Congratulations to the speech recognition group which has for the
third year running won an international competition for the best
computer speech recognition system in the world. The group again
beat off competition from much larger groups elsewhere in the world
in the competition run by the US Advanced Research Project Agency
in November 1995.
The team leader, Phil Woodland, said: ‘In previous years, the speech
we were tested on was recorded on a high-quality microphone, with
low background noise. This time, each team was presented with noisy
speech from unknown desk-mounted microphones, as well as some noise-free
The winning software toolkit, HTK, was originally developed in
the department without external funding (see enginuity, issue no
1), but is being further developed with funds from the EPSRC. A
commercial version is being developed by Entropic Cambridge Research
Laboratory, a company part-owned by the University.
Another research development during the year was the setting up
of a Research Professorship in Petroleum Engineering, funded by
a generous donation from Mr Hamid Jafar of Crescent Petroleum. Prof
Andrew Palmer is to take up the post in 1996. This new area of research
complements the strong existing research activity in geotechnical
engineering, as well as work in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
This year’s CUEA conference, to be held on Friday 20 September,
is on the theme of Structures for the Millennium. It will be chaired
by Sir Jack Zunz, with speakers from industry and the University,
and promises to be fascinating and very visual. Further information
can be obtained from Dr M.D. Macleod, the department’s new Director
of Research (firstname.lastname@example.org).