IEEE Flanagan Award given for the first time to an EPFL researcher

© 2021 EPFL

© 2021 EPFL

Hervé Bourlard, Professor at the School of Engineering and Director of the Idiap Research Institute, has been awarded the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing 2022 Prize.

Awarded in the speech and audio processing field, this prestigious prize was jointly awarded to Prof. Hervé Bourlard, Idiap’s director and head of the Speech & Audio Processing research group, and his colleague Prof. Nelson Morgan from the Berkeley University (USA).

Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant can’t receive any award for their performances, but scientists who made breakthroughs putting these technologies within reach can be awarded with the IEEE James L. Flanagan award. Jointly awarded with his colleague Nelson Morgan, professor at the Berkeley University, Idiap’s Director, Hervé Bourlard, is the first Swiss researcher to receive this award in recognition for his numerous contributions to the field of signal processing, among other in voice recognition using statistical models and artificial neural networks.

In collaboration with his American colleague, Professor Bourlard became renowned for his pioneering work for modelling speech signal thanks to the use of so called hidden Markov models. Later, this work was developed thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, for example with neural networks, linear algebra or statistics. Resulting from about 40 years of collaboration with Professor Morgan, Professor Bourlard’s contributions represent over 400 scientific publications.

Acknowledged by his peers

“Several years ago, Idiap had the opportunity to have Professor James Flanagan in its international advisory board. Today, to receive an award named after him is an immense privilege both for me and the institute,” Professor Bourlard explains. This prize is especially prestigious prize as it is awarded by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the biggest professional organization, which gathers engineers in the telecommunications, computer or electronic fields. The IEEE is the most renowned organization in its field.

The award ceremony for Hervé Bourlard and Nelson Morgan is planned in May 2022 in Singapore, during the annual conference of the organization.