Robert L. Smith

Emeritus Professor

Biomedical & Chemical Engineering


  • PhD, Sensory Neuroscience, Syracuse University, 1973
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, New York University, 1966

Research Interests:

  • Signal processing in cochlear implants
  • Neurophysiology of the Auditory System
  • Analysis of sensory systems

Current Research:

Current research is aimed at obtaining a better understanding of cochlear implant hearing , and the development of mechanisms to improve cochlear implant speech processing. Towards the latter end we are adding high pass filtering, and changing aspects of the nonlinear transformations of the implant processor, with a goal of enhancing detection and recognition of speech sounds. A second project concerns determining the interactions between time, intensity and frequency that underly cochlear implant hearing.. Consequently we are measuring loudness, masking and differential sensitivity and attempting to relate them to input level and to one another in a unified model of implant hearing.

Teaching Interests:

  • Hearing
  • Neuroscience
  • Analysis of Sensory Systems
  • Analysis of Linear System


  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America, 1984.
  • Associate Editor for Physiological Acoustics, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 1986 – 1992. 264 Eta Kappa Nu
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Eta Kappa Nu
  • Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology, 1983. Founding Officer: IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS) Society, Syracuse Chapter. 2007

Selected Publications:

AZADPOUR, M and SMITH, R.L. “Enhancing rapid variations of cochlear implant signal using a simple model of short-term adaptation.” Abstracts of the 2013 Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses, 264, 2013

BINGABR, M, ESPINOZA-VARAS, B, SMITH, R..and SIGDEL, S “Equivalent masking patterns of bipolar probes forward-masked by monopolar or bipolar maskers.” Abstracts of the 2013 Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses, 187, 2013

SMITH,R., DECKER, S, DOHERTY, K, and MILCZARSKI, B “Adding adaptation to cochlear implant processing. Abstracts of the 33 Annual Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 123, 2010

SANPETRINO, N.M* and SMITH, R.L. “Growth of Loudness Functions in Cochlear Implant Listeners Using Absolute Magnitude Estimation and Compared Using Akaike’s Information Criterion” Proceedings of the 28th IEEE EMBS Annual International Conference, 1642-1644. 2006

SMITH, R.L., BAPTISTE, D.***, and LUTKENHONER, B Incremental responses in the auditory periphery and the auditory cortex, and a possible relationship to psychophysical overshoot. in Physiological and Psychophysical Bases of Auditory Function edited by D.J. Breebart, A.J.M. Houtsma, A. Kohlrausch, V.F. Prijs, R. Schoonhoven. Shaker Publishing BV, Maastricht. 306-312 , 2002

SMITH, R.L. Auditory-nerve responses to amplitude modulation: some implications for synaptic transmission. in Psychophysical and Physiological Advances in Hearing edited by A.R. Palmer, A. Rees, A.Q. Summerfield and R. Meddis. Whurr Publishers, Ltd. London, 162-169, 1998