ECE Distinguished Lecture Series with Mark J. T. Smith

4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Photonics Center, 8 Saint Mary’s St., Room 211

Improved Models for Accent Detection and Voice Synthesis

With Professor Mark J. T. Smith, Dean of the Graduate School, Purdue University

Faculty Host: David Casta˝ˇn

Refreshments will be served outside Room 339 at 3:45 p.m.

About the Presentation: Imagine a computer system designed for foreign language learning in which the system analyzes a student's accent, corrects mispronunciations, and provides a resynthesized version of the student's voice with the correct pronunciation. Such a system, when used as a learning tool, could help many students become conversant. This is the goal of the research that will be presented.

Although development is not yet complete, several noteworthy advances have been made in the digital signal processing models that are the core of the system. The talk will begin with a background discussion on the ABS-OLA synthesis model used in this work and will include application highlights and audio examples. Following this will be discussion of the method used to detect mispronunciations and the specific method used for correction and resynthesis. The talk will conclude with demonstration results.

About the Speaker: Mark J. T. Smith received his B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in electrical engineering. He joined the electrical engineering faculty at Georgia Tech in 1984 and later served as the executive assistant to the president of the institute from 1997-2001. In January 2003, he joined the faculty at Purdue University as head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Presently, he serves as Dean of the Graduate School and holds the Michael J. & Katherine R. Birck endowed professorship.

Dr. Smith is a fellow of the IEEE and a former IEEE Distinguished Lecturer in Signal Processing. He has authored many papers in the areas of speech and image processing, filter banks, and wavelets and is the co-author of two introductory books titled, Introduction to Digital Signal Processing and Digital Filtering. He is also co-editor of the book, Wavelets and Subband Transforms: Design and Applications, and the co-author of the textbook, A Study Guide for Digital Image Processing.

In addition to professional service, teaching, and research, Dr. Smith's past includes athletic training and competition in the sport of fencing. He was National Champion of the United States in 1981 and 1983 and a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1980 and 1984.