ISCA Training Schools Program


ISCA Training Schools in Speech Communication


Information for Proposers


ISCA Training and Education Committee


This document summarises guidelines for submitting a proposal for a training school under the ISCA Training Schools in Speech Communication (ISCA-TSSC) Program.

Proposals should be submitted via the on-line form on the ISCA workshop application portal.  The form asks you to give


1.     The proposed title, a description of the technical theme for the training school, and an outline of the topics to be covered,

2.     Contact details and the list of organisers,

3.     Other Sponsoring/Endorsing Institutions,

4.     The date, venue and expected number of participants,

5.     The URL of the web site,

6.     Archiving Information,

7.     Registration Fees (reduced for ISCA members and students),

8.     The amount sought from ISCA and an explanation of how it will be used. For a regular sponsorship proposal, organizers will use the ISCA Training Schools logo in their website and an ISCA contribution of up to 5000€ can be included in the budget. This ISCA contribution is expected to support the invitation of lecturers (travel expenses and daily allowance, but not lecture fees) In addition, students may apply for ISCA grants to attend the training schools using the online application form. on the ISCA grant portal.


The following guidelines should be of help to organisers:


  1. Does the venue, have all the facilities required to host the event?
  2. Are you able to list the proposed lecturers and their qualifications, including information about which lecturers are confirmed (pending approval of the proposal), and which are yet to be confirmed.?
  3. Can you use ISCA Distinguished Lecturers or Fellows as keynote speakers? If so, they  will serve also as observers for the good practice of the ISCA Training School. If this is not possible ISCA will assign an observer.
  4. What will be the contribution of the training school to the students who attend, and to ISCA at large? What special activities or initiatives will the organizers develop as part of the event to help enhance awareness of ISCA? (i.e., promote ISCA membership and ISCA supported conferences and workshops, produce and provide material for the ISCA Video Archive, etc.)
  5. How will you assess the success of the school?  Good practice recommendations for implementing the ISCA training schools are expected to be provided as feedback to the ISCA Board.
  6. The suggestion duration of a workshop is five days
  7. Work out a budget breakdown that shows estimated revenues (from registrations and sponsorship contributions), as well as costs. When preparing the budget, proposers are advised to not plan on having business class travel (use economy class) for speakers unless it can be supported directly from external (non ISCA) funds. ISCA funds cannot be used for business class travel neither for lecture fees.
    The provided budget should also address the following points:
    • The proposed budget should include a 15% contingency to reduce the possibility of a deficit. The organizers will be responsible for covering any losses; ISCA will not assume such liability.
    • What do the organizers plan to do with their share of any budget surplus, should one exist? Please note that under the regular sponsorship, ISCA plans to split pro rata any surplus with the organizers, proportional to the ISCA contribution.
  1. How will you handle the final financial documents related to the School:  who will have the authority to sign the final financial document? The signed final financial document should be send to the ISCA Board. ISCA Board reserves the right to request additional documents for financial verification.
  2. Can you provide low cost living arrangements for students? What will it cost? Approximately how many students can be accommodated?
  3. Will the event provide lunches (if so it needs to be in the budget) or will there be low cost lunch facilities available? The envisioned lunch facilities and their estimated cost to students should be described.


Year Lunch 2012

The yearly Industry Liaison Lunch was held on September 13, 2012 at Interspeech 2012 in Portland.

Attending were: Alex Acero (Microsoft Research), JF Bonastre (ISCA), John Hershey (MERL) Jerome Bellegarda (Apple), Patrick Nguyen (Google), Juergen Schroeter (ATT), Nicolas Shaffer (SRI), Francis Ganong (Nuance), Gerhard Backfried (Sail Labs), Jeff Adams (Amazon), Masami Akamine (Toshiba), Prithivi Pradeep (Appen)

Missing Companies

Alex Acero pointed out there are many missing companies. To just name a few, he mentioned Baidu, Cisco, and MModal. If anyone has any specific contact information for people at these places or others, please send them to me (Michael) and I will try to get them to join.

