Faculty

Mounya Elhilali

Charles Renn Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor

Primary Appointment: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests

Research Interests:

  • Systems neuroscience
  • Sound processing in complex environments
  • Auditory scene analysis
  • Neuromorphic engineering

Mounya Elhilali, the Charles Renn Faculty Scholar and founder of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Laboratory for Computational Audio Perception (LCAP), is recognized for advancing understanding of how the human brain and machines process the complexities of sound.

Elhilali’s research bridges the gap between neuroscience and audio technologies by examining the computational and neural bases of sound and speech perception and behavior in complex acoustic environments. Using mathematical signal processing models, behavioral testing (psychoacoustics), and neural recordings, she focuses on decoding how these processes guide human behavior, and on engineering more efficient machine parsing of complex soundscapes. Her work has applications in a wide range of fields spanning the medical, commercial, military and robotic domains.

Recently, Elhilali has explored how attention to sound provides feedback to brain networks and changes how humans analyze and understand their acoustic surroundings. The brain operates as an adaptive system that constantly changes its processing in order to sift through the cacophony of sounds in our environments. By studying and modeling this adaptive behavior, Elhilali’s work offers novel theories for advancing intelligent audio technologies. Her multidisciplinary research is creating a number of insights into brain sciences, adaptive signal processing, audio technologies, and medical systems, including devising new diagnosis technologies that leverage body sounds to tackle public health problems, such as pneumonia, that affect millions worldwide.

Affiliated with Johns Hopkins’ Center for Language and Speech Processing, Elhilali is a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE, senior member), IEEE Signal Processing Society, Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The recipient of Johns Hopkins University Catalyst Award (2017) and Kenan Award for Innovative Projects in Undergraduate Education (2015), she won the prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and a National Science Foundation Early Career Award. She is a member of the IEEE speech and language processing technical committee and the IEEE research and development policy committee, and serves on the technical committee of many conference and editorial board of various publications, including Neural Networks, PLOS Computational Biology and Frontiers in Neuroscience.

She received her BS in Software Engineering from Al Akhawayn University (Ifrane, Morocco) in 1998 and an MS (2003) and PhD (2004) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Secondary Appointment: Center for Language and Speech Processing

Awards and Honors

2017: Elected to the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee

2012: Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award

2009: National Science Foundation (NSF) early career award

Journal Articles
  • Patil K, Elhilali M (2015).  Biomimetic spectro-temporal features for music instrument recognition in isolated notes and solo phrases.  Eurasip Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing.  2015(1).
  • Carlin MA, Elhilali M (2015).  A Framework for Speech Activity Detection Using Adaptive Auditory Receptive Fields.  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing.  23(12).  2422-2433.
  • Chakrabarty D, Elhilali M (2015).  Exploring the role of temporal dynamics in acoustic scene classification.  2015 IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, WASPAA 2015.
  • Emmanouilidou D, McCollum ED, Park DE, Elhilali M (2015).  Adaptive Noise Suppression of Pediatric Lung Auscultations with Real Applications to Noisy Clinical Settings in Developing Countries.  IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.  62(9).  2279-2288.
  • Carlin MA, Elhilali M (2015).  Modeling attention-driven plasticity in auditory cortical receptive fields.  Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.  9(AUGUST).
  • Carlin MA, Elhilali M (2015).  Modeling attention-driven plasticity in auditory cortical receptive fields.  Frontiers in computational neuroscience.  9,.  doi: 10.3389/fncom.2015.00106.
  • Sell G, Suied C, Elhilali M, Shamma S (2015).  Perceptual susceptibility to acoustic manipulations in speaker discrimination.  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  137(2).  911-922.
  • Carlin M, Elhilali M (2015).  A framework for speech activity detection using adaptive auditory receptive fields.  IEEE Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing.  23(12).  2422 - 2433.
  • Bellur A, Elhilali M (2015).  Detection of speech tokens in noise using adaptive spectrotemporal receptive fields.  2015 49th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems, CISS 2015.
  • Emmanouilidou D, McCollum ED, Park DE, Elhilali M (2015).  Adaptive noise suppression of pediatric lung auscultations with real applications to noisy clinical settings in developing countries.  IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.  62(9).  2279-2288.
  • Chakrabarty D, Elhilali M (2015).  Modeling goal-directed attention in tone sequences using a weighted Kalman filter.  2015 49th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems, CISS 2015.
  • Sell G, Suied C, Elhilali M, Shamma S (2015).  Perceptual susceptibility to acoustic manipulations in speaker discrimination.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  137(2).  911-922.
  • Patil K, Elhilali M (2015).  Biomimetic spectro-temporal features for music instrument recognition in isolated notes and solo phrases.  EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing.  27(1).  1-13.
Other Publications
Conference Proceedings
  • Chakrabarty D, Elhilali M (2015).  Modeling goal-directed attention in tone sequences using a weighted Kalman filter.  2015 49th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS).  doi: 10.1109/CISS.2015.7086829.
  • Bellur A, Elhilali M (2015).  Detection of speech tokens in noise using adaptive spectrotemporal receptive fields.  2015 49th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS).  doi: 10.1109/CISS.2015.7086834.
  • Chakrabarty D, Elhilali M (2015).  Exploring the role of temporal dynamics in acoustic scene classification.  2015 IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics (WASPAA).  1-5.
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