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ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  ISCA News  »  Obituary Sheri Hunnicut

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

2-2 Obituary Sheri Hunnicut

Sheri Hunnicutt, with a background in mathematics, computer science and linguistics, was part of the historic group at MIT that developed MITalk during the 1970’s. This system became the inspiration for several commercial products like DECtalk.


In 1981 Sheri joined the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm where she worked on linguistic aspects of speech synthesis. She had a strong interest in communication aids and already in 1982 she started to create software for word prediction based on human lexical access. In 1988 she received her PhD in speech technology based on this research. Her pioneering work on Bliss symbol-to-speech was implemented for several languages. When the multimodal dialog system Waxholm was created at KTH in the 1990’s where she was a key person in designing the linguistic and dialog models.


Besides her scientific contributions she was a great friend and colleague who always engaged herself in the social life in the department. Her saxophone was an important component in the lab orchestra (Formantorkestern). She was also a very good pianist. After retirement she got more time for mushroom picking, ice skating, and her cottage in the Stockholm archipelago.


We miss her very much,


Rolf Carlson och Björn Granström

KTH, Dept. Speech, Music and Hearing

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