Nowak is the McFarland-Bascom Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UW–Madison. His research focuses on signal processing, machine learning, optimization, and statistics. In addition to his research and teaching, Nowak is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a member of the Wisconsin Optimization group, and organizer of the SILO seminar series. Nowak has received multiple awards for his papers, including IEEE Signal Processing Society’s best paper award in 2009. He received his PhD from UW-Madison.