2015 Afeka Conference for Speech Processing - Online Now!! >>
Conference Chairman

Prof. Ami Moyal, ACLP, Afeka, Israel

Prof. Moyal heads both the Afeka Center for Language Processing (ACLP) and the Electrical and Electronics Department at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering, Tel-Aviv, Israel.  Previously, Prof. Moyal served as the CEO of NSC, Natural Speech Communication Ltd, a speech recognition vendor. Prof. Moyal has been active in the field of speech recognition for over 20 years with experience in technology development, as well as, real deployments of speech recognition products for various market segments. Prof. Moyal holds a Ph.D. from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Executive Organizing Committee

Ms. Sharon Ariel, Afeka, Israel

Ms. Sharon Ariel is the Director of the Marketing and Communications Department at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Ms. Dganit Bar-On, Conference Manager, Afeka, Israel

Ms. Dganit Bar-On is the Content, Conference and Alumni Relations Manager at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering, Tel-Aviv, Israel. Dganit is responsible for a variety of marketing activities at the college, including the organization of conferences, special events, Afeka alumni association events, outstanding student activities and marketing content productions. Prior to her position at Afeka, Dganit worked in the field of Public Relations in brand promotion, MARCOM and event production. This is the second consecutive year that Dganit is serving as the Conference Manager of the Speech Processing Conference.  Dganit received her  B.A. and M.A. (Cum Laude) in  Political  Studies,  specializing in Mass Media at Bar Ilan University, Israel.  Dganit also completed Certification Studies in Journalism & Mass Communication (Cum Laude), specializing in Public Relations/Spokesperson Studies, at  Bar Ilan University, Israel.

Ms. Michal Gishri, Technical Program Committee Secretariat, ACLP, Afeka, Israel

Michal Gishri is a Linguist at the Afeka Center for Language Processing (ACLP), where she provides support to a team of speech recognition engineers in the various linguistic aspects involved in the ASR process. Previous to entering the field of Linguistics, Michal spent many years in Marketing Communications. With this experience, Michal has taken on the position of Technical Committee Secretariat of the Speech Processing Conference for the third year running. Michal holds a BA in Asian Studies from Northwestern University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and an MA in Linguistics from Tel-Aviv University where she also graduated with high Honors. Her field of specialization is Phonology - the study of the speech sounds (phonemes) and how they universally interact.

Technical Program Committee

Mr. Ran Achituv, Amdocs, Israel

As Chief Technology Officer at Amdocs – a communications industry leader with revenues of approximately $3.2 billion  –  Ran Achituv is responsible for planning and developing Amdocs’ technology vision, as well as the architecture and roadmap of the entire Amdocs product portfolio, Amdocs’ patents and innovation strategy and start-up ecosystem partners. His 20 years of professional experience includes senior positions at Verint  in the areas of R&D, technology strategy, product management and P&L.

Dr. Vered Aharonson, ACLP, Afeka, Israel

Dr. Aharonson received her Msc in physics at the Technion, Haifa and her PhD in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University, and completed her post-doctoral and research fellow at Eaton Peabody Laboratory, Harvard University, Boston. Prior to joining Afeka, Dr. Aharonson was founder and CTO of NexSig, neurological examination technologies Ltd., a company that developed a biometric signal processing based technology for detection of cognitive decline. Today, Dr. Aharonson is senior lecturer in the department of software engineering at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering and she is also a senior researcher at the ACLP.

Dr. Yosef Ben-ezra, Novospeech, Israel


Prof. Yuval Bistritz, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Yuval Bistritz received his B.Sc. degree in physics and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University. Between 1979 and 1984, he held various assistant and teaching positions in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, and in 1987 he joined the department as a Faculty Member. From 1984 to 1986, he was a Research Scholar in the Information System Laboratory, Stanford University. From 1986 to 1987, he was with AT&T Bell Labs and from 1994 to 1996 with the DSP Group. His research interests are within the areas of signal processing and system theory, with a current focus on a computer algebra approach to some signal processing and stability algorithms and other issues in speaker recognition. Dr. Bistritz received the Chaim Weizmann Fellowship award for Postdoctoral Research in 1984, the distinguished researcher award from the Israeli Technological Committee in 1992 and the Fellow of the IEEE in 2003.

