Speech Technology Researcher Recognized by Peers
Prof Studies Ways to Adapt Processing Algorithms to Real-World Conditions
Sep. 17, 2010
Dr. John H.L. Hansen of UT Dallas has been named a fellow of the International Speech Communication Association, which recognized him for “significant contributions to the field of speech communication science and technology.”
It is one of the organization’s highest honors.
Hansen’s research interests span the areas of digital speech processing, speaker trait assessment, speech and speaker recognition, and human-computer interaction. But perhaps most important is the very practical twist he’s brought to his work.
“The majority of research in the field of speech processing for telecommunications focuses on formulating algorithms for ideal laboratory conditions,” he said. “But the resulting algorithms do not perform well in real voice communication environments, when people speak differently, or if there are noisy conditions. Understanding how both the physiology and resulting speech features change in a speaker’s voice allows us to develop new solutions to speech technologies that overcome such speech/speaker variability.”
His research has focused on situations such as highly stressful military and industrial settings as well as speech and speaker recognition systems that can accommodate everything from a whisper to a shout.
“The future of multimedia human-machine interfaces will depend upon approaches capable of addressing the wide range of adverse conditions in which speech may take place,” he said, “and that’s where our research has focused.”
Hansen has served as principal investigator on more than $12 million in research in the past 20 years, and he has produced seven textbooks and more than 370 papers in the area of speech and signal processing.
Founder and director of the Center for Robust Speech Systems (CRSS) at UT Dallas, he has played a leadership role in the center’s interdisciplinary research in speech processing and human-computer interaction. He is also head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science and holds the school’s Endowed Chair in Telecommunications Engineering.
“This is truly a humbling experience,” he said, noting that only 18 other ISCA fellows have been inducted to date. “But this honor ultimately comes from the opportunity to work with great colleagues and outstanding students here at UT Dallas,” he added. “We have outstanding faculty who have made significant contributions to the efforts of CRSS, including Dr. Philip Loizou, Dr. Yang Liu and Dr. Carlos Busso.”