Deep dive into brain and machine perception: Bridging the gap in speech processing

WiSSAP 2019


The Winter School on Speech and Audio Processing (WiSSAP) is an annual school, organized in India since 2006. It provides a forum for researchers to enhance their expertise by exposing to areas at the forefront in the field of speech and audio signal processing. The past 13 WiSSAPs have covered different aspects of speech and audio processing – perception/ recognition/ coding/ enhancement/ synthesis/ spatialization/ production/ hearing- aid etc. We are excited to share with you that the theme for WiSSAP 2019 is - Deep dive into brain and machine perception: Bridging the gap in speech processing. The event will host invited talks and tutorials by eminent researchers in the field of human speech perception, automatic speech recognition, and deep learning.

8. Lecture Slides: Barb Part-1, Barb Part-2, Tijmen, Deepu, Ratnavalli, Rajakrishnan, Lori.
7. Thank you to all participants for contributing in making the WiSSAP 2019 engagging, explorative, and fun filled research event. We will get back to you with slide and overall feedback.
6. To see WiSSAP 2019 Day 3 photographs: click here.
5. To see WiSSAP 2019 Day 2 photographs: click here.
4. To see WiSSAP 2019 Day 1 photographs: click here.
3. To get a short description of talks by by budding researchers, to be presented in Saplings session: click here.
2. To get a short description of various expert talks: click here.
1. To get WiSSAP 2019 flyer: click here.

Deep dive into brain and machine perception: Bridging the gap in speech processing

What does it mean?

With the advent of techniques to capture sensory signals associated with speech cognition and computational approaches to analyze these signals, curiosity to strengthen our understanding of human speech processing has increased. In this WiSSAP, we will meet to dive deeper into these and related topics, and identify how the insights can aid in design of machine systems for robust speech processing.

Expert Talks

Our invited experts will share their research findings, learnt over years of experiments. This will feature researchers studying speech perception and cognition via experimentation with human brain, and building machine systems with state-of-the-art algorithms for robust speech recognition.


There are varied approaches used to probe brain to gain understanding of speech perception and cognition. These includes clever design of stimuli, listening tests, and EEG data analysis. When it comes to design of machine systems for automatic speech recognition, deep learning based approaches have made given a significant boost in performance. The workshop will feature lectures and tutorials to bootstrap the participants on these areas.

Saplings: Work-in-Progress Talks

The WiSSAP also gives a podium for particiapnts to share their ongoing research along the theme of the workshop. This WiSSAP will feature 10 mins short-talks by curious and budding, soon to graduate PhD Scholars, enabling them to share their curiosity and receive suggestions from the larger research community.

Panel Discussion

A meeting of great minds is incomplete without a brain storming session. This will feature a panel discussion with panelists drawn from academia and industry to discuss - "Is the changing landscape of speech recognition systems challenging research?".


Know more about our invited experts

About talks

Lori L. Holt

Dr. Holt is an expert in auditory cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on understanding how humans interpret the complexity of spoken language. Her research program builds from considering human speech recognition as arising from general, and not uniquely human or speech-specific, mechanisms. Her training includes single-unit electrohphysiology and animal behavioral models of audition in addition to human behavioral methods across development. Her current research program exploits human psychophysics and learning paradigms in adults and children, human electrophysiology, neuroimaging, animal behavioral models and acoustic analyses.More here.

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham (born 1964) is Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Neuroscience Institute and a Professor of Psychology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. Prior to moving to Carnegie Mellon, she was a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University (BU). She attended Brown University as an undergraduate, where she earned an Sc.B. in Electrical Engineering. She earned both her master's degree and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She worked at Bell Communications Research, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Sensimetrics before joining the faculty at BU. She is an auditory neuroscientist best known for her work on attention and the cocktail party problem, sound localization, and the effects of room acoustics and reverberation on hearing.More here.