Prof. Israel Cohen, Technion, Israel

Israel Cohen received B.Sc. (Summa Cum Laude), M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1990, 1993 and 1998, respectively. From 1990 to 1998, he was a Research Scientist with RAFAEL Research Laboratories, Haifa, Israel Ministry of Defense. From 1998 to 2001, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Computer Science Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT. In 2001 he joined the Electrical Engineering Department of the Technion, where he is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Cohen is a recipient of the Alexander Goldberg Prize for Excellence in Research, and the Muriel and David Jacknow award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing and IEEE Signal Processing Letters. His research interests are statistical signal processing, analysis and modeling of acoustic signals, speech enhancement, noise estimation, microphone arrays, source localization, blind source separation, system identification and adaptive filtering. 

Prof. Koby Crammer, Technion, Israel

Koby received a PhD (2004) in Computer science and BSc (1999) in mathematics, physics and computer science all from the Hebrew university Jerusalem and all Summa cum laude.  He was a postdoctoral fellow and a research associate at the Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania between 2004 and 2009.  Koby joined the Technion Department of Electrical Engineering in 2009, where he is currently an associate professor. Koby has published more than a dozen journal papers and sixty conference papers, is a member of the editorial board of machine learning journal and journal of machine learning research, served in the program committee of leading conferences in machine learning and organized several international workshops.  His research interests are in the design, analysis and study of machine learning and recognition methods and their application to real world data and particularly natural language processing.

Dr. José A. R. Fonollosa, Technical University of Catalonia, Spain

M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, 1986 and 1989). Member of the Department of Signal Theory and Communications since 1986, currently as Full Professor. Visitor, from August 1991 to July 1992, of the Signal and Image Processing Institute, University of Southern California. He received the 1992 Marconi Young Scientist Award. He was co-founder (1999) of the company VERBIO S.L. specialized in spoken language technology. From 2006 to 2010, he was director of the Center for Language and Speech Technologies and Applications (TALP). He has published more than 150 scientific papers in statistical signal analysis and their application in communication systems, speech processing and statistical machine translation. During the last 5 years, his research has focused on (spoken) language translation, participating in several Spanish (AVIVAVOZ, BUCEADOR) and EU funded projects (FAME, LC-STAR, TC-STAR and FAUST).

Prof. Sadaoki Furui, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Sadaoki Furui received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo, Japan in 1968, 1970, and 1978, respectively.  After joining the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) Labs in 1970, he has worked on speech analysis, speech recognition, speaker recognition, speech synthesis, speech perception, and multimodal human-computer interaction.  He became a Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1997, and was given the title of Professor Emeritus in 2011.  He is now serving as President of Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTI-C).  He has authored or coauthored over 990 published papers and books. He has received numerous awards from scientific societies and government organizations.

Prof. Sharon Gannot, Bar-Ilan University, Israel


Dr. Eduard Golshtein, Santiaga Technologies, Israel

Eduard Golshtein received B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel in 1994, 1995 and 1999 respectively. Since 1997 Eduard Golshtein has held research positions in a number of commercial companies and takes part in the development of products related to speech recognition, text to speech and speech coding technologies. His main research interests are speech recognition for low-resources embedded system, lexical stress and speech prosody, acoustic features for speech recognition, parallel computation and computer grid for speech recognition.

Mr. Ron Hoory, IBM, Israel

Ron is the manager of the speech technologies group at IBM Haifa Research Lab. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in 1990 and 1993, respectively. His area of expertise is speech processing, including speech synthesis, speech recognition, speaker recognition and speech coding. Ron joined IBM in 1993 and since then has led various speech processing research projects, and became the speech technologies group manager in 2006. Ron has published more than 20 papers and filed numerous patents.

