Professor Rowe received a BA in mathematics and a PhD in information and computer science from the University of California at Irvine in 1970 and 1976, respectively. Since 1976 he has been on the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley where he is now a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is the founding director of the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center which is an interdisciplinary research group working on applications of multimedia technology to business, education, research, and society.
Professor Rowe's current research interests are multimedia applications and databases, video conferencing, hypermedia courseware, and video compression. He heads the research group that produces the regularly scheduled Berkeley Multimedia, Interfaces, and Graphics Seminar broadcast world-wide on the Internet. Presently, this technology is being deployed to offer more live and on-demand courses through the Berkeley Internet Broadcasting System. His group also developed the Berkeley MPEG1 video tools (i.e., software decoder, parallel encoder, and utilities), the Berkeley Continuous Media Toolkit, algorithms to compute special effects on compressed images, and the Berkeley Distributed Video-on-Demand System. The Berkeley MPEG1 video decoder (mpeg_play) was the first practical software-only MPEG1 video decoder. More than two million copies of the software have been downloaded for use on the Internet. This Berkeley MPEG code has been widely used in research and product development. He has also produced several web-based multimedia titles and webcasts.
Professor Rowe is an ACM Fellow. He has published over ninety papers on multimedia systems and applications, programming systems, and database systems. He is currently Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia. He is a member of the editorial board of the ACM Multimedia Systems Journal, and he was a co-editor for a special issue of IEEE Computer Magazine on multimedia (May 1995). He co-authored papers that have won best paper awards at OOPSLA '91, ACM SIGMOD '96, and ACM Multimedia '98. He has organized and chaired several conferences and served on numerous program committees.
Professor Rowe serves on various boards for several companies. He was a co-founder of Ingres Corporation and served on the Board of Directors until the company was sold in 1990. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for nCast Corporation and Siemens Technology-to-Business Corporation and the Inktomi Corporation Technical Advisory Board.