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Full Biography

Hervé Bourlard received the Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree and the PhD degree in Applied Sciences from ``Faculté Polytechnique de Mons’’, Mons, Belgium, respectively in 1982 and 1992 (while working in industry).

Initially concerned with speech synthesis and signal processing, his current main interests now include statistical pattern classification, signal processing, neural networks, and applied mathematics, with applications in spoken language processing, speaker recognition/verification, image processing, and multimodal interaction.

From September 1982 to August 1990, he has been a Research Scientist at the Philips Research Laboratory of Brussels, Belgium, where he was involved in statistical pattern recognition, hidden Markov models, neural networks, with applications to automatic speech recognition, speaker verification and language processing.

From September 1988 to May 1989 (while still at Philips Research), Hervé Bourlard was on leave of absence from Philips as a Guest Scientist at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI,, Berkeley, CA.  This resulted in a very successful and long-term (still going on) collaboration with ICSI. Since 1991, he has been an External Fellow of ICSI, with which he is involved in many common US and European research projects.  Since January 2002, he is now a Member of the ICSI Board of Trustees.

From September 1990 to July 1994, he was an R&D Manager (and member of the Board of Directors) at L&H Speech Products (Belgium), at that time a start-up company, which became a major (NASDAQ) company in the field of speech processing.  While at L&H, he initiated and was led the R&D Department devoted to speech recognition, speaker verification, neural networks, DSP integration, and application of the resulting algorithms in real-time applications.

From January 1995 to October 1996, he was affiliated with “Faculté Polytechnique de Mons” (FPMs, Mons, Belgium), before becoming Director (in November 1996) of the IDIAP Research Institute, a not-for-profit research institute affiliated with the Swiss Federal University of Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Geneva.  IDIAP is active in speech processing, computer vision, information retrieval, biometric authentication, multimodal processing, and machine learning. Since 1997, Hervé Bourlard is also Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), where he was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in December 2004.

Having worked for academia as well as large and small industries, Hervé Bourlard has broad and deep experience in both the industrial and academic worlds. He has initiated and managed many national and international projects (including numerous international and European projects), and was involved in the start up of a few spin-off companies.

Hervé Bourlard is the author/coauthor of 3 books and editor of 5 books, of over 300 refereed papers (including several book chapters), and a significant number of Technical Reports in different fields, including statistical pattern recognition, connectionist models, signal processing, speech recognition, and applied mathematics. Among these papers, he authored one invited paper for the Proceedings of the IEEE, as well as one invited paper for the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. In April 1997, the latter paper (co-authored with N. Morgan) entitled “Continuous Speech Recognition--An Introduction to the Hybrid HMM/Connectionist Approach,” published in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine in May 1995) received the IEEE Signal Processing Society Award.

Hervé Bourlard is the author (together with Prof. N.Morgan from ICSI, Berkeley) of a book entitled “Connectionist Speech Recognition: A Hybrid Approach” (1994, Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN 0-7923-9396-1).  A second book entitled “Traitement de la Parole” (“Speech Processing”), co-authored by R. Boite, T. Dutoit, J. Hancq and H. Leich) was also published in 2000 by the “Presses Polytechniques Universitaires Romandes” (ISBN 2-88074-388-5).

Hervé Bourlard is a Fellow of the IEEE (for contribution in the fields of statistical speech recognition and neural networks) and of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), a Senior Member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), member of EURASIP (European Association for Signal Processing) and ISCA (International Speech Communication Association), and an appointed expert for the European Commission (for European projects). He is also a Fellow of the EPSRC College (EPSRC, UK) and an appointed expert for the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). From 2002 to 2007, he was also a member of the European Information Society Technology Advisory Group (ISTAG).

Hervé Bourlard has served on the organizing and scientific committees, and has been an invited speaker, of numerous international conferences. Among others, he has been Technical Co-Chair of the IEEE Intl. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) in Orlando (FL) in 2002, General Chairman of the 2002 IEEE Neural Network Signal Processing workshop (Martigny/CH, September 2002), General Chairman of Eurospeech'2003 (Geneva, September 2003), General Chairman and initiator of the Machine Learning for Multimodal Interaction (MLMI) workshop (first held in Martigny, Switzerland, in 2004).  He is also a member of the Editorial Board of several journal, including “Speech Communication” (ex-Editor-in-Chief) and “Intl. Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence”, and ex-Action Editor of “Neural Networks” (Pergamon). He was also the Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Biometric Signal Processing of the Eurasip Journal on Applied Signal Processing (April 2004).

Having worked for academia as well as large and small industries, Hervé Bourlard has broad and deep experience in both the industrial and academic worlds. He has initiated and managed numerous national and international projects (with US, EU and CH public funding agencies, as well as industry). Among those, he has initiated and managed numerous large EU projects (incl. AMI, AMIDA, inEvent, etc). He also initiated several start-up companies, and is the recipient of a few prestigious entrepreneurship awards.