Toward Quantitative Models of Human Speech Perception and Production Mechanisms

Monday, September 18, 2000 - 2:00pm - 2:55pm
Keller 3-180
Abeer Alwan (University of California, Los Angeles)
Our research objectives are to develop mathematical models of human speech perception and speech production mechanisms. Such models provide insights into human cognitive abilities and are critical to the advancement of bioengineering technology to assist speech and hearing-impaired individuals, and to the development of effective man-machine interfaces. In this talk, we will highlight the mathematical challenges involved in these modeling tasks and provide examples. On the perception side, we will discuss recent work that involves models of the unique human capacity for perceiving speech in noise. On the production side, we will discuss first-order models of sound generation based on realistic geometries of the human vocal tract which were derived from Magnetic Resonance Images.

Biographical Sketch:

Abeer Alwan received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1992. Since then, she has been with the Electrical Engineering Department at UCLA as an Assistant Professor (1992-1996) and Associate Professor (1996-present). Dr. Alwan established and directs the Speech Processing and Auditory Perception Laboratory at UCLA. Her research interests include modeling human speech production and perception mechanisms and applying these models to speech-processing applications such as automatic recognition, compression, and synthesis. She is the recipient of the NSF Research Initiation Award (1993), the NIH FIRST Career Development Award (1994), the UCLA-TRW Excellence in Teaching Award (1994), the NSF Career Development Award (1995), and the Okawa Foundation Award in Telecommunications (1997). Dr. Alwan is an elected member of Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the IEEE Signal Processing Technical Committees on Audio and Electroacoustics and on Speech Processing. She served, as an elected member, on the Acoustical Society of America Technical Committee on Speech Communication from 1993 to 1999. She is an editor-in-chief of the International Journal Speech Communication.