News & Events

1,091 News items and Awards were found.

  •  NEWS   MERL's speech research featured in NPR's All Things Considered
    Date: February 5, 2018
    Where: National Public Radio (NPR)
    MERL Contact: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Speech & Audio
    • MERL's speech separation technology was featured in NPR's All Things Considered, as part of an episode of All Tech Considered on artificial intelligence, "Can Computers Learn Like Humans?". An example separating the overlapped speech of two of the show's hosts was played on the air.
      The technology is based on a proprietary deep learning method called Deep Clustering. It is the world's first technology that separates in real time the simultaneous speech of multiple unknown speakers recorded with a single microphone. It is a key step towards building machines that can interact in noisy environments, in the same way that humans can have meaningful conversations in the presence of many other conversations.
      A live demonstration was featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Annual R&D Open House last year, and was also covered in international media at the time.

      (Photo credit: Sam Rowe for NPR)

      "Can Computers Learn Like Humans?" (NPR, All Things Considered)
      MERL Deep Clustering Demo
  •  NEWS   Scott A. Bortoff named Associate Editor, IEEE Control Systems Magazine
    Date: February 1, 2018
    MERL Contact: Scott Bortoff
    Research Area: Control
    • Scott A. Bortoff has been selected by the IEEE Control System Society Board of Governors to serve as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Control Systems Magazine, effective January 1, 2018.
  •  NEWS   Chiori Hori elected to IEEE Technical Committee on Speech and Language Processing
    Date: January 31, 2018
    MERL Contact: Chiori Hori
    Research Area: Speech & Audio
    • Chiori Hori has been elected to serve on the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (SLTC) of the IEEE Signal Processing Society for a 3-year term.

      The SLTC promotes and influences all the technical areas of speech and language processing such as speech recognition, speech synthesis, spoken language understanding, speech to speech translation, spoken dialog management, speech indexing, information extraction from audio, and speaker and language recognition.
  •  NEWS   Andrew Knyazev (MERL) invited to 2018 MathWorks Research Summit
    Date: June 2, 2018 - June 4, 2018
    Where: Newton, Massachusetts (USA)
    Research Areas: Control, Computer Vision, Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning, Data Analytics
    • Dr. Andrew Knyazev of MERL has accepted an invitation to participate at the 2018 MathWorks Research Summit. The objective of the Research Summit is to provide a forum for leading researchers in academia and industry to explore the latest research and technology results and directions in computation and its use in technology, engineering, and science. The event aims to foster discussion among scientists, engineers, and research faculty about challenges and research opportunities for the respective communities with a particular interest in exploring cross-disciplinary research avenues.
  •  NEWS   Anthony Vetro appointed to IEEE Signal Processing Society Conference Board
    Date: January 1, 2018
    MERL Contact: Anthony Vetro
    • Anthony Vetro has been appointed to the Conference Board of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. His term is two years and expires in December 2019. He will also serve as a member of the Conference Board Executive Subcommittee.
  •  NEWS   MERL presents 3 papers at ASRU 2017, John Hershey serves as general chair
    Date: December 16, 2017 - December 20, 2017
    Where: Okinawa, Japan
    MERL Contacts: Chiori Hori; Takaaki Hori; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Speech & Audio, Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    • MERL presented three papers at the 2017 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU), which was held in Okinawa, Japan from December 16-20, 2017. ASRU is the premier speech workshop, bringing together researchers from academia and industry in an intimate and collegial setting. More than 270 people attended the event this year, a record number. MERL's Speech and Audio Team was a key part of the organization of the workshop, with John Hershey serving as General Chair, Chiori Hori as Sponsorship Chair, and Jonathan Le Roux as Demonstration Chair. Two of the papers by MERL were selected among the 10 finalists for the best paper award. Mitsubishi Electric and MERL were also Platinum sponsors of the conference, with MERL awarding the MERL Best Student Paper Award.
  •  NEWS   MERL among top Massachusetts organizations in patent activity
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Richard (Dick) Waters
    • A recent report by JLL finds that MERL is among the top 10 organizations in Massachusetts in terms of patent filings in 2010-2015. This is especially notable since MERL is by far the smallest organization in that group.
  •  NEWS   MERL invites applications for Visiting Faculty
    Date: February 15, 2018
    • University faculty members are invited to spend part or all of their sabbaticals at MERL, pursuing projects of their own choosing in collaboration with MERL researchers.

