Julia B. Hirschberg

PERCY K. AND VIDA L. W. HUDSON PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND DEPARTMENT CHAIR

817 S.W. Mudd

Tel(212) 939-7114
Fax(212) 666-0140

Julia B. Hirschberg studies the prosody—intonation and melody—of speech, with the goal of teaching computers to understand subtle variations and reproduce them in natural-sounding speech. This involves understanding how prosody changes under different circumstances. Hirschberg established Columbia’s Spoken Language Processing Group.

Research Interests

Spoken language processing, Natural language processing, computational linguistics

Hirschberg has analyzed the prosody of charismatic and deceptive speech and developed a computer system that is more successful than humans at detecting lies. She studies entrainment— the tendency of people to mirror back the spoken mannerisms of those who are speaking to them—in voice-response systems. Hirschberg also does research on emotional speech, code-switching, and text-to-speech synthesis.

Hirschberg received a BA from Eckerd College in 1968 and a PhD in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. She also received a PhD in history from the University of Michigan in 1976. She holds five patents for text-to-speech synthesis and audio browsing/retrieval. She is a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the International Speech Communication Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is a founding fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics.  She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017.

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

  • AT&T Labs, Technology Leader, Human-Computer Interface Research Department, 2000-2003
  • AT&T Labs, Division Manager, Human-Computer Interface Research Department, 1996–2000
  • AT&T Bell Laboratories, Division Manager, Human-Computer Interface Research Department, 1994–1996
  • AT&T Bell Laboratories, Member of Technical Staff, Linguistics Research Department, 1985–1994

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, 2013–
  • Chair of Computer Ccience, Columbia University, 2012–
  • Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, 2002–
  • Smith College, Assistant Professor of History, 177-82.
  • Smith College, Instructor in History, 1974-77.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Founding fellow, Association for Computational Linguistics
  • Fellow, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, 1994
  • Fellow, International Speech Communication Association, 2008
  • Fellow, Association for Computing Machinery, 2016
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2017
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2017

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Elected to American Philosophical Society, 2014
  • James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award, IEEE, 2011
  • ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement, 2011
  • Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, 2009
  • Honorary doctorate, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2007

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • “Data Selection and Adaptation for Naturalness in HMM-based Speech Synthesis”
    Erica Cooper, Alison Chang, Yocheved Levitan and Julia Hirschberg. Interspeech 2016, September. San Francisco, CA.
  • “Babler - Data Collection from the Web to Support Speech Recognition and Keyword Search”
    Gideon Mendels, Erica Cooper and Julia Hirschberg. ACL WAC-X 2016, August. Berlin, Germany.
  • “Combining Acoustic-Prosodic, Lexical, and Phonotactic Features for Automatic Deception Detection,” Sarah Ita Levitan, Guozhen An, Min Ma, Rivka Levitan, Andrew Rosenberg and Julia Hirschberg. Interspeech 2016, September. San Francisco, CA.
  • 2015. J. Hirschberg and C. D. Manning, Advances in natural language processing, Science Magazine, 349(6):261-266.
  • “Acoustic-Prosodic Entrainment in Slovak, Spanish, English and Chinese: A Cross-Linguistic Comparison,” Rivka Levitan, Stefan Benus, Agustin Gravano and Julia Hirschberg. SIGDIAL 2015, September. Prague, Czech Republic.
  • 2011. Agustın Gravano and Julia Hirschberg, “Turn-taking cues in task-oriented dialogue,”
    Computer Speech and Language, 25(3):601-634