Professor Patel is a member of the faculty of both the College of Computer and Inforomation Science and the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. She also is involved in developing a PhD in Health Informatics program incorporating expertise from the two colleges. She founded and directs the Communication Analysis and Design Laboratory (CadLab). The mission of this interdisciplinary lab is to conduct research along two main themes: analysis of spoken communication and the design, development and assessment of novel assistive human-machine interfaces. Current research projects include prosodic (melodic) analysis of impaired speech for developing voice-driven assistive communication aids, studying the effects of pitch and loudness perturbations on speech production, developing interactive software for teaching children how to read aloud with inflection, and designing and implementing novel brain-computer interfaces, Students from speech and hearing sciences, electrical engineering and computer science work collaboratively in the CadLab, a state-of-the-art facility for conducting psychoacoustic studies, software design and prototyping, and usability testing.
Research funding is provided by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (DOE), Charles H. Hood Foundation, & Northeastern University Provost’s Grant.