Donald Williamson (left) and Luyi Xing
A pair of professors at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering have been awarded grants from Indiana University’s Faculty Research Support Program to further their research in technology for people with hearing impairments and improving the Internet of Things.
Assistant Professor Donald Williamson and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Luyi Xing were among a trio of IU researchers to earn the grants, which support new research projects that have not been previously submitted for external funding from federal, state, international, or private entities but are targeted for submission to a specific external agency and whose likelihood of funding on submission would increase with the acquisition of data or proof of concept.
Williamson’s work, a collaboration with Assistant Professor Yi Shen in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, aims to improve and enhance speech for individuals with hearing impairments by leveraging an unexplored component of an audio signal called the “intrasignal phase.” The effort could allow users to better hear in noisy, crowded environments and improve the overall speech enhancement provided by the hearing aid.
“I’m extremely grateful to receive this grant as it will allow me to begin much-needed work on an important problem,” Williamson said. “Intrasignal phase has largely been an ignored component of speech enhancement, but recent efforts have shown that it is important in terms of quality for individuals with normal hearing. Individuals who wear hearing aids often complain about the lack of sound quality and remove hearing aids because of it. Studying intrasignal phase can help lead to better speech enhancement algorithms that improve sound quality for individuals with hearing impairments.”
Xing’s research focuses on security risks associated with cloud communications by the internet of things. Major IoT Cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others, currently use a protocol for cloud computing that isn’t designed for the IoT, and it has left the IoT Cloud open for attack. Xing will conduct a systematic study of IoT communication and plans to model different IoT Cloud providers in their process of authentication and authorization with an eye on identifying security properties that must be in place to achieve desired security goals.
“This is my first grant as a junior faculty member,” Xing said. “I really appreciate the reviewers’ comments, which provided strong encouragement for me to develop this project and request external funding.”
Williamson joined SICE in 2016, while Xing came to the school in 2018.
“We’re thrilled to have our junior faculty selected for such a competitive award,” said Kay Connelly, the associate dean for research at SICE. “For years, SICE faculty have been making an impact on the real-world problems people face every day, from technology security to health and wellness. Donald and Luyi continue in that tradition.