What did you do before starting your PhD?
I got my Masters degree in computer science from the College of Computer and Information Sciences in King Saud University, and I worked as a lecturer in the same college. I'm also a technology entrepreneur with a huge interest in training and rehabilitation technology for the hearing impaired society. I developed a software, called Rannan, that offers auditory training for children with cochlear implant (CI). Rannan is now deployed in a number of hospitals in Saudi Arabia.
Describe your research
My PhD research employs computer vision, speech, and image processing techniques to augment and enhance visual speech in videos used in auditory training aimed for cochlear implant users.
My research investigates automatic methods that could improve the outcomes from the auditory training that aims to enhance hearing skills for hard of hearing, in particular CI users. These automatic methods increase the saliency of visual speech cues to improve the benefit of visual speech in supporting speech intelligibility. These methods could be also used to improve the visual saliency of talkers, in an analogous way to the volume control, at many different applications such as in communication and entertainment platforms.
Why did you choose to do your PhD at Sheffield?
I chose the University of Sheffield because of its international reputation for high quality research.
What's the best thing about doing a PhD and what is the most challenging?
I'm having an amazing time doing my PhD, but my best moments is when being creative and seeing things grow. As a mother of two girls in school age, the main challenge in doing PhD is to make balance in your life. Time management is a key solution.
What will you do when you have finished your PhD?
I’m going back to work in King Saud University as an assistant professor doing teaching and research.