Faculty Directory

Espy-Wilson, Carol

Espy-Wilson, Carol

Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Institute for Systems Research
2221 A.V. Williams Bldg.

Carol Espy-Wilson is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. View or download Dr. Espy-Wilson's CV here.

Dr. Espy-Wilson received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.  She received her M.S., E.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, Dr. Espy-Wilson was a faculty member at Boston University.

Dr. Espy-Wilson's research is in speech communication. She combines knowledge of digital signal processing, speech science, linguistics, acoustic phonetics and machine learning to conduct interdisciplinary research in speech and speaker recognition, speech production, speech enhancement and single-channel speech segregation.  She also analyzes speech as a behavioral signal for emotion recognition, sentiment analysis and the detection and monitoring of mental health.

Her company, OmniSpeech, translated research in her lab on noise suppression and speech enhancement to technology that improves speech-enabled technology in any device, app or platform.

Dr. Espy-Wilson has authored or coauthored numerous papers in journals, conference proceedings and books. She is a Fellow of the International Speech Communication Association (ICSA) and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and a Senior Member of IEEE. She was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard 2008–2009. Among the other honors and awards she has received for her research contributions are the Clare Boothe Luce Professorship in 1990, the Independent Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health in 1998 and the Honda Initiation Award in 2003. She served as the chair of the Speech Technical Committee of the Acoustical Society of America (2007-2010) and as an Associate Editor of the ASA's magazine, Acoustics Today. She was a member of the National Advisory Board for Medical Rehabilitation at the National Institutes of Health. Currently, she is a member of the Advisory Council for the NIH National Institutes on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. In 2019 she chaired the NSF Speech for Robotics Workshop.

Honors, awards and special recognition
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (2021)
  • Editorial Board, Computer, Speech and Language (2021–)
  • Advisory Council, National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, NIH (2019-present)
  • University of Maryland Campus Woman of Influence (2020)
  • First African American woman, and first African American, in ECE to achieve tenure and be promoted to the rank of full professor (University of Maryland First to ADVANCE Program, 2019)
  • Jimmy Lin Award for Innovation (2018)
  • Fellow of the International Speech Communication Association (2018)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • Advisory Council, NIH National Institutes on Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (2015-2018) 
  • Institute for Systems Research Senior Faculty Fellow Award (2015-2017)  
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, University of Maryland (2012-2013)  
  • Advance Professor, University of Maryland (2011-2012)
  • Elected to the Speech and Language Technical Committee of IEEE (2010-2012) 
  • Invention of the Year Award, University of Maryland (2010)
  • Maryland Innovator of the Year Award, Baltimore Daily Record (2010)  
  • Grand Prize, Rockville Economic Development Inc. (REDI) StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition, 2010
  • $50,000 SAIC-VentureAccelerator Competition, 2010
  • University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition (High Technology & Social Impact), 2010
  • Invention of the Year (Information Science): OmniSpeech, 2010
  • Chair, Speech Communication Technical Committee, Acoustical Society of America (2007-2010)
  • Editorial Board, Acoustics Today, Acoustical Society of America (2007-2009)
  • Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2008)
  • Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (2005) 
  • Honda Initiation Award (2003) 
  • Honda Initiation Award (2004)  
  • Member, NIH Language and Communication Study Section (2001-2004)
  • NIH Career Award (1998-2003)
  • Clare Boothe Luce Professor (1990-1995)  




Integration of engineering, linguistics, speech science and machine learning to study speech communication and develop robust speech technologies. Digital signal process, speech science, speech enhancement and segregation, noise robust automatic speech recognition, assistive technologies.


