InterSpeech 2017

ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievements 2017

Fumitada Itakura
Professor, Nagoya University, Japan
Fumitada Itakura was born in Toyokawa, in Japan, in August 1940. He studied electronic engineering at Nagoya University,1958-1963. He advanced to its graduate school and studied information engineering such as statistical optical character recognition and time series analysis of cardiac rhythmicity. After finishing his master degree in 1965, he he has been working on speech signal processing using statistical approach. He received the Doctor of engineering from Nagoya University in 1971 for his work a statistical method for speech analysis and synthesis. Itakura’s early work on speech spectral envelope and formant estimation using the maximum likelihood methods (1967) laid the ground work for much of the research work in speech signal processing in the three subsequent decades, ranging from vocoder designs for low bit-rate transmission to distance measures (Itakura-Saito distance) for speech pattern recognition. He introduced the concepts of the auto-regressive model and the partial auto-correlation to the speech area and developed a first mathematically tractable formulation of the speech recognition problem based on the minimum prediction residual principle, providing a solid framework for integrating speech analysis, representation, and pattern matching into a complete engineering system. His work on the autoregressive modeling of speech is used in almost every low- to-medium bit rate speech transmission system. The Line Spectral Pair (LSP) representation, which he developed in the 1975, is now used in nearly every cellular phone system and handset. Itakura and Hong Wang’s recent work in sub-band dereverberation algorithms has also become the foundation of many new breakthroughs. His singular and yet broad contributions to speech signal processing earned him the IEEE Morris Liebmann Award in 1986, the most prestigious Society Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 1996, IEEE Fellow in 2003, the Purple Ribbon Medal from Japanese government in 2003 and the Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award from IEICE in 2003. These technical achievement was performed mainly at Nagoya University (1965-68), the 4th research section of Musashino Electrical Communication Laboratory of NTT (1963-73, 1975-1983) and Acoustic research laboratory (1973-75) of Bell Telephone laboratories, Murray Hill, Nagoya university (1983-2003 again), and Meijo University (2003-2011).