ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

Shrikanth Narayanan
ISCA Medal 2023

For his sustained and diverse contributions to speech communication science and technology and its application to human-centered engineering systems

Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, ISCA fellow since 2016, is known to most of you for his excellent work in areas as diverse as speech production, articulatory acoustics, speech prosody, speech and language processing, prosody modeling, speech translation, speech synthesis, spoken dialog and conversational systems, behavioral signal processing, affective computing, multimodal signal processing, as well as biomedical signal and image processing. A hallmark of Shri’s research is its inclusive nature in creating technologies that are robust and equitable in the presence of the rich diversity e.g., developmental differences in children, differences in traits or other demographic variables including psychological state, and health status.
His career, in industry (AT&T Bell Labs/AT&T Research, 1995-2000) and subsequently in academia (University of Southern California, 2000-present), has created interdisciplinary approaches to human-centered sensing/imaging, signal and information processing, and computational modeling inspired by applications centered on human communication, interaction and behavior. His interdisciplinary scientific and engineering contributions are exemplified in over 900 peer-reviewed publications, numerous original curated datasets and tools widely-used worldwide, sustained leadership in technical projects, 18 granted patents (leading to 3 startups), over 100 invited keynote and plenary presentations worldwide, and mentoring over 80 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars.
Shri’s research has led to inventions and their commercialization with broad impact. To name just a few, the patents on voice interfaces laid the early foundation for now ubiquitous speech-based services and information retrieval on the cloud, and for mobile devices. The series of patents on automatic speech recognition for mobile devices paved the way for adaptive on-device (e.g., smartphone) speech processing and user personalization. Shri is also collaborating with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. ISCA is very proud to award the 2023 Medal for Scientific achievements to him.

Lin-shan Lee
ISCA Medal 2022

For sustained innovation in all aspects of Chinese and English spoken language technologies

Lin-Shan Lee received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has been teaching in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at National Taiwan University 1979-2023. He has had a joint appointment as a Research Fellow of Academia Sinica, Taipei, and was an Institute Director there from 1991 to 1997.
He was elected IEEE Fellow in 1993 and ISCA Fellow in 2010. He also received the Meritorious Service Award from IEEE SPS in 2011. He received Presidential Science Prize of Taiwan in 2015 and was elected as an academician of Academia Sinica in 2016, both of which are the highest honor for scientists in Taiwan.
He invented, published and demonstrated the earliest but very complete set of fundamental technologies and systems for analyzing Chinese sentences (1986-91) and synthesizing (1984-89) and recognizing (1987-97) Chinese speech with unlimited text.
Later work on retrieval of spoken content from the Internet proposed approaches not only offering better retrieval accuracy and efficiency, but also aiming for understanding and organization of the spoken content. This part of work applies equally to all different languages, and was described as the stepping stones towards his vision of "a spoken version of Google" when Nature selected him in 2018 as one of the 10 "Science Stars of East Asia" in a special issue on scientific research in East Asia.

Hermann Ney
ISCA Medal 2021

For pioneering and seminal contributions to data-driven methods for automatic speech recognition and machine translation.

Hermann Ney received the Diplom Physics from University of Göttingen, Germany, in 1975 and Dr.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering from University of Braunschweig, Germany, in 1982. Following his diploma he joined Philips Research Laboratories where he was based from 1977-1993 in Hamburg and Aachen. From 1984-1999 he was Head of Research of Department for Pattern Recognition, Speech Recognition and Understanding. In 1993 he joined the faculty of RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, as a Professor of Computer Science. He has been awarded a number of honours including 2005 IEEE Signal Processing Society: Technical Achievement Award, 2013 IAMT Award of Honour, 2019 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. He is a Fellow of ISCA (2009), IEEE (2011) and ACL (2020). His research interests are: machine learning and data-driven approaches to speech and language processing; speech recognition and machine translation of written and spoken language; handwriting recognition, sign language recognition and translation.



Janet Pierrehumbert
ISCA Medal 2020

For contributions to Phonology.

Janet Pierrehumbert received a B.A in Linguistics from Harvard in 1975, and Ph.D from MIT in 1980. Much of her Ph.D research on English prosody and intonation was carried out in the Linguistics and AI Research Department of AT&T Bell Laboratories, where she served as a Member of Technical Staff through 1989. She then joined the Linguistics faculty at Northwestern University. She was promoted to Professor in 1993 and also served terms as department chair and director of graduate studies. Prof. Pierrehumbert moved to Oxford in May, 2015 as Professor of Language Modelling in the Oxford e-Research Centre. She is one of the founding members of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, an interdisciplinary research organisation that promotes the scientific study of all aspects of language sound structure. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Linguistic Society of America, and the Cognitive Science Society. She was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.


Keiichi Tokuda
ISCA Medal 2019

For pioneering statistical parametric approaches in speech synthesis, and for leadership in the provision of enabling software tools.

