11-753 Advanced Speech Lab

11-753 is a 6-unit lab course, typically held in the spring semester. It is often held together with 11-783 Rich Interaction in Virtual Worlds. Students can register for one lab, or both labs at the same time. Both labs work well together with 11-751 Speech Recognition and Understanding. Time and place will be agreed upon between the instructor and students.


The technology to allow humans to communicate by speech with machines or by which machines can understand when humans communicate with each other is rapidly maturing. While the 11-751 speech course focussed on an introduction to the theoretical foundations, essential algorithms, major approaches, and strategies for current state-of-the-art systems, the 11-753 speech lab complements the education by concentrating on the experimental practice in developing speech recognition and understanding speech-based systems, and by getting hands-on experience on relevant research questions using state-of-the art tools. Possible problem sets include both core speech recognition technology, and the integration of speech-based components into multi-modal, semantic, learning, or otherwise complex systems and interfaces. 

Requirements & Milestones 

Literature survey and proposal

Each student will pick a topic, together with the instructor, and write a survey of the state of the art by the end of the third week. The student should identify and read relevant papers in the area he choses to work on. The survey should lead up to the planned work, which should include a statement of the objectives, the description of the approach, planned evaluation, the estimated significance of the research contribution and a set of milestones with planned deadlines. 

The lab course will essentially be self-paced, but a number of presentations and/ or tutorial sessions by the instructor and students will be scheduled at the start and end of the course. 


Proposed method(s) and algorithm(s) must be implemented and compared to baseline methods, if applicable. The lab requires exercising and demonstrating programming skills in conjunction with analytic skills. 

Documentation and presentation

At the end of the lab course:
  • write and submit a final report on your system and experiments;
  • submit the final version of your code with documentation; 
  • present your work to the instructor, and other students in the lab; 
Intermediate presentations might be scheduled as appropriate. 

Grading criteria

  • The originality of the idea, the rigor of the evaluation, and the significance of the findings to those reported by other students or in the literature.
  • The quality and quantity of the programming part, and appropriateness and clarity of the documentation, the quality of project planning 
  • How well the approach/ results are presented, both in written and oral form.