Nelson Morgan is the former Director of the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), an independent not-for profit research laboratory that is closely affiliated with UC Berkeley. He also led the Speech Group at ICSI from 1988 to 2013. He is a Professor-in-residence Emeritus in the EECS Department at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. as an NSF Fellow in 1980. He has been working on problems in signal processing and pattern recognition since 1974, with a primary emphasis on speech processing. He is a former Editor-in-chief of Speech Communication, and has been a member of the IEEE Speech Technical Committee, the IEEE Neural Networks Committee, and the ISCA Advisory Council. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE and of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). In 1997, he received the Signal Processing Magazine best paper award. Together with collaborator Herve Bourlard he has been awarded the 2022 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award "For contributions to neural networks for statistical speech recognition." This work included the development of the hybrid system approach to speech recognition, which uses neural networks probabilistically with Hidden Markov Models (HMMs).

He was the Principal Investigator for the multi-site coalition, funded by the DARPA EARS Novel Approaches project, which was the 2002-5 U.S. government program focusing on long-term progress in speech recognition.

Professor Morgan has over 200 publications, including three books; his most recent book is a text (written jointly with Ben Gold, and more recently its second edition with Dan Ellis) on speech and audio signal processing. He holds a number of patents in speech processing methods, including one that is currently being used in millions of CDMA cell phones. His research interests include the redesign from first principles of the primary signal processing used in speech recognition systems and the use of neural networks for the design of these new features. He is also now working on a wholly unrelated project to find structural and technological means to reduce the political influence of large campaign contributions.

Professor Morgan was for many years on the Board of Trustees of ICSI and Sensory, Inc.'s Advisory Board. He has previously been on many others, including the Board of Trustees of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and the Speech Communication Editorial Board; .


  • 1980, PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications

Awards, Memberships and Fellowships