Questions from the President

J-F Bonastre, ISCA president, started with a number of direct questions to industry participants. He made the point that ISCA can't proceed without industry.
His questions included:
How to increase value to industry. More tutorials? More diversity in tutorials?
How do you want to promote speech research field in your region/area?
Can a keynote address from industry be useful?

A lively discussion ensued. Some of the comments included:
Do we (the IL committee) form an ISCA lobbying group? (Francis)
We don't see decreased funding for speech. We want to see MORE students in speech. (Jeff)
Want to see more cooperation on data and standards and identify abuses like recording without permission (Francis)
- Depends on laws of the countries (Jerome)
- FP7 increases emphasis on ethical practices and issues (Gerhard)
- Need to have more speech privacy standards. Add to EULA for speech products? What could be ISCA's role here?
Regarding keynotes
- Unclear though as it rapidly turns into a marketing thing (Jerome).
- We come to Interspeech to NOT think about day to day problems (Jeff)
Regarding the perception of speech
- Many EE speech students are strong in theory but are not strong coders, while CS students think that building speech recognition systems is like writing code for any
other app (ignoring the machine learning expertise required) (Alex)
- People don't know speech is machine learning (John)
- Sponsor awards in various speech courses. Maybe ISCA can sponsor with contributions from Industry? (Francis)
- Invite TV to demo sessions? (Francis)
- Form link to demo sessions. Maybe tie to course awards? Open up an internship to best students (Juergen)
- Win trip to Interspeech based on course awards (JF)

ISCA Fellows and Awards
Michael put out an exxplicit request for Industry to nominate more candidates for ISCA Fellow. Please put forward candidates from your organization. It is an honor, must be good to do. One does NOT have to be an IEEE Fellow to be an ISCA Fellow! We have too few industrial candidates for Fellow.
We should have more than a balance. Why not tie product releases to Interspeech? (J-F)
Why not have an award for Industry? Like an innovation award. (J-F)
ATT, MS, Google and MERL ALL pay for Industrial Society memberships.....
Fellow form biased against Industry as it is set up. Needs to be changed (Jeff)
Agree things need to be changed (J-F)

Jobs section of ISCA Website

Unclear if Jobs section of webpage has any value. Maybe ISCApad is the best place to send out announcements. Maybe ask the students if they ever found a job because of it. Sounds like website is useless and ISCA Pad not much better in terms of job advertisements.
Maybe have an industry day - industry hour? with recruiting tables (Gerhard)
Do desriable candidates go to job fairs. Skeptical. (Jeff)
Would having a job fair also reduce the value of Interspeech sponsorship (Michael)

Other items

Michael solicited industry for reviewers for Interspeech.
Discussed Tweeting to the students about jobs, etc. Maybe an Interspeech "perk"?
Can SAC help coordinate student visits to industry labs? Sometimes good to know where there are speech enclaves.
List all the schools with speech groups on ISCA website. Students can maintain. Use a wiki page?
Clear lack of awareness of ISCA's growing speech multimedia recordings. We (ISCA) needs to do a better job of promoting. Maybe better indexing is needed so you dont have to sit through too much.
Could ISCA provide data resources in various languages?

Geographical Outreach

The Geographical Outreach Committee is organized by the ISCA board and chaired by a board member responsible for geographical outreach. Currently this board member is Professor Nobuaki Minematsu, University of Tokyo, Japan. The purpose of this committee is to extend the services of ISCA to different parts of the world, especially those regions where many speech researchers may not be able to attend Interspeech conferences and participate in the many speech research activities easily.

Currently the work of the Geographical Outreach Committee is focused on four regions where the speech researchers are under-represented in most ISCA programs, and the major goal is to have a sub-committee for each of these regions to make region-specific efforts. These sub-committees are:

(a) Sub-committee on Eastern Europe
(b) Sub-committee on West Asia and North Africa
(c) Sub-committee on South Asia
(d) Sub-committee on Sub-Saharan Africa

In addition to the Geographical Outreach Committee, another important channel for ISCA to extend its services to different parts of the world is via Special Interest Groups (SIGs) focused on some specific languages. Currently there are seven Language SIGs with such functionalities as listed below.

