Jont Allen

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jont  Allen
Jont Allen
Associate Professor
2061 Beckman Institute MC 251
405 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801

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

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)

Courses Taught