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PhD RESEARCH STUDENTSHIP IN MACHINE HEARING



PhD RESEARCH STUDENTSHIP: PERCEPTUAL CONSTANCY IN REAL-ROOM LISTENING BY HUMANS AND MACHINES

A PhD research studentship is available at the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield, as part of a joint EPSRC-funded project with the Department of Psychology, University of Reading. The project aims to elucidate the mechanisms by which human listeners achieve perceptual constancy in hearing, and to improve the performance of machine systems by incorporating human-like processing into them. In particular, the project will focus on the effect of room reverberation on human listeners and automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. Currently, ASR systems perform poorly when speech is contaminated by room reverberation, and we will investigate whether their performance can be improved by applying signal processing techniques that resemble human mechanisms of perceptual constancy.

More specifically, the PhD research studentship will:

* Identify the reverberation metrics that correlate best with human performance in perceptual experiments;
* Determine whether the best-fitting human metrics are the most effective in improving ASR performance in reverberant conditions;
* Develop and evaluate machine hearing systems that exploit the statistics of co-occurring time-frequency patterns, and determine whether such systems exhibit robustness to reverberation in the same way as human listeners.


The studentship provides a tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate (approx. Â13,000 p.a, increasing in line with inflation) and UK/ EU tuition fees for PhD study. The project will provide funds for the purchase of suitable, dedicated equipment. Travel funds will also be available to the student through the project, for liaison with the Reading group as well as for attending national and overseas conferences. The post is available for three years and will ideally start in October 2008. Applicants should have a strong background in computer science or a related discipline.

Applicants should send a full curriculum vitae, including the names and addresses of three referees, to:

Dr. Guy Brown

Speech and Hearing Research Group

Department of Computer Science

University of Sheffield
Regent Court
, 211 Portobello Street

Sheffield S1 4DP

United Kingdom

The deadline for applications is Friday 5th September 2008. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. Brown by email (g.brown@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx) or phone (+44 (0)114 222 1821).

Related links:

Speech and Hearing Group, University of Sheffield:
www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/spandh

University of Reading Auditory Laboratory:
http://www.personal.rdg.ac.uk/~syswatkn/home.html