  • SIG on Under-resourced Languages-SIGUL
  • SIG on Chinese Spoken Language Processing-SIG-CSLP
  • Association Francophone de la Communication Parlee-AFCP
  • Associazione Italiana di Scienze della Voce-AISV
  • SIG on Iberian Languages-SIG-IL
  • Indian Language Speech Processing-SIG-ILSP
  • ISCA SIG on Russian Speech Analysis-SIGRU

More information about the Language SIGs can be found under the section of SIGs.

Geographical Outreach Committee

(I) Chair
- Prof. Nobuaki Minematsu, University of Tokyo, Japan

(II) Sub-committee on Eastern Europe

- Prof. Rodmonga Potapova, Dept Head, Moscow Linguistic University, Moscow (Russia)

- Dr. Andrey Ronzhin, Head of Speech Informatics Group, St. Petersburg Institute for Informatics and Automation, St. Petersburg (Russia)
- Prof. Taras Vintsiuk, Head of Speech Science and Technology Dept, Int. Research and Training Center of Information Technology and Systems, Kyiv (Ukraine)
- Prof. Boris Lobanov, Head of Speech Recognition and Synthesis Laboratory, National Academy of Sciences, Minsk (Belarus)
- Dr. Catalin Grigoras, National Institute of Forensic Expertise, Bucharest (Romania)
- Prof. Edward Shpilewski, Director, Institute of Computer Science, University of Bialystok, Bialystok (Poland)
- Prof. Jozef Juhar, Technical University of Kosice, Kosice (Slovakia)
- Prof. Slobodan Jovicic, Belgrade University, Belgrade (Serbia)
- Prof. Dimitar Popov, Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Shumen (Bulgaria)

(III) Sub-committee on West Asia and North Africa

- Prof. Chafic Mokbel, University of Balamand, Balamand (Lebanon)

- Dr. Ossama Emam, Manager, Human Language Technology, IBM Egypt Branch, Giza (Egypt)
- Dr. Mohamad Mrayati, Senior Advisor on Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy and Planning, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
- Prof. Mustafa Yaseen, Dean, Faculty of Information Technology, Amman University, Amman (Jordan)
- Prof. Oumayma Al Dakkak, Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Damascus (Syria)
- Prof. Mansour M. Alghamdi, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)

(IV) Sub-committee on South Asia

- Prof. Thippur Sreenivas, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (India)

- Prof. Rajeev Sangal, Director, International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad (India)
- Prof. S.R. Savithri, Head of Speech and Language Sciences, AII Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore (India)
- Prof. Udaya Narayana Singh, Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore (India)
- Dr. Virach Sornlertlamvanich, Thai Computational Linguistics Laboratory, NICT Asia Research Center, Pathumthani (Thailand)
- Dr. Hammam Riza, Science and Technology Network Information Center (IPTEKnet), Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Jakarta (Indonesia)
- Dr. V. Ramasubramanian, Siemens Corporate Technology, Bangalore (India)
- Dr. A. R. Weerasinghe, Director, University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo (Sri Lanka)

(V) Sub-committee on Sub-Saharan Africa

- Prof. Justus Roux, Director, Center for Language and Speech Technology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch (South Africa)

- Dr. Tunde Adegbola, Associate lecturer, University of Ibadan, Ibadan (Nigeria) (also Executive Director of the African Languages Technology Initiative)
- Mr. Nimaan Abdillahi, Director, Djibouti Institute of Science and Information Technologies, Djibouti (Djibouti)

Archive of Reports

What can Geographical Outreach Committee do for you?

Below are possible initial actions which may be taken by the sub-committees of the Geographical Outreach Committee to extend ISCA services to the specific regions.

