Nancy F. Chen received her Ph.D. from MIT and Harvard in 2011. She worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory on her Ph.D. research in multilingual speech processing. She is currently leading research efforts in conversational AI and natural language generation with applications related to education, healthcare, journalism, and defense at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology, and Research), Singapore. Speech evaluation technology developed by her team is deployed at the Ministry of Education in Singapore to support home-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Chen also led a cross-continent team for low-resource spoken language processing, which was one of the top performers in the NIST Open Keyword Search Evaluations (2013-2016), funded by the IARPA Babel program.
Dr Chen has received numerous awards, including Singapore 100 Women in Tech (2021), Young Scientist Award at MICCAI 2021, Best Paper Award at SIGDIAL 2021, the 2020 P&G Connect + Develop Open Innovation Award, the 2019 L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science National Fellowship, Best Paper at APSIPA ASC (2016), MOE Outstanding Mentor Award (2012), the Microsoft-sponsored IEEE Spoken Language Processing Grant (2011), and the NIH (National Institute of Health) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Award (2004-2008).
Dr Chen is program chair of ICLR (International Conference on Learning Representations) 2023, ISCA (International Speech Communication Association) Board Member (2021-2025), a senior IEEE member, an elected member of the IEEE Speech and Language Technical Committee (2016-2018, 2019-2021), senior area editor of Signal Processing Letters (2021-2022), associate editors of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing (2020-2023), Neurocomputing (2020-2021), Computer Speech and Language (2021- present) and IEEE Signal Processing Letters (2019-2021) and was the guest editor for the special issue of “End-to-End Speech and Language Processing” in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing (2017).
In addition to her academic endeavors, technology from her team has also resulted in spin-off companies such as nomopai to help engage customers with confidence and empathy. Dr Chen has also consulted for various companies ranging from startups to multinational corporations in the areas of climate change (social impact startup normal), emotional intelligence (Cogito Health), EdTech (Novo Learning), speech recognition (Vlingo, acquired by Nuance), and defense and aerospace (BAE Systems).