      To apply, a candidate should identify and contact one or more MERL researchers with whom they would like to collaborate. The applicant and a MERL researcher will jointly prepare a proposal that the researcher will champion internally. Please visit the visiting faculty web page for further details:

      The application deadline for positions starting in Summer/Fall 2018 is February 15, 2018.
  •  NEWS   Mouhacine Benosman joins the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Mouhacine Benosman
    • MERL researcher Mouhacine Benosman has been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications (JOTA).

      The Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications publishes carefully selected papers covering mathematical optimization techniques and their applications to science and engineering. An applications paper should be as much about the application of an optimization technique as it is about the solution of a particular problem.
  •  NEWS   Tim Marks to give invited Keynote talk at AMFG 2017 Workshop, at ICCV 2017.
    Date: October 28, 2017
    Where: Venice, Italy
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Research Areas: Machine Learning, Computer Vision
    • MERL Senior Principal Research Scientist Tim K. Marks will give an invited keynote talk at the 2017 IEEE Workshop on Analysis and Modeling of Faces and Gestures (AMFG 2017). The workshop will take place On October 28, 2017, at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV 2017) in Venice, Italy.
  •  NEWS   Stefano Di Cairano appointed Vice-Chair of IFAC Technical Committee for Optimal Control.
    Date: October 18, 2017
    Where: International Federation of Automatic Control
    MERL Contact: Stefano Di Cairano
    Research Areas: Control
    • MERL Mechatronics Senior Principal Research Scientist and Senior Optimization-based Control Team Leader, Stefano Di Cairano, was recently appointed the Vice-Chair of IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Technical Committee for Optimal Control. His term will continue through July 2020.
  •  NEWS   MERL presents 5 papers at ICIP 2017, Anthony Vetro serves as general co-chair
    Date: September 17, 2017 - September 20, 2017
    Where: Beijing, China
    MERL Contacts: Petros Boufounos; Dehong Liu; Hassan Mansour; Huifang Sun; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Computer Vision, Computational Sensing, Digital Video
    • MERL presented 5 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), which was held in Beijing, China from September 17-20, 2017. ICIP is a flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and approximately 1300 people attended the event. Anthony Vetro served as General Co-chair for the conference.
  •  NEWS   MERL attends The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
    Date: October 4, 2017 - October 6, 2017
    Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
    MERL Contacts: Elizabeth Phillips; Jinyun Zhang
    • Every year, women technologists and the best minds in computing convene to highlight the contributions of women to computing. The Anita Borg Institute co-presents GHC with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

      The conference results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for our attendees. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government.
  •  NEWS   MERL researchers presented 1 workshop talk as a panelist and 2 papers at ECOC 2017, including one invited talk.
    Date: September 17, 2017 - September 21, 2017
    Where: 2017 European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), Sweden
    MERL Contacts: Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Keisuke Kojima; David Millar; Milutin Pajovic; Kieran Parsons; Ye Wang
    Research Areas: Communications, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Signal Processing
    • Two papers from the Optical Communications team were presented at the 2017 European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) held in Gothenburg, Sweden in September 2017. The papers relate to enhanced error correction coding for coherent optical links and advanced precoding for optical data center networks. The invited paper studied irregular polar coding to reduce computational complexity, decoding latency, and bit error rate at the same time. In addition to two papers, the team member was invited to talk about constellation shaping as a workshop panelist.
  •  AWARD   2017 Graph Challenge Student Innovation Award
    Date: August 4, 2017
    Awarded to: David Zhuzhunashvili and Andrew Knyazev
    Research Area: Machine Learning
    • David Zhuzhunashvili, an undergraduate student at UC Boulder, Colorado, and Andrew Knyazev, Distinguished Research Scientist at MERL, received the 2017 Graph Challenge Student Innovation Award. Their poster "Preconditioned Spectral Clustering for Stochastic Block Partition Streaming Graph Challenge" was accepted to the 2017 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC '17), taking place 12-14 September 2017 (, and the paper was accepted to the IEEE Xplore HPEC proceedings.

