Seminar: David Harwath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mar 26 @ 3:00 pm
Seminar: David Harwath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This presentation happened remotely. Follow this link to view it. Please note that the presentation doesn’t start until 30 minutes into the video.

Title: Learning Spoken Language Through Vision

Abstract: Humans learn spoken language and visual perception at an early age by being immersed in the world around them. Why can’t computers do the same? In this talk, I will describe our work to develop methodologies for grounding continuous speech signals at the raw waveform level to natural image scenes. I will first present self-supervised models capable of jointly discovering spoken words and the visual objects to which they refer, all without conventional annotations in either modality. Next, I will show how the representations learned by these models implicitly capture meaningful linguistic structure directly from the speech signal. Finally, I will demonstrate that these models can be applied across multiple languages, and that the visual domain can function as an “interlingua,” enabling the discovery of word-level semantic translations at the waveform level.

Bio: David Harwath is a research scientist in the Spoken Language Systems group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). His research focuses on multi-modal learning algorithms for speech, audio, vision, and text. His work has been published at venues such as NeurIPS, ACL, ICASSP, ECCV, and CVPR. Under the supervision of James Glass, his doctoral thesis introduced models for the joint perception of speech and vision. This work was awarded the 2018 George M. Sprowls Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in computer science at MIT.

He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from MIT (2018), a S.M. in computer science from MIT (2013), and a B.S. in electrical engineering from UIUC (2010).

Seminar: Shinji Watanabe
Apr 2 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Seminar: Shinji Watanabe

This presentation is happening remotely. Click this link as early as 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the presentation to watch in a Zoom meeting.

Title: Interpretable End-to-End Neural Network for Audio and Speech Processing

Abstract: This talk introduces extensions of the basic end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) architecture by focusing on its integration function to tackle major problems faced by current ASR technologies in adverse environments including cocktail party and data sparseness problems. The first topic is to integrate microphone-array signal processing, speech separation, and speech recognition in a single neural network to realize multichannel multi-speaker ASR for the cocktail party problem. Our architecture is carefully designed to maintain the role of each module as a differentiable subnetwork so that we can jointly optimize the whole network but still keep the interpretability of each subnetwork including the speech separation, speech enhancement, and acoustic beamforming abilities in addition to ASR. The second topic is based on semi-supervised training using cycle-consistency, which enables us to leverage unpaired speech and/or text data by integrating ASR with text-to-speech (TTS) within the end-to end framework. This scheme can be regarded as an interpretable disentanglement of audio signals with explicit decomposition of linguistic characteristics by ASR and speaker and speaking style characteristics by speaker embedding. These explicitly decomposed characteristics are converted back to the original audio signals by neural TTS; thus we form an acoustic feedback loop based on speech recognition and synthesis like human hearing, and both components can be jointly optimized only with the audio data.

Seminar: Gopala Anumanchipalli, University of California, San Francisco
Apr 9 @ 3:00 pm
Seminar: Gopala Anumanchipalli, University of California, San Francisco

This was a virtual seminar that can be viewed by clicking here

Title: Unifying Human Processes and Machine Models for Spoken Language Interfaces

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed tremendous progress in digital speech interfaces for information access (eg., Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home etc). The commercial success of these applications is hailed as one of the major achievements of the “AI” era. Indeed these accomplishments are made possible only by sophisticated deep learning models trained on enormous amounts of supervised data over extensive computing infrastructure. Yet these systems are not robust to variations (like accent, out of vocabulary words etc), remain uninterpretable, and fail in unexpected ways.  Most important of all, these systems cannot be easily extended speech and language disabled users, who would potentially benefit the most from availability of such technologies. I am a speech scientist interested in computational modelling of the human speech communication system  towards building intelligent spoken language systems. I will present my research where I’ve tapped into the human speech communication processes to robust build spoken language systems — specifically, theories of phonology and physiological data including cortical signals in humans as they produce fluent speech. The insights from these studies reveal elegant organizational principles and computational mechanisms employed by the human brain for fluent speech production, the most complex of motor behaviors. These findings hold the key to the next revolution in human-inspired, human-compatible spoken language technologies that, besides alleviating the problems faced by current systems, can meaningfully impact the lives of millions of people with speech disability.

Bio: Gopala Anumanchipalli, PhD, is a researcher at the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco. His interests in i) understanding neural mechanisms of human speech production towards developing next generation Brain-Computer Interfaces, and ii) Computational modelling of human speech communication mechanisms towards building robust speech technologies. Earlier, Gopala was a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF working with Edward F Chang, MD and has previously received PhD in Language and Information Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University working with Prof. Alan Black on speech synthesis.