(1) If in the regions there are any regional, national or local associations (or similar organizations) of speech researchers (or on related areas), it is possible to develop some sister association relationship between such associations and ISCA, such that members of such organizations can become members of ISCA at reduced membership fees, and vice versa, and possibly something more.

(2) If in the regions there are some regional, national or local workshops, courses, meetings, conferences or events on speech related areas, it is possible to have them partially sponsored by ISCA, and invite via ISCA speakers and participants from other parts of the world to attend such events. It is also possible to hold some currently exisiting ISCA workshops or events in the regions in order to promote the activities in the regions.

(3)The sub-committees may recommend students or young researchers in the regions to apply for grants to attend conferences, workshops and events held worldwide sponsored by ISCA.

(4) The sub-committees may help to distribute relevant information about ISCA services to speech researchers in the regions, such as the ISCA Archive, the membership fee structure, grants, ISCApads, etc., especially those not limited to ISCA members, for example the abstracts of all papers in the ISCA Archive which are openly accessible from the Internet, the web-based services, and the many special interest groups on different areas which can be participated on-line without ISCA membership, and so on.

(5) The sub-committees may help to promote and disseminate to the global research communities information regarding the research activities in the regions via ISCA channels, to increase international knowledge about the activities. For example, ISCA can help to distribute the journals or reports published in the regions, the call for papers of conferences and events held in the regions, information regarding major research projects in the regions, important research accomplishments in the regions and distinguished scientists and researchers in the regions, and so on.

(6) The sub-committees may consider to establish one or more Language Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for research activities on the specific languages used in the region. Such Language SIGs can become more direct channels through which the ISCA services can be obtained. The Italian Language and the Chinese Spoken Language Processing are good examples.

ISCA has a distinguished lecturers program, through which the sub-committees and others may invite lecturers to travel to their regions to give lectures to promote research activities in the regions at ISCA's expenses.

The sub-committees may recommend distinguished researchers in the regions to participate in various research related activities, for example to review papers, to serve as journal editors or scientific committee members, session chairs or invited speakers of conferences and workshops, and so on.

(9) The sub-committees may consider the special situation of their region and propose to ISCA any other possible actions which may be taken to help the researchers in the regions. For example some approaches are specially useful for the regions or to handle some special difficulties or to solve some special problems for the regions, and so on.

(10) Other measures helpful to the research activities in the regions can also be proposed by the sub-committees and considered by the ISCA board.

Industry Liaisons

ISCA is pleased to have the following companies as "ISCA Industry Liaisons".



About Appen

Appen develops and market sophisticated computer-based speech and language technology products and services for major international information and communication companies and services for major international information and communication companies and government organizations.

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About Apple

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone. In the area of speech and language processing, Apple has been pursuing a wide range of R&D activities centered around speech recognition, speech synthesis, statistical language modeling, voice authentication, speaker adaptation, dialog interaction, metadata extraction, and semantic classification. Over the years, many of the ensuing technologies have been successfully deployed into released products, thus helping to enhance the user experience for millions of Apple customers around the world.

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About AT&T

AT&T is bringing it all together for our customers, from the revolutionary iPhone 3GS to next-generation TV services and sophisticated solutions for multi-national businesses. We're recognized as one of the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communication services to businesses. We also have the nation's fastest 3G network and the largest international coverage of any U.S. wireless carrier, offering the most phones that work in the most countries; the largest number of high speed Internet access subscribers in the United States.

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About BBN

BBN is a high-technology company which provides research and development services. BBN is based next to Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. It is perhaps best known for its work in the development of packet switching.

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About Carnegie Speech

Carnegie Mellon University is dedicated to speech technology research, development and deployment. CMU has a historic position in computational speech research, and continues to test the limits of the art.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| Website: http://www.speech.cs.cmu.edu

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About Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom AG, DTAG is a telecommunications company headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is the largest telecommunications company in Europe.