      HPEC is the premier conference in the world on the convergence of High Performance and Embedded Computing. DARPA/Amazon/IEEE Graph Challenge is a special HPEC event. Graph Challenge encourages community approaches to developing new solutions for analyzing graphs derived from social media, sensor feeds, and scientific data to enable relationships between events to be discovered as they unfold in the field. The 2017 Streaming Graph Challenge is Stochastic Block Partition. This challenge seeks to identify optimal blocks (or clusters) in a larger graph with known ground-truth clusters, while performance is evaluated compared to baseline Python and C codes, provided by the Graph Challenge organizers.

      The proposed approach is spectral clustering that performs block partition of graphs using eigenvectors of a matrix representing the graph. Locally Optimal Block Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient (LOBPCG) method iteratively approximates a few leading eigenvectors of the symmetric graph Laplacian for multi-way graph partitioning. Preliminary tests for all static cases for the Graph Challenge demonstrate 100% correctness of partition using any of the IEEE HPEC Graph Challenge metrics, while at the same time also being approximately 500-1000 times faster compared to the provided baseline code, e.g., 2M static graph is 100% correctly partitioned in ~2,100 sec. Warm-starts of LOBPCG further cut the execution time 2-3x for the streaming graphs.
  •  NEWS   MERL researchers presented 11 papers at ACC 2017 (American Controls Conference)
    Date: May 24, 2017 - May 26, 2017
    MERL Contacts: Mouhacine Benosman; Daniel Burns; Claus Danielson; Stefano Di Cairano; Abraham Goldsmith; Uros Kalabic; Saleh Nabi; Daniel Nikovski; Arvind Raghunathan; Yebin Wang
    Research Areas: Control, Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning
    • Talks were presented by members of several groups at MERL and covered a wide range of topics:
      - Similarity-Based Vehicle-Motion Prediction
      - Transfer Operator Based Approach for Optimal Stabilization of Stochastic Systems
      - Extended command governors for constraint enforcement in dual stage processing machines
      - Cooperative Optimal Output Regulation of Multi-Agent Systems Using Adaptive Dynamic Programming
      - Deep Reinforcement Learning for Partial Differential Equation Control
      - Indirect Adaptive MPC for Output Tracking of Uncertain Linear Polytopic Systems
      - Constraint Satisfaction for Switched Linear Systems with Restricted Dwell-Time
      - Path Planning and Integrated Collision Avoidance for Autonomous Vehicles
      - Least Squares Dynamics in Newton-Krylov Model Predictive Control
      - A Neuro-Adaptive Architecture for Extremum Seeking Control Using Hybrid Learning Dynamics
      - Robust POD Model Stabilization for the 3D Boussinesq Equations Based on Lyapunov Theory and Extremum Seeking
  •  NEWS   MERL's breakthrough speech separation technology featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Annual R&D Open House
    Date: May 24, 2017
    Where: Tokyo, Japan
    MERL Contacts: Bret Harsham; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Speech & Audio
    • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has created the world's first technology that separates in real time the simultaneous speech of multiple unknown speakers recorded with a single microphone. It's a key step towards building machines that can interact in noisy environments, in the same way that humans can have meaningful conversations in the presence of many other conversations. In tests, the simultaneous speeches of two and three people were separated with up to 90 and 80 percent accuracy, respectively. The novel technology, which was realized with Mitsubishi Electric's proprietary "Deep Clustering" method based on artificial intelligence (AI), is expected to contribute to more intelligible voice communications and more accurate automatic speech recognition. A characteristic feature of this approach is its versatility, in the sense that voices can be separated regardless of their language or the gender of the speakers. A live speech separation demonstration that took place on May 24 in Tokyo, Japan, was widely covered by the Japanese media, with reports by three of the main Japanese TV stations and multiple articles in print and online newspapers. The technology is based on recent research by MERL's Speech and Audio team.
      Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release
      MERL Deep Clustering Demo