Seminar: Carlos Castillo
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm
Seminar: Carlos Castillo

This presentation will be taking place remotely. Follow this link to enter the Zoom meeting where it will be hosted. Do not enter the meeting before 11:45 AM EDT.

Title: Deep Learning for Face and Behavior Analytics

Abstract: In this talk I will describe the AI systems we have built for face analysis and complex activity detection. I will describe SfSNet a DCNN that produces accurate decomposition of an unconstrained image of a human face into shape, reflectance and illuminance. We present a novel architecture that mimics lambertian image formation and a training scheme that uses a mixture of labeled synthetic and unlabeled real world images. I will describe our results on the properties of DCNN-based identity features for face recognition. I will show how the DCNN features trained on in-the-wild images form a highly structured organization of image and identity information. I will also describe our results comparing the performance of our state of the art face recognition systems to that of super recognizers and forensic face examiners.

I will describe our system for detecting complex activities in untrimmed security videos. In these videos the activities happen in small areas of the frame and some activities are quite rare. Our system is faster than real time, very accurate and works well with visible spectrum and IR cameras. We have defined a new approach to compute activity proposals.

I will conclude by highlighting future directions of our work.

Bio: Carlos D. Castillo is an assistant research scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). He has done extensive work on face and activity detection and recognition for over a decade and has both industry and academic research experience. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park where he was advised by Dr. David Jacobs. During the past 5 years he has been involved with the UMD teams in IARPA JANUS and IARPA DIVA and DARPA L2M. He was recipient of the best paper award at the International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS) 2016. The software he developed under IARPA JANUS has been transitioned to many USG organizations, including Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice.  In addition, the UMD JANUS system is being used operationally by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Child Exploitation Investigations Unit to provide investigative leads in identifying and rescuing child abuse victims, as well as catching and prosecuting criminal suspects. The technologies his team developed provided the technical foundations to a spinoff startup company: Mukh Technologies LLC which creates software for face detection, alignment and recognition. In 2018, Dr. Castillo received the Outstanding Innovation of the Year Award from the UMD Office of Technology Commercialization. His current research interests include face and activity detection and recognition, and deep learning.

ECE Special Seminar: Amir Manbachi
Feb 11 @ 3:05 pm
ECE Special Seminar: Amir Manbachi

Note: This is a virtual presentation. Here is the link for where the presentation will be taking place.

Title: Towards building a clinically-inspired ultrasound innovation hub: Design, Development and Clinical Validation of novel Ultrasound hardware for Imaging, Therapeutics, Sensing and other applications.

Abstract: Ultrasound is a relatively established modality with a number of exciting, yet not fully explored applications, ranging from imaging and image-guided navigation, to tumor ablation, neuro-modulation, piezoelectric surgery, and drug delivery. In this talk, Dr. Manbachi will be discussing some of his ongoing projects aiming to address low-frequency bone sonography, minimally invasive ablation of neuro-oncology and implantable sensors for spinal cord blood flow measurements.

Bio: Dr. Manbachi is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include applications of sound and ultrasound to various neurosurgical procedures. These applications include imaging the spine and brain, detection of foreign body objects, remote ablation of brain tumors, monitoring of blood flow and tissue perfusion, as well as other upcoming interesting applications such as neuromodulation and drug delivery. His teaching activities mentorship with BME Design Teams as well as close collaboration with clinical experts in Surgery and Radiology at Johns Hopkins.

His previous work included the development of ultrasound-guided spine surgery. He obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Richard S.C. Cobbold. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (2015-16) and the founder and CEO of Spinesonics Medical (2012–2015), a spinoff from his doctoral studies.

Amir is an author on >25 peer-reviewed journal articles, > 30 conference proceedings, 10 invention disclosures / patent applications and a book entitled “Towards Ultrasound-guided Spinal Fusion Surgery.” He has mentored 150+ students, has so far been raised $1.1M of funding and his interdisciplinary research has been recognized by a number of awards, including University of Toronto’s 2015 Inventor of Year award, Ontario Brain Institute 2013 fellowship, Maryland Innovation Initiative and Cohen Translational Funding.

Dr. Manbachi has extensive teaching experience, particularly in the field of engineering design, medical imaging and entrepreneurship (both at Hopkins and Toronto), for which he received the University of Toronto’s Teaching Excellence award in 2014, as well as Johns Hopkins University career centre’s award nomination for students’ “Career Champion” (2018) and finally Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering’s Robert B. Pond Sr. Excellence in Teaching Excellence Award (2018).

