ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  ISCA News

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

2 ISCA News
2-1Message from President John Hansen

Sept 15, 2020


Dear ISCA members:


Please find an update to my message in the recent installment of ISCApad for September 2020.   In this issue you will find updates for meetings, job openings, theses, and announcements. COVID-19 pandemic still impacts the world in terms of work, social engagement, and most importantly health of all – so again I ask that you please do all you can to ensure the safety of yourselves, colleagues, family and friends. Research and advancements in the field of speech communication is even more critical in the times we are all facing and to support communications for our society.


INTERSPEECH-2020: [] (Oct. 25-29, 2020)

Technical Program & Papers: the INTERSPEECH-2020 Technical Program Committee has been working diligently on the details for the technical program – given that we have moved to a completely VIRTUAL/ONLINE CONFERENCE. Much discussion and careful planning has gone in to the logistics of coordinating a worldwide participation for our membership. As I noted last month, the IS-2020 Technical Committee received 2140 paper submissions, and has now finalized a total of 1020 conference paper acceptances which include all technical areas as well as approved special sessions. In order to accommodate the world with three major continents, the core program will take place essentially with daily 5-6 hour participation periods, beginning with Opening Session/Keynote talks, 10 blocks of technical sessions, and social events as well as closing ceremony to complete the conference. An overall Program-at-a-Glance with time zones will be shared, so all can plan and maximize participation and attendance during the conference.


PAPER Oral Presentations: Since Interspeech-2020 will be completely remote, all accepted papers will be oral (i.e., no distinction between oral and poster presentations). All authors received instructions on presentation preparation this past week, which includes submitting a 90 sec (1.5min). Full presentations of 15min will be needed for all presentations, which attendees will have access beforehand. During the specific Oral Session, the 90sec overviews will be presented sequentially with follow-on Q&A for each paper. So, if you have great interest in a specific paper or session, please review the full presentations beforehand and join in the session for brief overviews and Q&A session for each paper.



Keynote Speakers: This year, there will be four keynote presentations from world recognized experts in the fields of speech communication. These presentations will consist of the follow speakers:

  • Janet B. PierrehumbertUniversity of Oxford (recipient of the ISCA Scientific Medal)

  • Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Lin-shan Lee, National Taiwan University

  • Shehzad Mevawalla, Amazon Alexa

We thank these distinguished researchers for their contributions to the technical program for Interspeech-2020 and look forward to their presentations and follow-on Q&A sessions.


ISCA Special Service Medal: This year, the ISCA Board has reviewed our history of awarding the ISCA Special Service Medal, and since establishing ISCA from the merger of ESCA and PC-ICSLP societies, this medal has only been awarded four times. As such, the ISCA Board has reviewed the remarkable service, leadership and educational contributions made by a number of our ISCA members and will be recognizing several this year as recipients of the 2020 ISCA Special Service Medal. Further details will appear in the next ISCApad, but let it be known that as a non-profit society, the technical/scientific impact, research, and educational accomplishments come from our community of volunteers. We thank you all, and will pay special recognition to several noteworthy contributors at this ISCA INTERSPEECH-2020 conference (Stay Tuned).


Memorial Recognition of Colleagues: So, it is with great sadness that I must share the passing of several of our colleagues in the field of speech communication. More details and memorial recognition will take place at INTERSPEECH-2020.

Sheri Hunnicutt (1943-2020,) KTH (Sweden): was part of the historic group at MIT that developed MITalk during the 1970’s. Since 1981, she has been with KTH in Stockholm where she worked on linguistic aspects of speech synthesis


Ann Syrdal(1945-2020), AT&T (USA): as a psychologist and computer science researcher at AT&T,she helped develop synthetic voices (i.e., AT&T’s Natural Voices), and establishing the first female-sounding voice synthesizer, laying the groundwork for such modern digital assistants as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.


John Ohala (1941–2020), Univ. of California, Berkeley (USA):a linguist specializing in phonetics and phonology, known for his impact on many aspects of languages' phonologies derive from physical and physiological constraints, which he emphasized are independent of language and thus have no place in the 'grammar' of a language.



