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Dennis Klatt Memorial Fund

Supports the Speech Science Research Grant 

Dr. Dennis H. Klatt Dr. Dennis H. Klatt was a noted researcher in speech and hearing science whose research led to contributions to the science and technology of speech recognition by machine. He sought a balanced combination of fundamental research into the mechanisms of human speech production and perception and applied research leading to practical devices, and had a continuing interest in the problem of how speech is processed in the auditory system and central nervous system of human listeners.

Dr. Klatt developed a flexible computer-based synthesizer used to generate sounds in basic studies of human speech perception, which later evolved into a complete system for synthesis of speech from English texts. His work was adapted for commercial applications by Digital Equipment Corporation as DECtalk. An author of more than 60 scientific papers, Dr. Klatt was working on a book at the time of his death.

Dr. Klatt's undergraduate and graduate studies were in electrical engineering at Purdue University. In 1964, he completed his doctorate with Gordon Peterson in the communication sciences program at the University of Michigan with a thesis entitled "Theories of Aural Physiology."

He spent most of his professional career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a senior research scientist in the department of electrical engineering and computer science and in the research laboratory of electronics. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and in 1987 was awarded the society's prestigious Silver Medal in Speech Communication for "fundamental and applied contributions to the synthesis and recognition of speech." In 1989, the Klatt Memorial Fund was established by the ASHFoundation and the Acoustical Society of America to recognize the impact of Dr. Klatt's work.

He died December 30, 1988, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after a long struggle with cancer.

View past recipients of the Speech Science Research Grant.

The ASHFoundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. All contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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