Friday, January 28, 2011


We asked all the presenters to be available at 8:15 a.m., 15 min. before the actual class starts. This was the 4th Week of the Signals & Systems Course. The task was to develop a real-time voice based gender recognition system as a part of mini student projects. We had 12 systems ready for demo, 2 from girl students and 10 from boys - a ratio in favour of the girls compared to their presence in the class. Since it was a gender recognition system, I am trying to give a gender based performance stat. too. Hope to generate some competitive spirit!

We decided to put the same set of boys and girls for trial of each prototype. Since these were laptop based systems, its screen was made visible in a large screen format for the entire class of 90 students. What followed was a great experience! Six of the twelve systems got it 100 percent correct. Each time the developer got huge applause from fellow students. Whenever there was a failure, out came an 'Ohh!' from the class as if one Indian batsman got out in a crucial moment of a cricket match. The developers and the rest of the class as audience, all deserve appreciation. (pics of this great class of Signals & Systems ECE 2011 is attached : addition of a new pic at top - why should great ECE batch of 1990 be missed! I am somewhere there. This completes all characters of yesterday's class, me included and as a student like others...but who among that group of 29?)

There were moments of fun, too. Gopich... was getting frustrated when few consecutive trials in not-fully-perfect systems detected him as 'female'. Then he started submitting phrases like "I am male" or "Cheeka-Cheeeka". The prosody of Debolee...'s speech on some occasions (Hi [Developer], I am ..) was such that the developer would have not written another piece of code, if the system erred (I am joking!). Quite a few systems failed to recognize Pava... as human being, something developers decided to put as an output if input is anything but speech!!!

As a whole, it was a nice experience. For the statisticians, both the demo from girl students were 100 percent correct while 4 of the 10 demo from boys came unscathed. Does the same persist in other fields too? There is something positive for boys here, more number of them dared to come forward and subjected their systems (themselves ?) to trial which always had a probability of failure.

Never mind failures. It is important to make attempts and also to learn how to handle failures, if it is there. Fear of failure is something which needs to be overcome.

Level 2 description of the system level development task has been published. (i)To make this system robust against noise. For applications like gender based suggestion of content, one may not experience any attack. However, applications like automated voice based toilet (male / female) door lock system one has to consider impostor attacks (male trying to speak like female). (ii)Speech recognition based real-time application (limited vocabulary). Deadline is extended to 10th Feb. as asked by the students.

Took the opportunity to make a quick 5 min. presentation on IP generation, patent search, patent filing, patent defence. Gave one demo of a patent defence from our research group. This we had presented before experts the previous day and the PPT was at my desktop along with lecture slides. Wished that the students who have completed only 1.5 year here and 2.5 year (4-year program) / 3.5 year (5-year program) to go, can have some innovations in their portfolio when they leave IIT kharagpur.

Waiting for another round of fun-filled demo session and expect wider participation that time with larger number of students coming to the front as developers. Meanwhile theory, application, tutorial, MATLAB .... will continue.

1 comment:

shivakumar said...