Jithendra Vepa

I received Ph.D. from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2004 for the research work on text-to-speech synthesis. Later, I worked on Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) as a research scientist in IDIAP research institute (affiliated to EPFL, Switzerland) for about 3 years before relocating to India. After working around two and half years at Philips research on Bio-medical Signal Processing, joined Samsung R & D to set up a Speech team. At Samsung, built a team of more than 60 speech technology researchers, engineers & linguists and developed various speech technologies; Text-to-Speech, Blind Source Separation, Automatic Speech Recognition (both Embedded and Cloud-based ASR) and Wakeword Recognition. Some of our work is commercialized in Samsung flagship products, one of the notable contribution is ASR for Global English in Samsung personal voice assistant, Bixby. Recently, I moved to a startup, Observe AI, as Chief Scientist and working on building voice AI platform for call centers. I have more than 35+ publications in peer-reviewed international conferences and journals, also filed 8 patent applications. I am senior member of IEEE and reviewer for various IEEE and ISCA conferences.More here.

Deepu Vijayasenan

He obtained his PhD in Speaker Diarization from Swiss Federal institute of Technology Lausanne in 2010. Subsequently he had worked as a post doctoral researcher in University of Saarbreucken. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of E& C Engineering, at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. His main interests are speech signal processing and machine learning. More here.

V Ramasubramanian

Ramasubramanian obtained his B.S. degree from the University of Madras in 1981, B.E. degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1984 and the Ph.D. degree from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Bombay in 1992. He has been engaged in research in speech processing and related areas for nearly 3 decades. Prior to the present position, he was Professor at PES Institute of Technology, South Campus, Bangalore, 2013-2017. He has worked in various institutions and universities, such as TIFR, Bombay (1984-99) as Research Scholar, Fellow and Reader; University of Valencia, Spain as Visiting Scientist (1991-92); Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan as Invited Researcher (1996-97); Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore as Research Associate (2000-04) and Siemens Corporate Research & Technology (2005-13) as Senior Member Technical Staff and as Head of Professional Speech Processing - India (2006-09). He has over 65 research publications in these areas in peer reviewed international journals and conferences. He is inventor / co-inventor of 14 patents filed in India, Europe and USA. More here.

Ratnavalli Ellajosyula

Dr. Ratnavalli Ellajosyula was on the faculty of the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore for 11 years from 1993 to 2004 where she established the first memory clinic in the country in 1998. She is currently a consultant Neurologist at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, where she also headed the department, and started the DNB training in Neurology. She has been running the cognitive disorders clinic at Manipal Hospital and Annasawamy Mudaliar general hospital for several years and receives referrals from all over India. Her current research focuses on clinical and neuropsychological features of degenerative dementias, in particular frontotemporal dementias, understanding the neural representation and processing of language in bilinguals and neural basis of memory disorders. She was awarded the Commonwealth Fellowship in 1999 and underwent advanced training in diagnosis and neuropsychology of dementias at University of Cambridge, UK. She was a research fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA in 2005. She received the Gandhi International Research Fellowship award in the House of Lords, UK in 2016. More here.

Rajakrishnan Rajkumar

Rajakrishnan Rajkumar's research interests lie at the intersection of natural language generation and computational psycholinguistics. His recent research has looked at modelling production choices in English and Hindi using cogntively motivated measures of language comprehension and production. In the past, he has also conducted eye-tracking experiments to study the comprehension of synthesized speech. After completing an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), he did a MA in Linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Subsequently, after completing a PhD in Computational Linguistics from The Ohio State University, he taught at IIT Delhi for 5 years and now teaches at the Indian Institute of Science Education Research (IISER), Bhopal, India.

Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula

Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (since 2009). Prior to joining IISc, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (2006-2009). He received a PhD degree from IISc in 2006. He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and a Senior Area Editor of IEEE Signal Processing Letters. His current interests are at the interface between signal processing and deep learning. He is a recipient of the Priti Shankar Teaching Award from IISc and the Digital Health Prize from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council.

Tijmen Tieleman

After obtaining a PhD in Deep Learning from Geoffrey Hinton's Toronto research group in 2014, Tijmen Tieleman joined, and now serves as its CEO & CTO. His main interests, besides Deep Learning, are in algorithms, probability theory, and the theory of mathematics & computer programming.



To see a short description of various talks: click here.

What researchers are saying?

  • In my view "old speech" through deep networks is NOT deep-speech. Human speech/language are fantastic domains to explore human brain.

    T. V. Sreenivas Professor, IISc, Bangalore.
  • "Deep" is good. "Deeper" would be better.

    Chandra S Seelamantula Professor, IISc, Bangalore.
  • The "deep" speech revolution has begun. The research on speech understanding is witnessing an exciting time.

