Victor Zue, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and former Director of the Institute's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) from 2007 - 2011 (and co-director of CSAIL since its inception in 2004), is the recipient of the 2013 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. He is cited "for pioneering contributions to acoustic phonetics and conversational spoken-language systems." The IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award was established in 2002 as a Technical Field Award given for outstanding contribution to the advancement of speech and/or audio signal processing. Victor will be presented the award at the May, 2013 International Conference on Acoustic, Speech, and Signal Processing in Vancouver.
Early in his career, Zue conducted research in acoustic phonetics and phonology, codifying the acoustic manifestation of speech sounds and the phonological rules governing the realization of pronunciation in American English. Zue's experience learning how to speak like an American on coming from his native China to study in the U.S. and later viewing 2001: A Space Odyssey in which HAL the computer speaks with his human colleagues, were lasting influences on his evolution toward pursuing the development of spoken language interfaces to enhance human/computer interactions. His work with the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science's Spoken Language Systems Group, which he headed from 1989 to 2001, focused on the development of many systems that enable a user to interact with computers using multiple spoken languages (English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish). His current research interests are in the area of applying human language technologies to enable easy access of structured and unstructured information from the web, especially in applications such as education and healthcare.
Outside of MIT, Victor has served on the technical advisory board of many multinational corporations, and he has served on numerous committees for the US government. From 1996-1998, he chaired the Information Science and Technology, or ISAT, study group for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Dapartment of Defense, helping the DoD formulate new directions for information technology research. In 1999, he received the DARPA Sustained Excellence Award. Victor is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and a Fellow of the International Speech Communication Association. He is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and an Academician of the Academia Sinica.