Keiichi Tokuda received the B.E. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Nagoya Institute of Technology, Nagoya, Japan, the M.E. and Dr.Eng. degrees in information processing from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, in 1984, 1986, and 1989, respectively. From 1989 to 1996 he was a Research Associate at the Department of Electronic and Electric Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology. From 1996 to 2004 he was an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Nagoya Institute of Technology as Associate Professor, and now he is a Professor at the same institute. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh. He was an Invited Researcher at ATR Spoken Language Translation Research Laboratories, Japan from 2000 to 2013 and was a Visiting Researcher at Carnegie Mellon University from 2001 to 2002 and at Google from 2014 to 2015. He published over 90 journal papers and over 200 conference papers, and received seven paper awards and three achievement awards. He was a member of the Speech Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society from 2000 to 2003, a member of ISCA Advisory Council and an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech & Language Processing, and acts as organizer and reviewer for many major speech conferences, workshops and journals. He is an IEEE Fellow and ISCA Fellow. His research interests include speech coding, speech synthesis and recognition, and statistical machine learning.


Bishnu Atal
ISCA Medal 2018

For pioneering contributions to speech coding and speech analysis.

Bishnu S. Atal is an Affiliate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Born in India, Atal received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Lucknow, Diploma of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1961, where he researched speech and acoustics until retiring in 2002. Atal holds more than 16 patents. Inspired by the high cost of long-distance phone calls to his family in India when he first moved to the U.S., Atal’s research led to the invention of efficient digital speech coders and standards that lie at the heart of practically every mobile phone in use today. His work has enabled wireless networks to use less spectrum space and fewer towers, enabling even countries without substantial fiber-optic infrastructures to join the mobile revolution. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. His many honors include the IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal (2013), the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering (2003), the Thomas Edison Patent Award (1994), the New Jersey Hall of Fame Inventor of the Year Award (2000), and the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Field Award (1986). Bishnu resides in Mukilteo, Washington. He has two daughters, Alka and Namita, two granddaughters, Jyotica and Sonali, and two grandsons, Ananth and Niguel.


Fumitada Itakura
ISCA Medal 2017

For contributions in developing fundamental statistical algorithms in speech coding and recognition with broad and unparalleled impacts.

Fumitada Itakura was born in Toyokawa, in Japan, in August 1940. He studied electronic engineering at Nagoya University,1958-1963. He advanced to its graduate school and studied information engineering such as statistical optical character recognition and time series analysis of cardiac rhythmicity. After finishing his master degree in 1965, he he has been working on speech signal processing using statistical approach. He received the Doctor of engineering from Nagoya University in 1971 for his work a statistical method for speech analysis and synthesis.

Itakura’s early work on speech spectral envelope and formant estimation using the maximum likelihood methods (1967) laid the ground work for much of the research work in speech signal processing in the three subsequent decades, ranging from vocoder designs for low bit-rate transmission to distance measures(Itakura-Saito distance) for speech pattern recognition. He introduced the concepts of the auto-regressive model and the partial auto-correlation to the speech area and developed a first mathematically tractable formulation of the speech recognition problem based on the minimum prediction residual principle, providing a solid framework for integrating speech analysis, representation, and pattern matching into a complete engineering system. His work on the autoregressive modeling of speech is used in almost every low- to-medium bit rate speech transmission system. The Line Spectral Pair (LSP) representation, which he developed in the 1975, is now used in nearly every cellular phone system and handset. Itakura and Hong Wang’s recent work in sub-band dereverberation algorithms has also become the foundation of many new breakthroughs. His singular and yet broad contributions to speech signal processing earned him the IEEE Morris Liebmann Award in 1986, the most prestigious Society Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 1996, IEEE Fellow in 2003, the Purple Ribbon Medal from Japanese government in 2003 and the Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award from IEICE in 2003. These technical achievement was performed mainly at Nagoya University(1965-68), the 4th research section of Musashino Electrical Communication Laboratory of NTT(1963-73、1975-1983) and Acoustic research laboratory(1973-75) of Bell Telephone laboratories, Murray Hill、 Nagoya university(1983-2003again), and Meijo University(2003-2011).


John Makhoul
ISCA Medal 2016

For leadership and extensive contributions to speech and language processing

John Makhoul, Chief Scientist at BBN Technologies, Cambridge, Mass, has made a number of significant contributions to the mathematical modeling of speech signals. Prominent among these contributions are his papers on linear prediction, which models the evolution of a signal over time, and vector quantization, which allows for the efficient coding of signals and parameters.

Dr. Makhoul is recognized in the field for his vital role in the areas of speech and language processing, including speech analysis, speech coding, speech recognition and speech understanding. His patented work on the direct application of speech recognition techniques for accurate, language-independent optical character recognition (OCR) has had a dramatic impact on the ability to create OCR systems in multiple languages relatively quickly. He has been leading research and development in speech systems and more recently in applying existing and new technology to the area of language translation.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Makhoul has received several awards from IEEE.

