Speech Technologies: Understanding and Coping with Speech Variability – Carol Espy-Wilson (University of Maryland)

November 16, 2010 all-day

There is a great deal yet to be understood about the systematic ways in which speech varies due to coarticulation, speech style and differences in the articulatory strategies that exists across speakers. Further, we don’t fully understand all the mechanisms that humans use to cope with this variability as well as that introduced by channel effects and everyday noisy environments. This lack of knowledge and models to cope with variability impedes our development of effective and unconstrained speech technologies. This talk will focus on research in the Speech Communication Group that is addressing ways in which to understand and cope with variability. Our approach involves the study of speech acoustics, speech production and speech perception and the integration of these studies with linguistics, signal processing, machine learning and other relevant fields. This talk will describe some of our basic research in vocal tract modeling, the development of speech signal representations that capture linguistic and speaker-specific information in the speech signal, acoustic-to-articulatory mapping and more applied research focused on new paradigms for speech recognition and speech enhancement based on gestural phonology.
Carol Espy-Wilson is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland where she directs the Speech Communication Lab.Dr. Espy-Wilson received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1979, and a M.S., E.E. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, 1984 and 1987, respectively. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, Dr. Espy-Wilson was a faculty member at Boston University.She is the recipient of the NSF Minority Initiation Award (1990-1992), the Clare Booth Luce Professorship (1990-1995) the NIH Independent Scientist Award (1998-2003), the Honda Initiation Award (2004-2005), and a Radcliffe Fellowship (2008-2009).Dr. Espy-Wilson is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and she served as Chair of the Speech Technical Committee of the ASA from 2007 to 2010. She is a Senior Member of IEEE and an elected member of IEEE’s Speech and Language Technical Committee. She is a past Associate Editor of ASA’s magazine “Acoustics Today” and a past member of the NIH Language and Communication Study Section (2001-2004). She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and a member of the National advisory Board for Medical Rehabilitation Research at NIH.

Center for Language and Speech Processing