Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology
Dr. Kevin Donohue is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His current project uses spatially distributed microphones to electronically focus on the speech of a single individual in a noisy room. The goal is to make the words intelligible without physically moving a microphone closer to the speaker. Applications include separating voices at a meeting for an automatic meeting minute taker, or enhancing the abilities of criminal justice and law enforcement agencies to covertly record and listen to remote conversations in noisy areas. This project, funded by the FBI, involves the combination of microphones mounted around an area of interest or on moving platforms (i.e. undercover agents, trained animals, or small robotic devices) with parallel/distributed computing to provide near-real time processing for identifying speech sources and extracting intelligible speech for eavesdropping or recording. This work extends the current state-of-the-art by considering distributed microphones that are not in a regular geometry. Assessment will determine the impact of distributed microphone systems on improving intelligibility of conversations in noisy rooms, which include interfering conversations, reverberation, and non-speech noises.