2016 Technical Excellence Award Recipients

Dr. Douglas A. Reynolds

For outstanding, original, and sustained technical contributions in automatic speaker recognition, and for his internationally recognized leadership in the application of human language technology to challenging information-extraction problems.

Dr. Douglas A. Reynolds, Senior Staff in the Human Language Technology (HLT) Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, provides technical oversight of programs in speaker and language recognition and speech-content-based information retrieval. He and his group focus on research, development, evaluation, and transfer of HLT to address needs within the U.S. intelligence, law-enforcement, and defense communities

In 1992, after earning a doctorate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Reynolds joined Lincoln Laboratory and continued refining his thesis research on using Gaussian mixture models (GMMs) for automatically recognizing speakers, languages, and dialects from speech. The GMM recognition techniques he developed became the standard used in many industry and government systems and form the basis of modern subspace "i-vector" algorithms. Speaker and language recognition systems developed by Dr. Reynolds and his team to utilize GMMs and other machine learning techniques have routinely achieved top ranking at international evaluations run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His GMM technology has been transferred to U.S. government sponsors and licensed to industry. During 1997 and 1998, he participated in an Intergovernmental Personnel Act tour at the National Security Agency to assist with technology transfer and to develop deep understanding of the sponsor's data and operations.

Dr. Reynolds has authored or coauthored more than 100 publications and has taught highly regarded classes on speech science, speaker/language recognition, and speech technology evaluations. He has mentored candidates for master's and doctoral degrees, and he continues to collaborate with academic partners at MIT and Johns Hopkins University.

In 2001, Dr. Reynolds started the Odyssey Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop series, the premiere conference in this field. He was a member of the NATO Speech Technical Advisory Group and is currently a Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the IEEE Speech and Language Technology Committee, and a technical reviewer for many conferences and journals.

Dr. Daniel J. Ripin

For his strong technical contributions to the development and demonstration of critical
laser technology, and for sustained leadership and innovation in building the nation’s foremost high-energy laser technology development enterprise.

Dr. Daniel J. Ripin is the Leader of the Laser Technology and Applications Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He has responsibility for research and development of advanced laser technology, beam combining, high-energy-laser systems, and optical sensing technology. Currently, he directs the development of high-energy lasers small enough
to field on a variety of military platforms. This effort, based on optical phased arrays of fiber-optic lasers, has set numerous world records for laser brightness.

Under Dr. Ripin's leadership, Lincoln Laboratory is innovating in all aspects of laser systems—power and thermal engineering, beam control, laser effects, and systems analysis. He also oversees his group's research and development of pulsed lasers
for remote sensing, blue-green lasers for undersea sensing and communications, quantum cascade lasers for infrared spectroscopy, and advanced semiconductor lasers.

Early in his career at the Laboratory, Dr. Ripin led an experimental effort to scale the power of a novel cryogenically cooled laser capable of efficiently generating pulsed light with ideal beam quality. This successful demonstration spawned two efforts: one to build a flight-worthy version of the laser for the Missile Defense Agency's Airborne Laser program and a follow-on to push the performance of the technology by another order of magnitude. Dr. Ripin led a large multidisciplinary team to build the packaged version, which met all technical objectives.

Dr. Ripin has coauthored more than 25 peer-reviewed papers and has been awarded multiple patents. From 2009 to 2011, he served as chair of the solid-state laser subcommittee for the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics. In 2010, he was a selected as a participant in the National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. He served on the Laboratory's New Technology Initiatives Board and currently manages the Advanced Devices Line panel, which supports the Laboratory's early-stage research on imagers, photonics, lasers, microsystems, and advanced electronic devices. Dr. Ripin received a bachelor's degree in physics from Emory University and a doctorate in physics from MIT.

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