      Media Coverage:

      Fuji TV, News, "Minna no Mirai" (Japanese)
      The Nikkei (Japanese)
      Nikkei Technology Online (Japanese)
      Sankei Biz (Japanese)
      EE Times Japan (Japanese)
      ITpro (Japanese)
      Nikkan Sports (Japanese)
      Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (Japanese)
      Dempa Shimbun (Japanese)
      Il Sole 24 Ore (Italian)
      IEEE Spectrum (English)
  •  NEWS   MERL organizes Workshop on Advanced Digital Transmitters at 2017 International Microwave Symposium
    Date: June 5, 2017
    Where: Honolulu, HI
    MERL Contacts: Rui Ma; Philip Orlik; Koon Hoo Teo
    Research Areas: Communications, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Signal Processing
    • MERL researcher Dr. Rui Ma, is organizing a Workshop in collaboration with Dr. SungWon Chung of the University of Southern California (USC) on advanced digital transmitters. This workshop overviews recent advances in digital-intensive wireless transmitter R&D for both base-stations and mobile devices. The focus will be on the digital signal processing techniques and related digital-intensive transmitter circuits and architectures for advanced modulation, linearization, spur cancellation, high efficiency encoding, and parallel processing. This workshop takes place on Monday, June 5th 2017 at International Microwave Week, in Honolulu, HI. In total, 8 technical presentations from world leading research groups will be given.

      Dr. Ma will present a talk titled, "Advanced Power Encoding and Non-Contiguous Multi-Band Digital Transmitter Architectures"
  •  NEWS   MERL researchers will present 5 papers at ICC2017 wireless communications conference
    Date: May 21, 2017 - May 25, 2017
    Where: IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC)
    MERL Contacts: Kyeong Jin (K.J.) Kim; Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Philip Orlik; Milutin Pajovic; Pu (Perry) Wang; Ye Wang
    Research Areas: Communications, Signal Processing
    • Five papers from the Wireless Comms team will be presented at ICC2017 to be held in Paris from 21-25 May 2017. The papers relate to channel estimation and adaptive transmission for mmWave, noncoherent MIMO, error correction coding, and video transmission.
  •  NEWS   MERL Researcher Tim Marks presents an invited talk at MIT Lincoln Laboratory
    Date: April 27, 2017
    Where: Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Research Areas: Machine Learning, Computer Vision
    • MERL researcher Tim K. Marks presented an invited talk as part of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory CORE Seminar Series on Biometrics. The talk was entitled "Robust Real-Time 2D Face Alignment and 3D Head Pose Estimation."

      Abstract: Head pose estimation and facial landmark localization are key technologies, with widespread application areas including biometrics and human-computer interfaces. This talk describes two different robust real-time face-processing methods, each using a different modality of input image. The first part of the talk describes our system for 3D head pose estimation and facial landmark localization using a commodity depth sensor. The method is based on a novel 3D Triangular Surface Patch (TSP) descriptor, which is viewpoint-invariant as well as robust to noise and to variations in the data resolution. This descriptor, combined with fast nearest-neighbor lookup and a joint voting scheme, enable our system to handle arbitrary head pose and significant occlusions. The second part of the talk describes our method for face alignment, which is the localization of a set of facial landmark points in a 2D image or video of a face. Face alignment is particularly challenging when there are large variations in pose (in-plane and out-of-plane rotations) and facial expression. To address this issue, we propose a cascade in which each stage consists of a Mixture of Invariant eXperts (MIX), where each expert learns a regression model that is specialized to a different subset of the joint space of pose and expressions. We also present a method to include deformation constraints within the discriminative alignment framework, which makes the algorithm more robust. Both our 3D head pose and 2D face alignment methods outperform the previous results on standard datasets. If permitted, I plan to end the talk with a live demonstration.