May 21, 2012

Hermansky installed as Smith Professor in Electrical Engineering

Hynek Hermansky, director of The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Language and Speech Processing, was installed on April 19 as the Whiting School of Engineering’s Julian S. Smith Endowed Professor in Electrical Engineering.

Hermansky, an expert in bio-inspired speech processing, is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Speech Communications Association. His speech processing techniques, such as Perceptual Linear Prediction, RASTA spectral filtering, multistream speech information or data-driven discriminative Tandem technique, are used widely in research and industry applications worldwide.

“Hermansky is a world-renowned authority in speech processing and has been working in his field for more than 30 years,” said Nicholas P. Jones, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School. “It was quite an accomplishment when we lured him to Johns Hopkins, and I am proud now to be able to recognize the tremendous leadership he has shown since becoming one of us.”

Hermansky joined Johns Hopkins in 2008 from the IDIAP Research Institute, in Switzerland, where he was director of research. He also was a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He was born in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), where he started his professional career as an apprentice for repairs of radios and other electrical appliances. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Brno University of Technology in 1972 and earned his doctorate in 1983 from the University of Tokyo.

Hermansky succeeds Frederick Jelinek, who died in 2010. Jelinek’s work laid the foundation for modern speech recognition and text translation technology worldwide. Among other scientific accomplishments, Jelinek pioneered the statistical methods that enable modern computers to “understand,” transcribe and translate written and spoken language.