From Sound to Sense: 50+ Years of Discoveries in Speech Communication :: Friday, June 11-Sunday, June 13, 2004 at MIT :: Conference Proceedings
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Saturday Night Celebratory Banquet

Ken StevensThe Honoree
The Scientific Program of the Conference reviews over 50 years of work from a broad range of scientists and showcases current research in a forum designed to facilitate communication across six subdisciplines of Speech Communication. The Banquet celebrates the contributions of one particular scientist who, in the last 50 years, has himself made significant contributions in all of the featured subdisciplines.

Kenneth Noble Stevens is a pioneer in the scientific study of Speech Communication. He has been and is one of the leaders in the area of speech acoustics, and along with others has developed or refined models of the acoustic consequences of vocal tract configurations. He has made numerous significant contributions to the study of motor speech production, speech perception, speech synthesis, automatic speech recognition, and speech and hearing disorders. Ken is perhaps best known for development of the Quantal Theory of Speech Production and for incorporating the linguistic concept of Distinctive Features into approaches to the study of speech production and speech perception. Some of Ken’s most personal distinctive features include his depth of commitment and the time he devotes to students and colleagues (at MIT and around the world). Ken is passionate about speech, and is eager to help others learn about it as well as to learn about speech from others. His own work reflects influences from established and nascent scholars in linguistics, psychology, speech pathology, engineering, and computer science.

Ken is admired and loved by his students and colleagues for his generous spirit and modest demeanor, and occasionally teased about his modest wardrobe (new jeans, old jeans, and for dress occasions, new chinos, old chinos). He is adored by his family, and often spends the early evening playing hide-n-seek with his 5-year old daughter Kendra and talking with his four grown children on the phone. Later in the evening, after working on student papers, preparing class, revising grant proposals, preparing manuscripts (all on the same night), Ken might dream of just how he is going to make that trip to the one continent he hasn’t yet visited.

The Banquet
An evening of festivities is planned for Saturday night, June 12, 2004. The main event is a New England-style Clam bake (including our local favorite – lobster!) on Thompson Island. Thompson Island is a beautiful National Park in the Boston Harbor, and there will be time before dinner to enjoy the trails, play volleyball, and have a drink with friends. Dress is casual.

4:00 – 4:15 Board busses
4:15 – 5:00 Ride busses to Long Wharf
5:00 – 5:30 Boat ride to Thompson Island
5:30 – 9:30 Banquet
5:30 – 7:00 Pre-Dinner Hiking/Sports/Refreshments & Chowder
7:00 Buffet dinner & program (The main focus of the program is an open-mic for your comments). Plan to arrive back at your lodging between 10:30 and 11:00 PM.

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