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Contact Info

William H. Sanders
Department Head
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: (217) 333-2300
Fax: (217) 244-7075

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Jont Allen

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jont  Allen
Jont Allen
Associate Professor
2061 Beckman Institute MC 251
405 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 369-7711

Primary Research Area

  • Biomedical Imaging, Bioengineering, and Acoustics


Ph.D., The University of Pennsylvania, Electrical Engineering, 1970

For more information

Research Interests

  • Music perception
  • Musical Acoustics (guitars, fiddles, some wind instruments)
  • Evanescent wave propagation in horns
  • Transducer physics and modeling (Loudspeakers)
  • Wave propagation in inhomogeneous media. Acoustic horns.
  • Models of the outer hair cells of the cochlea. Biophysical model of hair cell membrane mechanical properties, as a function of membrane voltage. (with paul Fahey, Univ. Scranton, physics dept.)
  • Modeling the middle ear in the time domain, with wave models. How does the eardrum transform the acoustic energy and funnel it into the cochlea?
  • Robust human speech recognition
  • Human speech recognition: Reverse engineering, measuring and modeling speech cues used by the human auditory system, when recognizing speech in large amounts of noise and with filtering; Articulation index; confusion matricies; information processing by the auditory system with speech as the signal;
  • Speech and music coding
  • Articulation index modeling of confusion matrix measurements, of consonant vowel sounds, in noise
  • Speech processing for hearing aid applications: Special signal processing techniques for removing reverberation and noise; multiband compression for loudness recruitment abatement;
  • Auditory psychophysics: Intensity just noticable difference (JND), speech psychophysics; confusion matricies; information processing by the auditory system
  • Noninvasive diagnostic testing of the cochlear and middle ear: Otoacoustic emissions measured in the ear canal; noninvasive diagnositcs; distortion product measurements; SFOAE; impedance; power reflectance of the ear canal;
  • Cochlear modeling: Mathematical models of cochlear function, including basilar membrane motion, biophysical models of outer hair cells; models of the micromechanics, including the tectorial membrane and cilia motions.

Research Areas

  • Acoustics
  • Analog integrated circuits
  • Antennas for communication and wireless sensing
  • Biomedical Imaging, Bioengineering, and Acoustics
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Microwave devices and circuits
  • Nonlinear systems and control
  • Radio and optical wave propagation
  • Speech processing
  • Speech processing
  • Speech recognition and processing

