Professor Hermann Ney Honored for His Life's Work




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Hermann Ney, Chair of Human Language Technology and Pattern Recognition at RWTH Aachen University, is the recipient of the distinguished 2019 James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. Presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional society, this award recognizes Professor Ney for his pioneering contributions to statistical and computational modeling in automated speech recognition and machine translation.


Since 2002, the award has been presented annually to an individual or team who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of speech and/or audio signal processing. So far, only two Europeans have been honored with this award. In being selected, Herman Ney joins an elite group of scientists from some of the world’s leading research institutions.

Professor Ney’s work focuses on statistical methods for pattern recognition and human language technology as well as their specific applications to speech recognition, machine translation, and image object recognition. Over fifty of his former students have driven product development for industry leaders, such as Amazon, Apple, AppTek, eBay and Nuance.

In particular, Hermann Ney has worked on dynamic programming and discriminative training for speech recognition, on language modeling and on data-driven approaches to machine translation. His work has resulted in more than 700 conference and journal papers; he is one of the most cited machine translation scientists in Google Scholar.

Ney has received several awards. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society; in 2010, he was awarded a senior DIGITEO chair at LIMIS/CNRS in Paris, France; and in 2013, he received the award of honor of the International Association for Machine Translation. In 2018, he was honred with a Google Focused Research Award, worth one million US dollars. Hermann Ney is a fellow of both the IEEE and of the International Speech Communication Association.