Dr. Yossi Keshet, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Joseph Keshet is a member of the faculty of Computer Science at Bar-Ilan University. Previously he was a Research Assistant Professor at TTI-Chicago and University of Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. at The School of Computer Science and Engineering at The Hebrew University in 2007, for which he was awarded the Ph.D. Label Award of the PASCAL Network of Excellence. In 2003 and 2004 he was awarded with the Leibniz Student Fellowship. In 2002 he was awarded an IBM fellowship. Between 1995 and 2002 he was a researcher with the IDF, and won the prestigious Israeli, “Israel Defense Prize”, for outstanding research and development achievements. He is a co-author of the book “Automatic Speech and Speaker Recognition: Large Margin and Kernel Methods”, published by John Wiley & Sons (2009). Much of his research focuses on developing and analyzing statistical machine learning algorithms for complex and structured tasks. Much of his research is driven by problems in speech and language processing, where typically each problem has a very large number of training examples, is highly structured, and has a unique measure of performance.

Dr. Itshak Lapidot, ACLP, Afeka, Israel

Itshak Lapidot received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva. He held a postdoctoral position at IDIAP Switzerland. Dr. Lapidot was previously a lecturer at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Sami Shamoon College of Engineering (SCE), in Beer-Sheva, Israel and served as a Researcher at the Laboratoire Informatique d'Avignon (LIA), University of Avignon in France. Recently, Dr. Lapidot assumed a teaching position with the Electrical Engineering Department at the Afeka Academic College of Engineering and joined the ACLP research team. Dr. Lapidot's primary research interests are speaker diarization and speaker verification.

Dr. James Larson, Larson Technical Services, USA

For 10 years, James A. Larson, PhD, chaired the World Wide Web Consortium’s Voice Browser Working Group, which creates standard languages for developing speech applications.  He is a member and contributor to the W3C’s Multimodal Interaction Working Group which creates standard languages for multimodal applications.  Jim is co-chair of the SpeechTEK conferences held in New York.  Jim is a columnist for Speech Technology Magazine and the author of VoiceXM: Introduction to Developing Speech Applications and books on user interfaces and database management systems.  Jim is an adjunct professor at Portland State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches courses in user interfaces, database management systems, and speech applications.  He is the vice president of Larson Technical Services.                      

Prof. Chin-Hui Lee, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Chin-Hui Lee has accumulated 20 years of industry and 12 years of academia experience in speech processing. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and ISCA, and has published 400 papers and 30 patents. He won the Signal Processing Society's 2006 Technical Achievement Award for "Exceptional Contributions to the Field of Automatic Speech Recognition". Recently in 2012 he was awarded the ISCA Medal of Scientific Achievement for “pioneering and seminal contributions to the principles and practice of automatic speech and speaker recognition, including fundamental innovations in adaptive learning, discriminative training and utterance verification.”

Dr. Joseph Mariani, LIMSI_CNRS and IMMI, France

Joseph Mariani was the director of LIMSI, a French CNRS laboratory, from 1989 to 2000, and head of its "Human-Machine Communication” department, covering various modalities (spoken and written language processing, computer vision, computer  graphics, gestural communication, Virtual and Augmented Reality, etc) and various approaches (Computer Science, Signal Processing, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Human Factors, Social Sciences). He also chaired the Scientific Committee of the LIMSI VENISE transversal action on Virtual and Augmented Reality. He then became Director of the "Information and Communication Technologies" department at the French Ministry of Research from 2001 to 2006. In this framework, he managed several national programs, and in particular he launched the Techno-Langue and Techno-Vision actions, addressing technology development and assessment in those domains. He is now director of the Institute for Multilingual and Multimedia Information (IMMI), a joint International Laboratory involving LIMSI, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and RWTH Aachen (RWTH) (Germany), settled in 2008 in the framework of the Quaero national French program. On the international scene, he coordinated the FRANCIL Network of the Francophone University Association (AUF), chaired the European Speech Communication Association, now International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) and the European Language Resources Association (ELRA), participated in the Board of the European Language & Speech Network of Excellence (ELSNET) and in the Steering Committee of FLaReNet (the Fostering Language Resources Network), and was the general convener of the Cocosda committee. He presently sits in the Management Board and Council of META-NET (the Multilingual Europe Technological Alliance Network of Excellence). He is in the Editorial Committees of the “Language Resources and Evaluation” and “Speech Technology” Journals, and of the “Text, speech and language” book series. He participated in the Editorial Committees of the “Speech Communication” Journal and of the "Survey of the State-of-the-Art in Human Language Technology". He edited the “Spoken Language Processing” monograph. His research activities concern Human-Machine Communication and Human Language Technologies.

