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Speech and Language Processing

Welcome to the first Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee Newsletter of 2019!


First, we’d like to share a letter from Eric Fosler-Lussier, the new chair of the STLC.  We’re very happy to welcome his term as chair, and take the opportunity to thank Michiel Bacchiani for his past (and continued) service!


One quick action item before we get into a bunch of updates.

The Signal Processing Society is presently understanding and documenting the current situation surrounding conference papers, notably regarding the ICASSP and ICIP benchmarks. The ICASSP and ICIP conferences utilize a 4 page limit on papers, with a 5th page for references.  The Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU) and Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT) have a long history of 6 page papers with 2 pages for reference.


SPS would like to understand the ASRU/SLT community's feelings about paper length, both from the author standpoint and the review standpoint.   Please take a few minutes to register your thinking on paper length in a survey at  The survey will be available until April 15.


The start of the year is pleasantly quiet as it concerns conference activities.  However, we are looking forward to ICASSP in May, and ASRU in December.   And, I’m sure many of us have been feeling the pressure of the paper deadline for Interspeech in Graz, Austria. The organizers have sent an update with loads of important details and information (check out the Surveys section!).


Proposals for Special Sessions at ASRU are due TODAY, April 1, 2019! Learn about this and more at this update on ASRU.


We mentioned this in the previous newsletter, but the call for proposals to host IEEE SLT 2020 is still open.  If you are interested, there is an opportunity to present a proposal to the SLTC at ICASSP in Brighton.


We’d like to congratulate newly elected 2019 IEEE Fellows from our community: Jianfeng Gao, Kiazhong Gao, Xiaodong He, Mei-Yuh Hwang and Qi Li.  A very well deserved honor! Huge Congratulations! A full list of newly elevated fellows can be found here.  We also have two newly elected senior members, Odette Scharenborg and Esther Judd.  Well done!


If you’re a student (or have students), the Student Awards sub-committee has two Travel Grants that are available.  Additional details, including how to apply, can be found from the committee members: Fred Richardson, Panayiotis Georgiou, Hakan Erdogan, Yun-Ning Chen and Rohit Prabhavalkar.  

IEEE Ganesh N. Ramaswamy Memorial Student Travel Grant

Sponsored by: IBM Corporation

Administered by the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the Ganesh N. Ramaswamy Memorial Student Travel Grant recognizes the student author(s) of an outstanding paper(s) on speaker and language recognition area accepted for publication in the proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP).


IEEE Spoken Language Processing Student Grant

Sponsored by: Xuedong Huang, Alex Acero and Hsiao-Wuen Hon

Administered by the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the Spoken Language Processing Student Grant program honors the student(s) of an outstanding paper(s) in spoken language processing area accepted for publication in a conference (IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing) or a workshop (IEEE Workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding).


Even though this is the first newsletter of the year, JSALT 2019 preparation is well under way for this summer. From Jan Trmal, Sanjeev Khudanpur and Najim Dehak:

The annual JSALT workshop, this year held at ETS in Montreal, CA has published the teams and their prospective research agendas. This year, 5 teams will spend 6 weeks working on these individual topics:

*Speaker Detection in Adverse Scenarios with a Single Microphone

*Distant Supervision for Representation Learning

*Improving Translation of Informal Language

*Using Cooperative Ad-hoc Microphone Arrays for ASR

*Neural Polysynthetic Language Modeling

For more information and updates, visit


There are two awards relevant to our community with nomination deadlines on May 31.  Nominations (including self-nominations) can be sent to Julia Hirschberg (

Distinguished industry speaker

SPS Industry Speaker who is a recognized expert with a background in industrial applications, capable of delivering a message of importance to the technical community


Distinguished lecturer

Candidates should be IEEE Signal Processing Society members  who can present engaging lecture topics

The awards committee would also like to highlight the IEEE Senior Member status.  Nominees need to have been "in professional practice" for at least 10 years with "significant performance" for at least 5.  Full disclosure, this is on my to-do list before the next newsletter edition. And it should probably be on yours too.


As ever, we'd like to draw your attention to our community's upcoming conferences and workshops and job postings.  


And in case you didn’t know:

This newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials which don't fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can submit job postings here, and contact the TC via this form, or send mail to to propose articles. To subscribe to the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to


If you want to stay connected to the IEEE SLTC between newsletters, we are on twitter @IEEE_SLTC.



Andrew Rosenberg, Editor

Patrick Nguyen, Editor

Asli Celikyilmaz, Editor


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