Shrikanth Narayanan has expertise in a wide range of topics.
Before he took the podium to deliver a lecture recently at the inaugural John Brooks Slaughter Leadership in Engineering Summit at USC, a woman in the audience pointed in amazement at the intro slide on his presentation deck, the one that lists his title: University Professor, the Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
“You’ve studied all that?” the woman asked.
Yes, he has. And he continues to explore the intersections of human language, speech, emotions, behavior, and technology. On project after project, paper after paper (more than 1,000 and counting), he is trying to develop engineering approaches to better understand the human condition and solve some of our trickiest problems.
Narayanan’s peers have responded with two new awards recognizing his years of work: In December, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society selected him for their 2023 Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award “for contributions to spoken language processing technologies and their societal applications.” And last month, the IEEE Computer Society gave him their 2024 Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award “for pioneering contributions to speech, language and multimedia processing and affective computing and their human-centered societal applications.”
The IEEE Signal Processing Society’s award is named in honor of two of the most important 20th century engineers: Claude Shannon and Harry Nyquist. The award is given to a person who, over a period of years, has made outstanding technical contributions to theory and/or practice in technical areas within the scope of the Society, as demonstrated by publications, patents, or recognized impact on the field. The IEEE Computer Society’s award is named in honor of Edward J. McCluskey, an electrical and computer engineering pioneer, and is given for outstanding and innovative contributions to the fields of computer and information science and engineering or computer technology.
Among Narayanan’s contributions, he has worked on research and clinical tool development in the domain of autism spectrum disorder; and using machine intelligence (he prefers that term to “artificial intelligence”) to analyze tone, choice of words and other mannerisms in how people communicate with and learn from each other. Narayanan has been at USC for 24 years, and he conducts his work with colleagues and students at USC’s Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL).
A hallmark of Narayanan’s longstanding work is its focus on inclusion. “How can we build things that work for all people in all contexts?” he asked during his presentation, making the case for technology being accessible regardless of differences of age, gender, linguistic background, culture or health status.
Narayanan will receive these awards in the spring of 2024.
Published on February 15th, 2024
Last updated on February 15th, 2024