Jack Godfrey(1941–2020), Johns Hopkins Univ. / NSA (USA): spent his entire career in research and development of Computer Voice Recognition and Speaker Recognition technology. He made significant contributions in the field, from TI's 'Speak and Spell' to his leadership of the US Dept. of Defense's Human Language Technology Group at the National Security Agency.


Until next month, we look forward to your participation in ISCA and INTERSPEECH-2020. Stay safe and stay connected to our community!

John H.L. Hansen (ISCA President)


2-2Obituary 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


2-3INTERSPEECH 2020 will be fully virtual

The safety and well-being of our participants is of paramount importance to ISCA. The Organizing Committee of INTERSPEECH 2020 has been monitoring closely the dynamic developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration and in light of the global health emergency and pervasive travel restrictions, ISCA has made the difficult decision to convert INTERSPEECH 2020 to a fully virtual conference. We were looking forward to seeing everyone at INTERSPEECH in Shanghai, but we are excited about the opportunity to innovate by creating an engaging virtual conference that will be rewarding for both presenters and attendees. We thank those who have submitted papers to INTERSPEECH 2020. More information for authors and questions about registration and participation are provided on the INTERSPEECH 2020 website : Please check also this ISCApad issue (message from our President John Hansen : =p,270 We send our best wishes to all our members and the Speech Communication community at this difficult time.

The ISCA Board




2-4Message from the Student advisory committee (SAC) :INTERSPEECH 2020 Student Virtual Events

Dear ISCA community,


The Student Advisory Committee of ISCA (ISCA-SAC) is pleased to announce three student VIRTUAL events in the context of Interspeech 2020. 6th Doctoral Consortium The event provides an opportunity for PhD students, especially those early in the process of identifying a thesis topic, to present their research and discuss it with a panel of experts. The discussion includes feedback on the evolution and progress of their research. It helps them to identify a road-map toward refining their thesis. Application required. Submit extended two-page abstract until August 22, 2020 (extended deadline). For more information on how to sign up, please visit 2nd Mentoring The event gives PhD students the opportunity to engage in a discussion with early-career and senior researchers from academia and industry. ISCA-SAC aims at providing a warm environment for discussing questions concerning a variety of topics, such as research in academia and industry, equal opportunities, publishing, and professional development. Application required. Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on how to sign up, please visit 7th Students Meet Experts The event consists of a panel discussion with experts from industry and academia, in which the questions of the student audience are discussed. All Bachelor, Master, and PhD students are invited to join! Registration requested. We collect questions for the experts during the registration process. For more information on how to sign up, please visit For more information about ISCA-SAC, please visit: We are looking forward to your participation!

Iona Gessinger

ISCA-SAC General Coordinator

2-5ISCA social networks

We encourage all members tokeep contact with ISCA via our social nets. Also you will bde kept informed about all events on our website. 

This is particularly important in this time where due to the coronavirus, many modifications may be brought to the conference.


ISCA Facebook :

ISCA Twitter :

ISCA SAC Student Facebook :

 website :


2-6Code-of-Conduct for Conference and Workshop Attendees

Code-of-Conduct for Conference and Workshop Attendees

ISCA is committed to providing a pleasant conference experience
without harassment and discrimination for anyone, regardless of
gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability and physical
appearance.  We do not tolerate any verbal or non-verbal expressions
of harassment or discrimination.  Please note that it matters if a
person feels harassed or discriminated regardless of the original
intent of the expressions. In particular, sexual language and imagery
are not appropriate in any conference venue.  Conference participants
who engage in inappropriate behavior may be expelled from the
conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference
organizer. These persons may be included in a watchlist for future
ISCA-sponsored events.

If you are troubled by the behavior of another attendee at the
conference, or notice someone is in trouble, please speak immediately
to a member of conference staff or send a message to <>.

Your concern will be heard in confidence and taken seriously to solve
the problem.

* Short version: (to be posted in a limited space)

ISCA is committed to a pleasant conference experience without
harassment and discrimination. Our code-of-conduct can be found at:


2-7Code-of-Ethics for Authors

Code-of-Ethics for Authors

ISCA is committed to publishing high-quality journals and conference
proceedings.  To this end, all authors are requested to ensure they
adhere to ethical standards, specifically (but not limited to):

(1) the work does NOT include fabrication, falsification or any kind
of data breach.  Authors should keep their code and log data that
produced the results in the paper.