  • ​C. Espy-Wilson, G. Sivaraman, M. Tiede, V. Mitra, E. Saltzmann, L. Goldstein, H. Nam (in press), “Modeling of Articulatory Gestures to Control Effects of Production Variability on Speech Technologies”. In Cangemi, Clayards, Niebuhr, Schupler & Zellers (eds). Rethinking Reduction, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2018.
  • Vikramjit Mitra, Ganesh Sivaraman, Hosung Nam, Carol Espy-Wilson, Elliot Saltzman, Mark Tiede, “Hybrid Convolutional Neural Networks For Articulatory And Acoustic Information Based Speech Recognition”, Speech Communication, Vol 89, Issue C, pp. 103-112, 2017.
  • V. Mitra, H. Nam, C. Espy-Wilson, E. Saltzman, and L. Goldstein, “Recognizing articulatory gestures from speech for robust speech recognition”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 131, no. 3, pp. 2270-2287, 2012.
  • X. Zhou, C. Espy-Wilson, S. Boyce, M. Tiede, Christy Holland and Ann Choe
  • “A magnetic resonance imaging-based articulatory and acoustic study of “retroflex” and “bunched” American English /r/ sounds”,  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 123, no. 6, pp. 4466-4481, 2008.
  • A. Juneja and Carol Espy-Wilson, “Probabilistic landmark detection for automatic speech recognition using acoustic-phonetic information”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 123, no. 2, pp. 1154-1168, 2008.
  • T. Pruthi,  C. Espy-Wilson and Brad Story, “Simulation and analysis of nasalized vowels based on MRI data”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 121,  no. 6, pp. 3858-3873, 2007.
  • O. Deshmukh, C. Espy-Wilson, L. Carney,  “Speech Enhancement using the Modified Phase Opponency Model”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 121,  no. 6, pp. 3886-3898, 2007
  • C. Y. Espy-Wilson, S. Boyce, M. Jackson, S. Narayanan and A. Alwan, “Acoustic Modeling of    American English /r/”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, pp. 343-356, 2000.
  • C. Y. Espy-Wilson, V. R. Chari, J. M. MacAuslan, C. B. Huang and M. J. Walsh “Enhancement of Electrolaryngeal Speech by Adaptive Filtering”, Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, vol. 41, no. 6, December,  pp. 1253-1264, 1998
  • F. Guenther, C. Espy-Wilson, S. Boyce, M. Matthies, M. Zandipour and J. Perkell  “Articulatory tradeoffs reduce acoustic variability during American English /r/ production”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 105, no. 5, pp. 2854-2865, 1999
  • C. Y. Espy-Wilson (1994) “A Feature-Based Semivowel Recognition System,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 96, no. 1, pp. 65-72, 1992
  • C. Y. Espy-Wilson, “Acoustic Measures for Linguistic Features Distinguishing the Semivowels /wjrl/ in American English,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 736-751, 1992.

Seven UMD Grand Challenges projects include ISR and MRC faculty

The $30 million program will accelerate innovative solutions to some of the world's most complex problems.

Maryland Engineers Awarded Grants to Address Humanity's Grand Challenges

Twelve projects led by or involving Maryland Engineering faculty have been awarded funding through the Grand Challenges Grants Program, the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind ever introduced at the University of Maryland.

Department Celebrates Achievements During Annual ‘Welcome Back’ Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Event recognizes outstanding achievements by students, staff and faculty.

Espy-Wilson is PI for NSF project to improve 'speech inversion' tool

Machine learning will improve a tool that uses speech recordings to identify speech-related medical issues.

Congratulations ISR Spring 2022 graduates!

We congratulate graduates at all levels who have ISR advisors!

Professor Espy-Wilson Named IEEE Fellow

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.

Frequent research collaborator Deanna Kelly named 'MPower Professor'

UMSOM Psychiatry professor has worked on mental health-related projects with Espy-Wilson, Ghodssi, Payne, among others.

Pamela Abshire is named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

She is one of six Clark School faculty honored at the university's annual convocation.

How tech can fill gaps in mental health care

$1.2M in NSF funding supports researchers’ work to connect patients, clinicians more effectively.

A new way to monitor mental health conditions

With machine learning, Carol Espy-Wilson is developing a phone app that can measure depression symptoms using speech and video cues.

Carol Espy-Wilson Receives Campus Woman of Influence Award

Espy-Wilson has served as a pioneer, role model and mentor, especially for African-American women in the sciences.

Report available from 2019 NSF Speech for Robotics Workshop

The workshop, chaired by Carol Espy-Wilson, identified key scientific and engineering advances needed to enable effective spoken language interaction with robotics.

UMD names Derek Paley as a 2020–2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

The program recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement along with equally outstanding accomplishments as teachers.

Clark School faculty 'AIM-HI' to address major health challenges

The new UMB-UMCP program has announced its first grants for projects combining AI and medicine.