ECE Seminar: Ashutosh Dutta
Feb 25 @ 3:00 pm
ECE Seminar: Ashutosh Dutta

Note: This is a virtual presentation. Here is the link for where the presentation will be taking place.

Title: 5G Security – Opportunities and Challenges

Abstract: Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are the key pillars of future networks, including 5G and beyond that promise to support emerging applications such as enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-low latency, massive sensing type applications while providing the resiliency in the network. Service providers and other vertical industries (e.g., Connected Cars, IOT, eHealth) can leverage SDN/NFV to provide flexible and cost-effective service without compromising the end user quality of service (QoS). While NFV and SDN open up the door for flexible networks and rapid service creation, these also offer both security opportunities while also introducing additional challenges and complexities, in some cases. With the rapid proliferation of 4G and 5G networks, operators have now started the trial deployment of network function virtualization, especially with the introduction of various virtualized network elements in the access and core networks. While several standardization bodies (e.g., ETSI, 3GPP, NGMN, ATIS, IEEE) have started looking into the many security issues introduced by SDN/NFV, additional work is needed with larger security community including vendors, operators, universities, and regulators.

This talk will address evolution of cellular technologies towards 5G but will largely focus on various security challenges and opportunities introduced by SDN/NFV and 5G networks such as Hypervisor, Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), SDN controller, orchestrator, network slicing, cloud RAN, edge cloud, and security function virtualization. This talk will introduce a threat taxonomy for 5G security from an end-to-end system perspective, potential threats introduced by these enablers, and associated mitigation techniques. At the same time, some of the opportunities introduced by these pillars will also be discussed. This talk will also highlight some of the ongoing activities within various standards communities and will illustrate a few deployment use case scenarios for security including threat taxonomy for both operator and enterprise networks.

Bio: Ashutosh Dutta is currently senior scientist and 5G Chief Strategist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). He is also a JHU/APL Sabbatical Fellow and adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University. Ashutosh also serves as the chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Engineering for Professional Program at Johns Hopkins University. His career, spanning more than 30 years, includes Director of Technology Security and Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T, CTO of Wireless for NIKSUN, Inc., Senior Scientist and Project Manager in Telcordia Research, Director of the Central Research Facility at Columbia University, adjunct faculty at NJIT, and Computer Engineer with TATA Motors. He has more than 100 conference, journal publications, and standards specifications, three book chapters, and 31 issued patents. Ashutosh is co-author of the book, titled, “Mobility Protocols and Handover Optimization: Design, Evaluation and Application” published by IEEE and John & Wiley.

As a Technical Leader in 5G and security, Ashutosh has been serving as the founding Co-Chair for the IEEE Future Networks Initiative that focuses on 5G standardization, education, publications, testbed, and roadmap activities. Ashutosh serves as IEEE Communications Society’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2020 and as an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2020-2022) Ashutosh has served as the general Co-Chair for the premier IEEE 5G World Forums and has organized 65 5G World Summits around the world.

Ashutosh served as the chair for IEEE Princeton / Central Jersey Section, Industry Relation Chair for Region 1 and MGA, Pre-University Coordinator for IEEE MGA and vice chair of Education Society Chapter of PCJS. He co-founded the IEEE STEM conference (ISEC) and helped to implement EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) projects in several high schools. Ashutosh has served as the general Co-Chair for the IEEE STEM conference for the last 10 years. Ashutosh served as the Director of Industry Outreach for IEEE Communications Society from 2014-2019. He was recipient of the prestigious 2009 IEEE MGA Leadership award and 2010 IEEE-USA professional leadership award. Ashutosh currently serves as Member-At-Large for IEEE Communications Society for 2020-2022.

Ashutosh obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from NIT Rourkela, India; MS in Computer Science from NJIT; and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York under the supervision of Prof. Henning Schulzrinne.  Ashutosh is a Fellow of IEEE and senior member of ACM.

55th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS 2021)
Mar 24 – Mar 26 all-day

55th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS)

March 24, 25, & 26, 2021

Hosted by the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
and Technical Co-sponsorship by the IEEE Information Theory Society

CISS 2021 is a forum for scientists, engineers, and academics to present their latest research results and developments in multiple areas of Information Sciences and Systems. Authors will present unpublished papers describing theoretical advances, applications, and ideas in the fields of:

  • Information Theory
  • Communications
  • Energy Systems
  • Signal Processing
  • Image Processing,
  • Coding, Systems and Control
  • Optimization
  • Quantum Systems
  • Machine Learning
  • Security and Privacy
  • Statistical Inference
  • Biological Systems
  • Neuroscience
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