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PhD position available on modeling speech intelligibility

A PhD position is available at the Centre for Applied Hearing Research (CAHR; http://www.dtu.dk/centre/cahr) at the Technical University of Denmark.  This position is one of 13 fellowships supported by the FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Investigating Speech Processing In Realistic Environments (INSPIRE)".

The INSPIRE network consists of 10 European research institutes and 7 associated partners (5 businesses and 2 academic hospitals). The senior researchers in the network are academics in computer science, engineering, psychology, linguistics, hearing science, as well as R&D scientists from leading businesses in acoustics and hearing instruments, and ENT specialists. The aim of INSPIRE is to support and train young researchers and equip them with the core professional and inter-disciplinary scientific skills needed for careers in research. The scientific goal of INSPIRE is to better understand how people recognize speech in real life under a wide range of conditions that are “non-optimal” relative to the controlled conditions in laboratory experiments, e.g., speech in noise, speech recognition under divided attention.  As part of the network, the PhD student will participate in semi annual workshops conducted at the partner institutes.  More information about the INSPIRE network can be found here: http://www.ru.nl/clst/projects/speech/INSPIRE/

The PhD position available at CAHR will investigate modeling of speech intelligibility based on the signal-to-noise ratio in the modulation domain.  A major challenge is to solve the “noise reduction paradox” that refers to the mismatch between predicted and actual speech intelligibility following noise reduction signal processing. It is postulated here that the ratio of the speech-to-noise energy in the modulation domain at the output of auditory signal processing is an important indicator of speech intelligibility, in contrast to the STI that considers only effects on the (speech) signal. Various distortions in transmission channels and effects of hearing-instrument processing are analyzed in this framework. The work is relevant for the evaluation of hearing-instrument algorithms, but also in context- and listener-specific speech modification to improve communication with automatic dialogue systems for groups such as the elderly or non-natives in realistic conditions.

While the position is hosted and supervised by Dr. Torsten Dau (Centre for Applied Hearing Research, Technical University of Denmark) the project will also be co-supervised by Dr. Mark Huckvale (Department of Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, University College London). 

Applicants should have experience in audio signal processing and hearing science, such as a masters degree in engineering acoustics, electrical engineering, physics, or information sciences.  Applicants may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months, during the 3 years immediately prior to the start date of the appointment (April 1, 2012). In addition, applicants must NOT have worked in a research position or received research training for more than 4 years from the date they obtained their undergraduate degree.

How to apply:
If interested please email the following to Caroline van Oosterhout (cvo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx):
(1) Cover letter outlining the motivation for PhD studies and for this particular project
(2) CV
(3) List of courses and grades from bachelor and master degrees

A first review of applications will begin on February 1, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled.  For further questions regarding the fellowship or application, please email Dr. Torsten Dau (tdau@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx).