IEEE Toronto Section


Improving Speech Understanding in the Real-World for Hearing Devices: Solutions, Challenges and Opportunities

Thursday April 18th, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Dr. Tao Zhang, Director of Signal Processing Research Department, will be presenting “Improving Speech Understanding in the Real-World for Hearing Devices: Solutions, Challenges and Opportunities”.

Day & Time: Thursday, April 18th, 2019
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Tao Zhang
Director of Signal Processing Research Department
Starkey Hearing Technologies

Organizers: IEEE Signal Processing Chapter Toronto Section

Location: Room BA 1230, University of Toronto

Contact: Mehrnaz Shokrollahi
Yashodhan Athavale
Michael Zara

Abstract: The cocktail party problem has remained to be one of the most challenging problems for hearing aids even after decades of extensive research. In this talk, we will review our research on the cutting-edge single-microphone speech enhancement with emphasis on deep learning-based approaches. We will introduce and discuss our research on the multi-microphone speech enhancement with an emphasis on robust and real-time algorithms. We will present our latest research on the multimodal speech enhancement by considering brain signals (i.e. EEG) and microphone signals in a single joint-optimization framework. Finally, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities in deploying these algorithms in practice. We will present our perspectives on future research directions especially in the areas of individualizations and customizations using big data and machine learning.

Biography: Tao Zhang received his B.S. degree in physics from Nanjing University, Nanjing, China in 1986, M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Peking University, Beijing, China in 1989, and Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science from the Ohio-State University, Columbus, OH, USA in 1995. He joined the Advanced Research Department at Starkey Laboratories, Inc. as a Sr. Research Scientist in 2001, managed the DSP department from 2004 to 2008 and the Signal Processing Research Department from 2008 to 2014. Since 2014, he has been Director of the Signal Processing Research department at Starkey Hearing Technologies, a global leader in providing innovative hearing technologies. He has received many prestigious awards including Inventor of the Year Award, the Mount Rainier Best Research Team Award, the Most Valuable Idea Award, the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award and the Engineering Service Award at Starkey.

He is a senior member of IEEE and the Signal Processing Society and the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He serves on the IEEE AASP Technical Committee and the industrial relationship committee and the IEEE ComSoc North America Region Board, He is an IEEE SPS Distinguished Industry Speaker, the IEEE SPS Industry Convoy for the Unites States (Region 1-6) and the Chair of IEEE Twin-cities Signal Processing and CommunicationChapter.

His current research interests include audio, acoustic, speech signal processing and machine learning; multimodal signal processing and machine learning for hearing enhancement, health and wellness monitoring; psychoacoustics, room and ear canal acoustics; ultra-low power real-time embedded system design and device-phone-cloud ecosystem design. He has authored and coauthored 120+ presentations and publications, received 20+ approved patents and had additional 30+ patents pending.

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