Carol Espy-Wilson named 'Campus Woman of Influence'

The award recognizes women in the campus community who have made exemplary contributions to the improvement of the quality of women's lives.

Chakraborty, Seneviratne, and Zou Named Outstanding Graduate Assistants

The award recognizes the outstanding contributions that graduate assistants provide to students, faculty, departments, administrative units, and the university as a whole.

Carol Espy-Wilson Receives Faculty-Student Research Award

This award will fund research opportunities led by Espy-Wilson to support research into the detection and monitoring of depression from speech.

Espy-Wilson, Sivaraman research aims to improve speech inversion

Solutions could improve speech therapy, automatic speech recognition, language learning, depression detection.

Espy-Wilson Honored at UMD’s First to ADVANCE Celebration

Professor Carol Espy-Wilson is a trailblazer as the first African American woman, and African American, to receive tenure and be promoted to Full Professor in the ECE Department.

NSF funds Shamma, Espy-Wilson for neuromorphic and data-driven speech segregation research

The project will investigate how mimicking the brain's auditory processing can address AI signal processing challenges.

Five recipients of ISR Graduate Student Travel Award announced

Eight graduate students have received funding through the award since 2017.

Vishnubhotla, Espy-Wilson granted patent for improving speech extraction

The patent could improve automatic speech recognition systems, hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Espy-Wilson named International Speech Communication Association Fellow

Citation reads "for contributions to speech acoustic modelling, speech signal processing and applications to knowledge-driven speech recognition and speech enhancement."

Espy-Wilson's technology included in new Alcatel MOVE TIME smart watch

OmniSpeech 'OmniClear' software reduces dynamic noise in communication devices.

Salamanca-Riba Appointed 2017/2018 UMD ADVANCE Professor 

Dr. Salamanca-Riba will help facilitate opportunities for advancement among University faculty members, especially under-represented groups.

More than 175 attend national Denice Denton Emerging Leaders Workshop

Faculty development workshop helped mid-career STEM academics develop knowledge, skills, strategies and critical networks.

Sennur Ulukus named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Ulukus is the ninth ISR faculty member to be so honored.

Espy-Wilson Delivers Keynote Address for Stanford’s WISE Inspirations Network

A Stanford alumnus, Espy-Wilson, was invited to speak because she is leading the way for women in science and engineering.

Espy-Wilson Featured in MIT’s Tech Review

She was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering at MIT.

Elisabeth Smela named ADVANCE Professor

She joins the ranks of five other ISR faculty associated with the ADVANCE program.

Espy-Wilson named to NIH advisory council

She will serve on the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Espy-Wilson delivers plenary address at College Board conference

The ECE/ISR professor spoke on 'A Change Must Come: African Americans and STEM.'

Six ISR Ph.D. students selected as Future Faculty Fellows

Program prepares students for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools.

Engineering systems for mental health work by Espy-Wilson, Resnik, Vaughn-Cooke featured in Newsweek

Research on quantifiable indicators could result in mental health tracking app.

Reza Ghodssi named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Ghodssi is the eighth ISR faculty member to be so honored by the university.

OmniSpeech, Espy-Wilson mentioned on "Washington Business Report"

UM Ventures' Jim Hughes cites the startup company as a university entrepreneurial success.

OmniSpeech to Demonstrate Technology at 2014 CES International

Professor Carol Espy-Wilson's company, OmniSpeech, will debut its groundbreaking speech extraction technology at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

Clark Professors Honored as Top Women Professors in Maryland

Professors Espy-Wilson and Muro recognized by StateStats.org for excellence in and out of the classroom

ISR Alumni Symposium is rousing success

Full house for presentations, discussions of entrepreneurship.

Min Wu named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Wu is the seventh ISR faculty member to be so honored.

Carol Espy-Wilson is PI for multi-site NSF speech recognition grant

The researchers will develop a large-vocabulary speech recognition system based on articulatory information.

Espy-Wilson gives keynote address at University of Michigan

Special event honored first African-American woman to earn Ph.D. in physics.

Carol Espy-Wilson named 2012-2013 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

She is sixth ISR professor to be so honored.

MERIT-BIEN and TREND Fair Showcases Undergraduate Research

Students present their summer research accomplishments to judges at annual fair.

