Tag Archives: Speech and language

Celebrating Fresh Thinking – Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Mathieu Sellier and Professor Greg O’Beirne in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date :    Thursday, 5 September, from 4.30 – 6.30pm

Venue: E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

‘Moving the boundaries of fluid mechanics’  – Presented by Professor Mathieu Sellier

Abstract: Many flows encountered in our daily lives involve a moving boundary. The shape of a raindrop, for example, evolves as it falls through the air. Likewise, the free surface of a river deforms as it encounters obstacles. While the mathematical ingredients required to describe such flows have been known since the late 19th century and are encapsulated in the infamous Navier-Stokes equations, solving complex flows with a moving boundary or interface still poses significant challenges and provides stimulating cross-disciplinary research opportunities. The question at the centre of the research I will present is “if information about the evolution of a moving interface is available, can we indirectly infer unknown properties of the flow?” Such a question falls in the realm of inverse problems for which one knows the effect but is looking for the cause. Specifically, I will talk about how it is possible to estimate the fluid properties of lava just by looking at how it flows or what is the best way to rotate a pan to cook the perfect crêpe.

‘Speech, noise, and the Matrix’ – Presented by Professor Greg A. O’Beirne

People with hearing impairment or auditory processing problems find it harder than most to understand speech in background noise, or when parts of the speech signal are missing or distorted. Despite this, most hearing tests still present either pure tones or single words in quiet, and usually use expensive equipment to do it. 

To overcome these shortcomings and better assess the ability to communicate in challenging acoustic environments, my lab has produced a number of innovative adaptive tests of speech intelligibility and auditory processing. These include i) the UCAST-FW – a filtered word test for the diagnosis of auditory processing disorder; ii) internet-based Digit Triplet Tests to screen for sensorineural hearing loss in New Zealand English, Te Reo Māori, and Malay; and iii) the University of Canterbury Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test – a speech-in-noise test in New Zealand English and Malay that allows rapid testing of adults and school-age children, including their ability to use visual cues to supplement the auditory signal.

I’ll discuss how permanent hearing impairment reduces speech clarity even when sounds are audible, and how the testing platform we’ve developed provides an integrated set of tools for improving hearing screening and speech testing in New Zealand, Australia, and south-east Asia.