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

Allen, J. B. (2005); "Articulation and Intelligibility," Morgan and Claypool Inc., LaPorte, CO 80535 Peer reviewed monograph, ISBN: 1598290088; 130 pages of original material including literature survey back to 1900 of speech perception work, and a model of how the auditory system processes speech.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Riya Singh and Jont Allen (2012); "Sources of stop consonant errors in low-noise environments," JASA, 131(4), Apr, p. 3051-3068.
  • Yoon, Y., Allen, J.B. and Gooler, D. (2012). Relationship between Consonant Recognition in Noise and Hearing Threshold, J. of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0239), April 2012.
  • Daniel Rasetshwane, Stephen Neely, Jont Allen, and Christopher Shera (2012); "Reflectance of acoustic horns and solution of the inverse problem"; Jol Acoust. Soc. Am, Vol 131(3) March, pp 1836-1873
  • Feipeng Li and Jont B. Allen. (2011) Manipulation of Consonants in Natural Speech; IEEE Trans. Audio, Speech and Language processing, (officially published: Jul, 2010; Appearance date: Mar 2011) pp. 496-504.
  • Kapoor, Abhinauv and Allen, Jont B. (2012) "Perceptual Effects of Plosive Feature Modification," JASA v131(1) Jan. pp 478–491 (2012)
  • Lobdell, Bryce, Allen, Jont and Hasawaga-Jonhson, Mark (2011) Intelligibility predictors and neural representation of speech, Speech communication 53, pp. 185-194
  • Allen, JB and Jeng, PJ (May 11, 2010) "System and method for automatically adjusting hearing aid based on acoustic reflectance" US Patent 7,715,577
  • Weece, R. and Allen, J. B., "A clinical method for calibration of bone conduction transducers to measure the mastoid impedance," Hearing Research, 263:216--223 (2010)
  • Parent, Pierre and Allen, Jont; "Wave model of the human tympanic membrane," (2010) Hearing Research 263:152--167;
  • Li, Feipeng and Menon, Anjali and Allen, Jont B., A psychoacoustic method to find the perceptual cues of stop consonants in natural speech J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Apr 127(4) pp 2599-2610, (2010).
  • Withnell, R.H. and Parent, P. and Jeng, PS and Jont, J.B. Using wideband reflectance to measure the impedance of the middle ear. The Hearing Journal, (2009), 62(10), pp 36-41.
  • Feipeng Li and Jont Allen. Speech perception and cochlear signal processing. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 26(4), pp 73-77 July 2009.
  • Feipeng Li and Jont B. Allen. Additivity law of frequency integration for consonant identification in white noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 126(1) pp 347-353, Aug 2009
  • Travino, A, Colemann, T., Allen, J. "A Dynamical Point Process Model of Auditory Nerve Spiking in Response to Complex Sounds," Journal of Computational Neuroscience, Springer, March 2009.
  • S. A. Phatak, Y. Yoon, D. M. Gooler, and J. B. Allen. Consonant loss profiles for hearing impaired listeners. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 126(5), pp 2683-2694, Nov. 2009.
  • RH Withnell, PS Jeng, Kelly Waldvogel, Kari Morgenstein, and Jont B. Allen. An in-situ calibration for hearing thresholds. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 125(3), 1605-11, March (2009).
  • PS Jeng, Jont Allen, JA Miller, and Harry Levitt., "Wideband power reflectance and power transmittance as tools for assessing middle-ear function," Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, 18(2):44-57, 2008. ASHA Journal, (
  • S. Phatak, Andrew Lovitt, and Jont B. Allen., "Consonant confusions in white noise," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 124(2):1220-33, 2008.
  • Marion S. Regnier and Jont B. Allen., "A method to identify noise-robust perceptual features: application for consonant /t/." J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 123(5):2801- 2814, 2008.
  • Phatak, S. and Allen, J.B., "Consonant and vowel confusions in speech-weighted noise," J. of the Acoust. Soc. Am., 121(4):2312-26, April 2007.
  • Sen, D. and Allen, Jont B., "Functionality of cochlear micromechanics--as elucidated by the upward spread of masking and two tone suppression," Acoustics Australia, 34, 43-51, 2006.
  • Allen, Jont B. and Jeng, Patricia S. and Levitt, Harry, "Evaluating Human Middle Ear Function via an Acoustic Power Assessment," Jol. of Rehabil. Res. Dev.,Jul vol 42(4), pp 63-78 (2005).
  • J. B. Allen, "Harvey Fletcher's role in the creation of communication acoustics," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 99, no. 4, pp. 1825-1839, April 1996.
  • J. B. Allen, "How do humans process and recognize speech?," IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 567-577, October 1994.
  • J. B. Allen and P. F. Fahey, "Using acoustic distortion products to measure the cochlear amplifier gain on the basilar membrane," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 92, no. 1, pp. 178-188, July 1992.
  • S. Puria and J. B. Allen, "A parametric study of cochlear input impedance," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 1, no. 89, pp. 287-309, January 1991.
  • J. B. Allen and M. M. Sondhi, Cochlear macromechanics: Time-domain solutions, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 120-132, July 1979.
  • J. B. Allen and D. A. Berkley, "Image method for efficiently simulating small-room acoustics," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 65, pp. 943-950, 1979.
  • S. T. Neely and J. B. Allen, "Invertability of a room impulse response," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 66, pp. 165-169, 1979.
  • J. B. Allen and L. R. Rabiner, "A unified approach to short-time Fourier analysis, synthesis," Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 1558-1564, November 1977.
  • J. B. Allen. "Cochlear micromechanics - A mechanism for transforming mechanical to neural tuning within the cochlea," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol 62, pp. 930-939, 1977.
  • J. B. Allen, "Short-time spectral analysis, synthesis, with modifications, by discrete Fourier transform," IEEE Transactions on Acoustical Speech and Signal Processing, vol. 25, pp. 235-238, 1977.
  • J. B. Allen, "On the aging of steel guitar strings," Catgut Acoustical Society Newsletter, 1976.

Professional Societies

  • Member of the editorial board of: EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech and Music Processing  
  • IEEE speech and language techincal committee (SLTC) representative in Speech Perception (2004-present)
  • Acoustical Soc. of Am.: Active member on Publication Policy (2003-present)
  • Acoustical Soc. of Am : Active member of Archives and History committee (2004-present)
  • ICASSP General chair 1988 New York City


  • Life-time IEEE Fellow (2009)
  • Phonak Faculty Award (2007, 2008)
  • Visiting Professor Kings College of London, Aug. 2007.
  • IBM Faculty Award (2005)
  • IEEE Third Millennium Award (2000)
  • SoundID Scientific Advisory Board (California 1995-2000)
  • 1991, International Distinguished Lecturer for the Signal Processing Society
  • 1990 Osher Fellow, Exploratorium Museum San Francisco
  • 1986-1995 Resound Hearing Aid Scientific Advisory Board member (ReSound was the first company to introduce wide dynamic range multiband compression into the hearing aid market)
  • 1986, IEEE Acoust., Speech, Signal Processing (ASSP) Meritorious Service Award
  • 1985, Fellow, IEEE
  • 1981, Fellow, Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

Teaching Honors

IEEE International Distinguished Lecturer for the Signal Processing Society (1991)

Research Honors

International Symposium on Middle ear Mechanics in Research and Otology (MEMRO); Kyungpook National University (June 28, 2012)

Public Service Honors

IEEE ASSP Society Award 1986 (1983-1985)