New issue of System Solutions available online

Highlights ISR 25th anniversary, new initiatives and more.

Cynthia Moss named ADVANCE professor

The ADVANCE program will provide support and opportunities for women faculty across the university.

Espy-Wilson named to NIH advisory board

Professor to be part of National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research.

Carol Espy-Wilson honored as Innovator of the Year

Maryland Daily Record honors her for invention that improves cell phone sound quality.

OmniSpeech Wins $50K SAIC-VentureAccelerator Competition

Novel technology to make speech clear for mobile phones, related communications.

Company Started by Professor Wins Women’s Business Plan Competition

Prof. Espy-Wilson's technology eliminates background noise in cell phones, speech communications.

Faculty Start-Up Wins Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Award

Created by Martin Peckerar & Neil Goldsman, FlexEl is developing flexible, thin-film, rechargeable batteries.

Mtech, Alumna-Run Companies Vie for State Awards

Five Clark School-affiliated companies named finalists for Incubator Company of the Year.

Grad student Daniel Garcia-Romero wins best paper award

Ph.D. student of Carol Espy-Wilson is honored at annual ASA meeting.

Espy-Wilson and Pruthi win in University's Business Plan Competition

Their Omnispeech LLC placed first in the "high technology" category.

ECE Grad Students Mitra and Zhang Awarded Wylie Fellowships

Vikramjit Mitra and Yufu Zhang were among a select group of UMD students to receive this prestigious fellowship.

Espy-Wilson, Rubloff win 'Invention of the Year' awards

Inventions could improve speech comprehension in noisy environments, battery capacity.

Espy-Wilson, Pruthi Among Business Plan Competition Finalists

Professor & alumnus will present a plan for a speech extraction technology for voice communications.

MERIT-BIEN Poster Wins Two Awards at NSF Program Meeting

Undergraduate summer research earns two awards for most interesting & technically challenging project.

Three ISR students are named ECE Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

Beyaz, Mitra and Varna honored for research excellence.

Espy-Wilson receives NSF grant for digital speech forensics

Professor will develop theories, methods and tools to identify and authenticate digital speech content.

Espy-Wilson Receives NIH Grant To Help Tongue Cancer Patients' Speech

Professor is Co-PI on new grant for research on tongue reconstruction and successful post-surgical speech.

Fourteen ISR-affiliated students receive Ph.D.s

Congratulations to our ISR-affiliated doctoral graduates!

Abshire and Espy-Wilson receive MIPS grants

Funding will help develop hand-held diagnostic instrument; advanced speech enhancement software.

Espy-Wilson Included in "Soul of Technology" Exhibit

Palo Alto exhibition features 50 most important African Americans in technology.

Espy-Wilson awarded NSF grant; subcontractor for Navy STTR grant

Research could aid people with cochlear implants; background noise suppression and anti-birdstrike systems.

Espy-Wilson appointed Radcliffe Fellow

ECE/ISR professor will be in residence at Harvard for 2008-2009 academic year.

Espy-Wilson receives NSF grant for robust speech recognition

Research will develop a system to automatically transcribe unrestricted conversational speech.

Carol Espy-Wilson promoted to full professor

Research integrates engineering, linguistics and speech science.

Grad student Tarun Pruthi wins ASA best student paper award

Topic is the automatic detection of vowel nasalization

Espy-Wilson named ASA Fellow

Contributions to speech, commmunication and mentoring recognized

Espy-Wilson receives NSF grant for speech recongnition

Research to investigate speech signal properties that persist even when identity is disguised

Grad student Om Deshmukh wins best poster award

Research was presented at Acoustical Society of America meeting

Shamma receives grant from Honda for robotics work

Funding will support research on auditory scene analysis

Espy-Wilson receives Honda Initiation grant

Research to focus on Probabilistic Framework for Acoustic-Phonetic Knowledge Based Continuous Speech Recognition.

Carol Espy-Wilson receives NSF grant for acoustic-phonetic knowledge and speech recognition.

April 2003—Project will develop a robust automatic speech recognition system.

Espy-Wilson receives NIH grant for vocal tract acoustics

Research will develop comprehensive acoustic models of interspeaker differences in vocal tract configuration.

International Speech Communication Association

  • Fellow, 2018

Acoustical Society of America

  • Fellow, 2005

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)