Nelson Morgan

Professor Nelson Morgan is the former director of the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), where he was also the Speech Group leader.[1] He is also a professor in residence (emeritus) of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.[2] He recently co-founded UpRise Campaigns, a California Social Purpose Corporation focused on campaign reform through empowering volunteerism.[3]

Morgan was born in 1949 and received his PhD as an NSF fellow from UC Berkeley in 1980.[4] He founded ICSI's Realization Group, which later become known as the Speech Group, in 1988. He served as director of ICSI from 1999 through 2011.[5]

He is the co-inventor of the Relative Spectral (RASTA) approach to speech signal processing, first described in a technical report published in 1991.[6][7]

In 1993, Morgan and Herve Bourlard published their work on the hybrid system approach to speech recognition, which uses neural networks probabilistically with Hidden Markov Models (HMMS).[8] The system improved automatic speech recognition techniques based on HMMs by providing discriminative training, incorporating multiple input sources, and using a flexible architecture able to accommodate contextual inputs and feedbacks. The work has been described as "seminal.".[9] Morgan won the 1996 IEEE Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award for a paper with Bourlard.[10]

Morgan was the principal investigator of the IARPA-funded project Outing Unfortunate Characteristics of HMMs, which sought to identify problems in automatic speech recognition technology.[11] He also led a team of universities to build speech recognition systems for low resource languages as part of the IARPA Babel program.[12]

He has more than 200 publications, including three books.,[13][14] He is a fellow of the IEEE[15] and the International Speech Communication Association.[16] He is on the editorial board of Speech Communication Magazine, of which he is a former co-editor-in-chief.[17]


  1. SLTC Newsletter, IEEE Signal Processing Society, May 2012
  2. Author biography, Speech and Audio Signal Processing, Wiley Publishing, 2011
  3. "People". 2016-06-06.
  4. NSF Graduate Research Fellows. Retrieved 28 February 2012
  5. Interview with Dr. Roberto Pieraccini, Director of ICSI at Berkeley, USA, KI - K√ľnstliche Intelligenz, SpringerLink, published online June 29, 2012
  6. RASTA-PLP Speech Analysis, Hynek Hermansky, Nelson Morgan, Aruna Bayya, and Phil Kohn, ICSI Technical Report TR-91-069, December 1991
  7. RASTA-PLP Speech Analysis Technique, Hynek Hermansky, Nelson Morgan, Aruna Bayya, and Phil Kohn, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP-92), Vol.1, No., pp. 121-124 March 1992. doi: 10.1109/ICASSP.1992.225957
  8. Connectionst Speech Recognition: A Hybrid Approach, Nelson Morgan and Herve Bourlard, Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, Vol. 247, 1993
  9. Hybrid HMM/Neural Network Based Speech Recognition in Loquendo ASR, Roberto Gemello, Franco Mana, and Dario Albesano
  10. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award Recipients, IEEE Signal Processing Society
  11. Speech Tech Blog, Michele Masterson, June 20, 2012
  12. "ICSI Leads Team Researching Ways to Build Speech Recognition Systems for New Languages Under Severe Data and Time Constraints". November 28, 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  13. Speech and Audio Signal Processing, Ben Gold and Nelson Morgan, Wiley Publishing, 1999
  14. Speech and Audio Signal Processing, Second Edition, Ben Gold, Nelson Morgan, and Dan Ellis, 2011
  15. IEEE Fellows Archived 2010-06-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  16. ISCA 2010 Fellows. Retrieved 28 February 2012
  17. Speech Communication Editorial Board, Elsevier Publishing.
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