included advanced work on improved network quantization and automated neural network structure learning for more efficient, high accuracy embedded neural network-based systems. Earlier he led systems engineering for DTV at NxtWave Communications (later ATI) and cofounded Iberium Comms, a top DTV technology provider.   He received BS, MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering, all from Cornell University.   He holds about 15 US patents.


 Kamil Wojcicki, PhD
Senior Audio 
Scientist/Cofounder
Kamil is a talented young speech scientist, with particularly strong experience in speech and audio processing for hearing aid and cochlear implant devices.  Most recently he was a senior research engineer with Starkey Hearing Technologies where he has led the research and development of novel low-latency speech enhancement algorithms for hearing impaired listeners.  His research interests include speech enhancement, machine learning, robust automatic speech and speaker recognition, and human speech perception.  He holds Bachelor degrees in Microelectronic Engineering and in Information Technology, and a PhD in Signal Processing, all from Griffith University, Australia.


 Michelle Mao, PhD
Senior Architect/Cofounder
Michelle is a wireless systems and deep learning scientist. She received her PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from University of Utah and MS degree in electrical engineering from University of Science and Technology of China. She was a founding member of the Cadence’s AI research team, where she was the lead inventor of the traffic sign recognition system using hierarchical convolutional neural networks that achieved the world record for accuracy and efficiency.


Technical Advisors

   Dave Rossum
Dave is widely recognized audio expert.  He was the founder of E-mu, the pioneer of electronic musical instruments, and Chief Scientist at Creative Labs.  Later he led DSP architecture at Audience, an influential leader in speech noise reduction,.  He serves as a Fellow at Universal Audio, and head of  Rossum Electro-Music. 



  Kurt Keutzer
After leaving his position as CTO and Senior Vice-President of Research at Synopsys to become Professor of EECS at University of California, Berkeley, Kurt and his students have focused on applying commodity parallelism to accelerate emerging applications. In particular, Kurt's research group has achieved significant speedups in machine learning (SVMs), computer vision, speech recognition, multimedia analytics, computational finance, and, most recently, training and deployment of deep neural networks. As a researcher, Kurt has published six books and over 200 refereed articles. As an entrepreneur, Kurt has been an investor and advisor to thirteen startups and an advisor to seven more.



 Chin-Hui Lee
Chin-Hui Lee is a professor at School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Lee received a BS EE from National Taiwan University, MS in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and PhD degree in EE from University of Washington, Seattle. Early in his career, Dr. Lee worked with Verbex Corporation and Digital Sound Corporation,  in research and product development in speech coding, speech synthesis, speech recognition and signal processing.   Between 1986 and 2001, he was with Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, where he became Director of the Dialogue Systems Research Department. His research interests include multimedia communication, multimedia signal and information processing, speech and speaker recognition, speech and language modeling, spoken dialogue processing, adaptive and discriminative learning, biometric authentication, and information retrieval. Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the IEEE and ISCA, and has published 450 papers and 30 patents. He won the SPS’s 2006 Technical Achievement Award for “Exceptional Contributions to the Field of Automatic Speech Recognition”. He was awarded the 2012 ISCA Medal in scientific achievement for “pioneering and seminal contributions to the principles and practice of automatic speech and speaker recognition, including fundamental innovations in adaptive learning, discriminative training and utterance verification”.