Mauro Nicolao

Mauro Nicolao

Mauro Nicolao

Past Members, Researchers

I am a research associate at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Sheffield.

My interests concern several aspects of speech analysis and modelling techniques. I am the main researcher in the homeService project of the NST network, which aims to use the state-of-the-art speech technologies to help people with disabilities to function their house (e.g. lamps, television, etc.). I worked in collaboration with ITSLanguage on a Computer Assistive Language Learning (CALL) project to evaluate learner’s speech proficiency and help him to improve his production.

I was awarded with a Masters degree in Telecommunication Engineering by University of Padova in 2005.
For the following four years, I joined the Italian National Council of Research (CNR) and I was involved in several projects: a) the development of an expressive speech synthesiser for the Italian language; b) a speech recogniser for Italian children speech; c) a preliminary project to develop a multilingual (Arabic, Italian, English) ASR in collaboration with Expert System Spa.
In 2010, I started to work as early-stage researcher at the University of Sheffield for 3 years funded by the Marie Curie European network SCALE.
During this time, I developed a computational model, named C2H. It consists of a reactive speech synthesiser able mimic the human speech modifications that happen when the communication is affected by environmental disturbance.

More information can be found at my personal website.



Mauro Nicolao; Michiel Sanders; Thomas Hain: Improved Acoustic Modelling for Automatic Literacy Assessment of Children. In: Yegnanarayana, B. (Ed.): Interspeech 2018, 19th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, Hyderabad, India, 2-6 September 2018, pp. 1666–1670, ISCA, 2018. (Type: Proceedings Article | Links)


Raymond W. M. Ng; Mauro Nicolao; Thomas Hain: Unsupervised crosslingual adaptation of tokenisers for spoken language recognition. In: Comput. Speech Lang., vol. 46, pp. 327–342, 2017. (Type: Journal Article | Links)


Raymond W. M. Ng; Mauro Nicolao; Oscar Saz; Madina Hasan; Bhusan Chettri; Mortaza Doulaty; Tan Lee; Thomas Hain: The Sheffield language recognition system in NIST LRE 2015. In: Rodríguez-Fuentes, Luis Javier; Lleida, Eduardo (Ed.): Odyssey 2016: The Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop, Bilbao, Spain, June 21-24, 2016, pp. 181–187, ISCA, 2016. (Type: Proceedings Article | Links)
Iñigo Casanueva; Thomas Hain; Mauro Nicolao; Phil D. Green: Using phone features to improve dialogue state tracking generalisation to unseen states. In: Proceedings of the SIGDIAL 2016 Conference, The 17th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, 13-15 September 2016, Los Angeles, CA, USA, pp. 80–89, The Association for Computer Linguistics, 2016. (Type: Proceedings Article | Links)
Mauro Nicolao; Heidi Christensen; Stuart P. Cunningham; Phil D. Green; Thomas Hain: A Framework for Collecting Realistic Recordings of Dysarthric Speech - the homeService Corpus. In: Calzolari, Nicoletta; Choukri, Khalid; Declerck, Thierry; Goggi, Sara; Grobelnik, Marko; Maegaard, Bente; Mariani, Joseph; Mazo, Hélène; Moreno, Asunción; Odijk, Jan; Piperidis, Stelios (Ed.): Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation LREC 2016, Portorož, Slovenia, May 23-28, 2016, European Language Resources Association (ELRA), 2016. (Type: Proceedings Article | Links)


Heidi Christensen; Mauro Nicolao; Stuart P. Cunningham; Salil Deena; Phil D. Green; Thomas Hain: Speech-Enabled Environmental Control in an AAL setting for people with Speech Disorders: a Case Study. In: IET International Conference on Technologies for Active and Assisted Living, TechAAL 2015, London, UK, 2015. (Type: Proceedings Article | )
Mauro Nicolao; Amy V. Beeston; Thomas Hain: Automatic assessment of English learner pronunciation using discriminative classifiers. In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, ICASSP 2015, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, April 19-24, 2015, pp. 5351–5355, IEEE, 2015. (Type: Proceedings Article | Links)


Mauro Nicolao; Fabio Tesser; Roger K. Moore: A phonetic-contrast motivated adaptation to control the degree-of-articulation on Italian HMM-based synthetic voices. In: 8th ISCA Workshop on Speech Synthesis, pp. 127–132, Barcelona, Spain, 2013. (Type: Proceedings Article | )


Mauro Nicolao; Javier Latorre; Roger K. Moore: C2H: A Computational Model of H&H-based Phonetic Contrast in Synthetic Speech. In: Proceedings of 13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2012, Portland, OR, 2012. (Type: Proceedings Article | )
Mauro Nicolao; Roger K. Moore: Establishing some principles of human speech production through two-dimensional computational models. In: SAPA-SCALE workshop 2012, Portland, OR, 2012. (Type: Proceedings Article | )


Roger K. Moore; Mauro Nicolao: Reactive Speech Synthesis: Actively Managing Phonetic Contrast Along an H&H Continuum. In: Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, ICPhS 2011, pp. 1422–1425, Hong Kong, China, 2011. (Type: Proceedings Article | )

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