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About European Media Laboratory GmbH (EML)

The European Media Laboratory GmbH is a private IT enterprise established by Klaus Tschira, one of the founders of the SAP AG software company. In accordance with its motto “Think beyond the Limits!”, EML is successfully pursuing research and development in the fields of human-computer interaction and automatic speech processing.
EML’s research results and products are integrated into market-ready IT solutions for everyday life, usable with-out tedious learning stages. EML collaborates closely with universities, research institutes, and industrial partners.

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About Google

Google Inc is an American public corporation specializing in Internet search. It also generates profits from advertising brought on its similarly free-to-user email, online mapping, office productivity, social networking and video-sharing services.

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About IBM

International Business Machines, abbreviated IBM is a multinational computer, technology and IT consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, North Castle, New York, United States. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sell computer hardware and software and offers infrastructure services, hosting services and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Website: http://www.research.ibm.com

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About Klwewl

Klewel is a spin-off of the Idiap Research Institute which is affilated with EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

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About Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is a division of Microsoft, created in 1991 for researching various computer science topics and issues.

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About Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories

Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories is the North American arm of the Corporate R&D organization of the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. As an open corporate lab, we collaborate with other research organizations, publish our results and measure our performance by the impact we have on the Mitsubishi Electric corporation and the world. We conduct application motivated basic research and advanced development.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| Website: http://www.merl.com

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About Nokia

Nokia has sites for research and development, manufacture and sales in many countries throughout the world. As of December 2008, Nokia has R&D presence in 16 countries and employed 39,350 people in research and development, representing 31% of the group's total workforce. The Nokia Research Center, founded in 1986, is Nokia's industrial research unit consisting of about 500 researchers, engineers and scientists.

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About Nuance

Nuance is the leading provider of speech and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Our technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses, experience Nuance by calling directory assistance, getting account information, dictating patient records, telling a navigation system their destination or digitally reproducing documents that can be shared and searched. Making each of those experiences productive and compelling is what Nuance is all about.

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About SAIL LABS Technology

SAIL LABS Technology is a leading global provider of speech recognition technology and was founded in 1999 in Vienna, Austria. We are one of the world's leading innovators in the field of Open source Intelligence (OSINT) and speech technology systems, creating cutting-edge software for speech and multimedia analysis solutions. SAIL LABS personnel has a proven track record in the field of natural language processing, acoustic modeling, language modeling, and speech recognition algorithms. This is complemented by profound skills and knowledge in software development, as well as linguistics, mathematics and computer science.

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About SpeechCycle

SpeechCycle rich Phone Applications (RPAs) seamlessly integrate customizable voice user interfaces with enterprise applications and web services to deliver an immersive caller experience that is a generation beyond traditional natural language dialog systems.

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About SRI International

SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute conducting client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, foundations and other organizations. SRI also brings its innovations to the marketplace by licensing its intellectual property and creating new ventures.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.| Webiste: http://www.sri.com

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About Toshiba Research

Toshiba Research Europe Ltd in the United Kingdom is one of the globalised corporate level R&D organizations founded by Toshiba Corporation, Japan and consists of two laboratories, the Cambridge Research Laboratory (CRL) in Cambridge and the Telecommunications Research Laboratory (TRL) in Bristol.

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About Vlingo

At Vlingo we unlock access to wireless data services. As the inventor of the mobile phone "voice user interface", Vlingo delivers a voice interface and technology that allows users to instantly access services and content on their device. These services include the ability to send text and email messages, call contacts, search the Web, update your Facebook or Twitter status and much more by just speaking into their phone.

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About Yahoo

Yahoo! Inc is an American public corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, that provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, and social media websites and services.

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About Yap

Founded in 2006, Yap leverages a wealth of talent, in the art and science of speech recognition, to create a bulletproof foundation that can augment diverse services, from academic and commercial to government deployments. Our fully automated speech-to-text platform can enhance a wide array of third party applications or services, such as analytics, messaging, search, translation or voicemail. In the telecommunications sector, voice-driven capabilities offer end users a more natural way of interacting with their handsets, and are proven to deliver service providers higher ARPU from increased voice and data usage.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Website: http://www.yapme.com

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