    Sriram Ganapathy Professor, IISc, Bangalore.
  • Machines take all and process but brains discard and process. Looking forward to learn more on this from the upcoming WiSSAP.

    Neeraj Sharma Postdoctoral Fellow, CMU, USA.
  • Evolution of human brain gave rise to the sophistication in speech and language. A meeting of minds from neuroscience, speech, and engineering is indeed a step towards getting a deeper understanding in all these areas.

    Shreyas Ramoji PhD Scholar, IISc, Bangalore.

In God's Own Country


College of Engineering Trivandrum
Engineering College P.O
Kerala, PIN 695016, INDIA
Reaching the venue from the nearest airport: click here.
Reaching the venus from the nearest railway station: click here.

Thiruvananthapuram (formerly called Trivandrum) is a notable academic and research hub in southern India, and also a major tourist hub in India. Kovalam and Varkala are popular beach towns located near the city. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the city is one of the richest temples in the world. Other places of interest include Agasthyamala rain forests, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kallar, Braemore, Ponmudi hills, Poovar, Anchuthengu backwaters, Varkala Cliffs and Kappil-Edava lakes. The city is also known for its unique style of architecture involving Kerala Architecture with British and Dravidian influences. For more information click here.

We look forward to meet you in WiSSAP 2019. Seats are limited.


We are accepting only online registration with the below fee structure. The early registration deadline is 9:00 AM, 23rd Jan 2019. Post this date the fee will increase by 500 INR.

Category ISCA/IEEE Members Otherwise
Student INR 4000 INR 5000
Academic Staff INR 6000 INR 7000
Industry INR 8000 INR 9000

Make online fee payment to the below SBI bank account, and fill the payment transaction ID and your details at: click here.

Bank Account Details Bank Address
Account No.: 36230283239
State Bank of India (SBI)
IIS Campus Branch
IFSC Code: SBIN0002215
MICR Code: 560002020
Any refund request will be entertained only till 20th January 2019. Request for refund will be processed by deducting 15% as processing fee. The refund amount will be transferred by NEFT to the payee's bank account.


There is accommodation available close by to the venue. To see the details click here.

Contact Us

Get in touch

To know more details in relation to the theme, participation, and sponsorship, feel free to contact us at email address: x@y where x = wissap20xx and y = .


To obtain more details on sponsoring WiSSAP 2019 click here.

Past WiSSAPs

This is our 14th WiSSAP.

We have been privileged to have a exciting learning experiences from our past WiSSAPs. Our past invited speakers have included: Rainer Martin, T. V. Ananthapadmanabha, Ivan Tashev, Christof Faller,Emanuel Habets, Marc Swerts, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Yi Xu, Kalika Bali, Shrikanth (Shri) S. Narayanan, Shihab Shamma, Hynek Hermansky, Li Deng, Tanja Schultz, Tara Sainath Julia Hirschberg, Simon King, Tomoki Toda, Martin Cooke, De Liang Wang, Daniel P. W. Ellis, Bhiksha Raj, Gautham J.Mysore, V Ramasubramanian, Birger Kollmeier, B. Yegnanarayana, Walter Kellermann, Xavier Serra, Malcolm Slaney, John Makhoul, Jiri Navratil, Andreas Stolcke, Frédéric Bimbot, Alan W. Black, Jan P. H. van Santen, Richard Sproat, Kuldip Paliwal, Bastiaan Kleijn, K. Brandenburg, Steve Levinson, and T. Svendsen. Use the links below to see the details of past WiSSAPs.


For any suggestions feel free to contact our program committee at x@y.

Programme Committee
Suresh Kumaraswamy
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
x = suresh.kumaraswamy
y =
Sriram Ganapathy
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
x = sriramg
y =
Neeraj Sharma
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
x = neerajww
y =
T V Sreenivas
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
x = tvsree
y =
Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
x = chandrasekhar
y =
Prasanta Kumar Ghosh
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
x = prasantg
y =
Padmanabhan Rajan
Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi
x = padman
y =
Ciza Thomas
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Tara Raveendran
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Sreelatha G
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Jayakrishnaraj G
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Shajee Mohan
GEC, Kozhikode
Rajeev Rajan
College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Jayan A R
GEC, Palakkad
Krishnakumar S
C-DAC, Trivandrum
Rajeev K
Nissan Digital
Edet Beioy
MES CE, Kuttippuram
Leena Mary
GEC Idukki