Mary E. Beckmans
ISCA Medal 2015

For her contributions in phonological acquisition and her leadership in the Association for Laboratory Phonology

Mary E. Beckman is a Humanities Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the Ohio State University, where she has supervised 25 doctoral dissertations in a broad range of topics in phonetics and related areas of speech science and linguistics. Her own doctoral research was a cross-linguistic comparison of prosody and intonation, and this was the focus of much of her earliest postdoctoral research. Her research in the last 20 years has focused more on first language phonetic acquisition and recently she has begun to explore the relationship between phonetic development across the life span and diachronic sound change. She is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and of the Linguistic Society of America, as well as a 2014 recipient of the Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


Anne Cutler
ISCA Medal 2014

For charting the variation of speech perception across languages, and for her leadership in the field of speech perception research

Anne Cutler is professor in the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, and Processing program leader of the newly established ARC Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language. She studied in Australia, Germany and the US, and worked in the UK (Sussex, Cambridge) and from 1993 to 2013 as director at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her research, of which her book Native Listening (MIT Press 2012) gives an overview, centres on human listeners’ recognition of spoken language. It has tended over the years to involve a great many cross-linguistic comparisons (e.g., English, Dutch, German, Japanese, Cantonese, Korean, Sesotho, French, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Polish, Arabic, Telugu, Berber - so far).


Hynek Hermansky
ISCA Medal 2013

For his contributions in bio-inspired approaches to processing of speech

Hynek Hermansky is the Julian S. Smith Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of Center for Language and Speech Processing at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a Research Professor at the Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic, and an External Fellow of the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley, California. He is a Fellow of International Speech Communication Association and of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and is the recipient of the 2013 International Speech Communication Association Medal for Scientific Achievement. He holds Dr.Eng. Degree from the University of Tokyo,  and Dipl. Ing. Degree from Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic.  His main research interests are in acoustic processing for speech recognition.


Chin-Hui Lee
ISCA Medal 2012

For pioneering and seminal contributions to automatic speech and speaker recognition, including innovations in adaptive learning, discriminative training, and utterance verification

Chin-Hui Lee is a professor at School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Lee received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University, Taipei, in 1973, the M.S. degree in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, New Haven, in 1977, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Statistics from University of Washington, Seattle, in 1981.

Dr. Lee started his professional career at Verbex Corporation, Bedford, MA, and was involved in research on connected word recognition. In 1984, he became affiliated with Digital Sound Corporation, Santa Barbara, where he engaged in research and product development in speech coding, speech synthesis, speech recognition and signal processing for the development of the DSC-2000 Voice Server. Between 1986 and 2001, he was with Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, where he became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and Director of the Dialogue Systems Research Department. His research interests include multimedia communication, multimedia signal and information processing, speech and speaker recognition, speech and language modeling, spoken dialogue processing, adaptive and discriminative learning, biometric authentication, and information retrieval. From August 2001 to August 2002 he was a visiting professor at School of Computing, The National University of Singapore. In September 2002, he joined the Faculty Georgia Institute of Technology.

Prof. Lee has participated actively in professional societies. He is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), Communication Society, and the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). In 1991-1995, he was an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing. During the same period, he served as a member of the ARPA Spoken Language Coordination Committee. In 1995-1998 he was a member of the Speech Processing Technical Committee and later became the chairman from 1997 to 1998. In 1996, he helped promote the SPS Multimedia Signal Processing Technical Committee in which he is a founding member.

Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the IEEE, and has published more than 350 papers and 25 patents. He received the SPS Senior Award in 1994 and the SPS Best Paper Award in 1997 and 1999, respectively. In 1997, he was awarded the prestigious Bell Labs President's Gold Award for his contributions to the Lucent Speech Processing Solutions product. Dr. Lee often gives seminal lectures to a wide international audience. In 2000, he was named one of the six Distinguished Lecturers by the IEEE Signal Processing Society. He was also named one of the two ISCA's inaugural Distinguished Lecturers in 2007-2008. Recently he won the SPS's 2006 Technical Achievement Award for "Exceptional Contributions to the Field of Automatic Speech Recognition".

Julia Hirschberg
ISCA Medal 2011
In recognition of her contributions to speech synthesis and prosody research

Julia Hirschberg is Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, where she does research in prosody, spoken dialogue systems, and emotional and deceptive speech. She received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. She worked at Bell Laboratories and AT&T Laboratories -- Research from 1985-2003 as a Member of Technical Staff and as a Department Head, creating the Human-Computer Interface Research Department at Bell Labs and moving with it to AT&T Labs. She served as editor-in-chief of Computational Linguistics from 1993-2003 and as an editor-in-chief of Speech Communication from 2003-2006. She is on the Editorial Board of Speech Communication and of the Journal of Pragmatics. She was on the Executive Board of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) from 1993-2003, have been on the Permanent Council of International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP) since 1996, and served on the board of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) from 1999-2007 (as President 2005-2007). She is currently the chair of the ISCA Distinguished Lecturers selection committee, is on the IEEE SLTC, and serves on the board of the CRA-W. She has been active in working for diversity at AT&T and at Columbia. She has been a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence since 1994 and an ISCA Fellow since 2008. She received a Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (CESAA) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2009, received an honorary doctorate (hedersdoktor) from KTH in 2007 and is the 2011 recipient of the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award and of the ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement.


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