Baltimore broadcast pioneer JULIAN SINCLAIR SMITH received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1952. While a student, Mr. Smith worked as an engineer at WFBR-AM, one of Baltimore’s leading radio stations at the time. In 1958, he applied for his first FM radio station license, recognizing the impact FM broadcasting and its clear signal would have on commercial radio operations. His classical music station, WFMM-FM (93.1), went on the air two years later. He built the station’s control panels himself, on the dining room table in his parents’ home.
He became interested in the budding ultrahigh frequency (UHF) technology in the early 1960s. Convinced that there were other markets beyond the one already served by CBS, NBC, and ABC, Mr. Smith waited five years before being granted the license and launched WBFF-TV, now known as Fox-45, in 1971.
Mr. Smith, along with his wife, Carolyn, and sons, David, Fred, Duncan, and Rob, founded the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. in 1971. Today, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Sinclair owns and operates programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets. Sinclair's television group reaches approximately 26.3% of U.S. television households and includes FOX, ABC, MyTV, CW, CBS, NBC, MTN, and Azteca affiliates.
Julian S. Smith died in 1993 at the age of 72. The Smith family established the Julian S. Smith Endowed Professorship in Electrical Engineering in 1996 to honor and celebrate his lifelong achievements.
HYNEK HERMANSKY was born in former Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) where he started his professional career as an apprentice for repairs of radios and other electric appliances. He graduated with a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the Brno University of Technology in 1972. He went on to receive a Japanese government scholarship to the University of Tokyo and earned his doctorate in 1983. His doctoral work was supervised by one of the country’s most eminent scholars in the field, Professor Hiroya Fujisaki.
His first speech research position was with Panasonic Technologies, followed by a position with the US WEST Advanced Technologies. After two industrial research positions, he was invited to join the faculty of the Oregon Graduate Institute and eventually become the director of the Center for Information Technology. Dr. Hermansky returned to Europe for several years as the director of research at the Idiap Research Institute and the Titular Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. However, the opportunity to join the team of late Professor Frederick Jelinek at The Johns Hopkins University brought him back to the United States where he is currently a professor and director of the Center for Language and Speech Processing at the Whiting School of Engineering.
Dr. Hermansky’s main research interests are in bio-inspired speech processing. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Speech Communication Association. His speech processing techniques such as Perceptual Linear Prediction, RASTA spectral filtering, multi-stream speech information processing or data-driven discriminative Tandem technique are widely used in research and industry applications worldwide. Dr. Hermansky holds nine U.S. patents and authored or co-authored over 200 papers in reviewed journals and conference proceedings.