Prof. Asunción Moreno, Technical University of Catalonia, Spain

Asunción Moreno received PhD in Telecommunication Engineering in 1987 from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain. She is Full Professor at the same University. From 2004 to 2006 she was director of the Technologies and Applications of Language and Speech (TALP) research center, and from 2009 to 2013 she was Head of the Signal Theory and Communications Department. Her current research interest is Speech recognition, Speech Synthesis and Spoken Databases. She published more than 100 international papers in journals and conferences. She participated in several EU and national funded projects.

Dr. Irit Opher, NICE, Israel

Dr. Irit Opher manages the content analysis team in the Intelligence Solutions division in Nice Systems. She joined Nice in 2005 and has since been leading the team that focuses on speech recognition and pattern analysis. Prior to working with Nice, she held senior speech and language researcher positions with several speech recognition companies, and was a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and Tel Aviv Academic College. Irit holds a PhD in Physics from Tel Aviv University. Her MSc and PhD theses are in the field of Computational Neuroscience.

Dr. Björn Schuller, University of Technology, Munich, Germany

Björn W. Schuller received his diploma, doctoral degree, and habilitation in electrical engineering and information technology from TUM in Munich/Germany. At present, he is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London's Department of Computing in London/UK and a tenured faculty member heading the Machine Intelligence and Signal Processing Group at TUM as well as CEO of audEERING UG (limited), and a permanent Visiting Professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin/P.R. China, appointed associate of CISA, University of Geneva/Switzerland, and consultant of JOANNEUM RESEARCH in Graz/Austria. He (co-)authored 5 books and more than 350 publications leading to 5000+ citations (h-index = 36).

Dr. Nava Shaked, BBT Ltd., Israel

Dr. Shaked is a world known expert in voice applications, NLP (Natural Language Processing), AI languages, Computational linguistics as well as Call Centre optimization in Israel and the US for more than 20 years. Dr. Shaked is a faculty member in Holon Institute of Technology as well as teaching in Afeka college of Engineering the area of NLP and Man Machine user interface and multimodality. Shaked is an elected board member of the Applied Voice Input/Output Society and has established and is chairing the AVIOS Israeli local chapter since 2005. In  BBT, a boutique  company, Shaked provides major enterprises with consultancy services, business strategy formation, system architecture design, professional services and side projects management, in both technological and business aspects, as well as providing hands on assistance for project development, technology and integration assessment.

Prof. Ilan Shallom, AudioCodes, Israel

Professor Ilan D. Shallom is an expert in the field of speech signal processing, acting as CEO of NSC an Audiocodes Company and Chief Technical Director in Audiocodes, which is a VoIP technology based company. He is involved both in speech compression and speech recognition technologies. He is a visiting professor in the electrical and computer engineering department in Ben Gurion University, Israel. He is the head of a research lab in the Speech processing arena, and a lecturer in several undergraduate and graduate courses.

Dr. Vered Silber-Varod, The Open University, Israel

Dr. Silber-Varod is a linguist specializing in speech prosody. Alumnus of Tel-Aviv University, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research Center for Innovation in Learning Technologies, The Open University of Israel. Dr. Silber-Varod is also a consultant and content developer for the language department at The Center for Educational Technology (CET).

Dr. Omer Tsimhoni, GM Advanced Technical Center, Israel


Dr. Eli Tsirkel, GM Advanced Technical Center, Israel


Dr. Tzur Vaich, Nuance, UK

Dr. Tzur Vaich has held several research positions in number of commercial and start-up companies, taking part in the development of speech recognition solutions and was a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University. Since 2007, he has been working at SpinVox UK (a Nuance Company) and currently holds a position of principal research scientist.Tzur received a Ph.D. degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Dr. Galia Zacay, Verint, Israel


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ACLP - Afeka Center for Language Processing                             Afeka - Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering - Higher Engineering - Department of Electrical Engineering