(2) the work does NOT include plagiarism or significant
self-plagiarism.  ISCA (and conference organizers or journal editors)
may use tools to detect plagiarism and reject papers without review.

(3) the work does NOT use figures, photographs or any other kind of
content whose copyright is not owned by or granted to the authors,
except for proper quotations allowed by the copyright law.  ISCA (and
conference organizers or journal editors) may request authors to
provide evidence of permission to use the content for their work.

(4) the work does NOT include inappropriate content in terms of human
rights.  ISCA (and conference organizers or journal editors) may
request authors to provide evidence of approval from the host Ethics
Committee (Institutional Review Board or equivalent) that the work
meets their Institution's ethical requirements, and/or explicit
consent from the human subjects used in the work.

(5) all (co-)authors must be responsible and accountable for the work,
and consent to its submission.

If any concerns relating to this code are raised or reported, ISCA
(and conference organizers or journal editors) will set up a committee
to investigate the matter and decide on appropriate action including
withdrawal of the paper and suspension of future submissions by the

ISCA also enforces the NO-show policy for conference papers.  Any
paper accepted into the technical program, but not presented on-site,
may be withdrawn from the official proceedings.  Please refer to point 2) and 8).

* Short version: (to be posted in a limited space)

ISCA is committed to publishing high-quality journals and conference
proceedings. Our code-of-ethics for authors can be found at:


2-8ISCA Archive Analysis: a never ending story!

The article 'Rediscovering 25 Years of Discoveries in Spoken Language Processing: A Preliminary ISCA Archive Analysis', published at Interspeech 2013 on the occasion of the ESCA/ISCA Silver Jubilee, has been extended to the production and analysis of the NLP4NLP corpus containing close to 65,000 articles published in major conferences and journals in speech and language processing over 50 years (1965-2015) on various aspects (publication, collaboration, citation, innovation, plagiarism,...). The results of those analyses have recently been assembled in a series of two papers published in a special issue on 'Mining Scientific Papers: NLP-enhanced Bibliometrics' of the 'Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics' journal :


2-9Publications and Videos of Speech Prosody 2020

The papers are already publicly available, at .  To also see the videos, you can register for the conference, for only 4000 Yen, at .

I encourage you to contact the authors with questions, or just to let them know that you liked their work.  Since we won't be meeting physically this year, let's make the extra effort to stay connected as a community.

Many thanks to Professor Minematsu and the Organizing Committee for putting together an excellent set of papers and talks, in a time of adversity.

Nigel Ward, SProSIG Chair


2-10Women in Speech Research

 ISCA is committed to supporting diversity in speech communication, and celebrating speech
communication as an exciting and diverse field of research and discovery. Moreover, ISCA
is committed to gender equality.

We are therefore delighted to announce that the database with names, affiliations,
positions, and research topics of women in speech science and speech technology,
originally started by Maxine Eskenazi, is now a wonderful, searchable website, created by
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson.

The website can be found at

The website can be used for, amongst others:
- Workshop and conference organisers to search for keynote and invited speakers,
panelists, and co-organisers
- Nominations for distinguished lecturers
- Norminations for awards, medals, fellowships, and prizes
- Prospective new faculty by faculty search committees

If you identify yourself as female and want to be added to this list, please follow the
instructions on the WomenNspeech website.

We hope this website will be useful to many!

Julia Hirschberg
Mark Hasegawa-Johnson
Odette Scharenborg


2-11SProSIG announces Speech Prosody 2022


Dear SProSIG Members,

I am pleased to announce that Speech Prosody 2022 will be held in Lisbon,  May 23-26, 2022.

Thanks to all who voted: 315 members from 46 countries.  Although the vote for Lisbon was decisive (41%), it was good to see strong support also for the bids for Aix (33%) and Nijmegen (26%).
Nigel Ward, SProSIG Chair
Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso


 Organisation  Events   Membership   Help 
 > Board  > Interspeech  > Join - renew  > Sitemap
 > Legal documents  > Workshops  > Membership directory  > Contact
 > Logos      > FAQ
       > Privacy policy

© Copyright 2024 - ISCA International Speech Communication Association - All right reserved.

Powered by ISCA