Guest: David Bian March 8th, 2017
I completed my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2015, followed by an M.Eng. from MIT in 2016. While I have worked in a variety of disciplines in the past, my current research interests lie at the intersection of signal processing, machine learning, embedded systems, audio, and music. I am presently pursuing a PhD under the mentorship of Professor Joe Paradiso in the MIT Media Lab's Responsive Environments group, where I am exploring ways to capitalize on our knowledge of human perception, cognition, memory, and attention to re-think traditional paradigms for audio capture, representation, and retrieval. I am currently supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. When I'm not in the lab, I enjoy singing, playing instruments, writing, composing, and DJ-ing at MIT's college radio station.
Below are snapshots of various projects I have worked on, both as a part of my research and otherwise. Check them out!
Error metrics used for training generative audio networks, typically l1 or l2 norms, do not take psychoacoustics into account. We present early ideas for designing more perceptually relevant loss metrics for deep neural networks.Publication: Towards a Perceptual Loss: Using a Neural Network Codec Approximation as a Loss for Generative Audio Models - ACM Multimedia 2019
Instead of capitalizing on redundancies, what if audio compression schemes were modeled after human auditory attention, memory, and recall? Stay tuned for more details! Publication(s) pending. David Ramsay and I have been awarded the AI Grant Fellowship for continued work on this.
Publication: HCU400 Dataset - ICASSP 2019 Publication: The Intrinsic Memorability of Everday Sounds - AES 2019Media: NPR - Towards New Musics
How can we capitalize on the shared properties of audio to improve post-compression reconstruction, driven by machine learning? This work was done as a part of a summer internship at Spotify!
How can we manipulate the music we listen to everyday in a way that conveys information but remains subtle?
Publication: SoundSignaling - Ubicomp Dec. 2018
A simple but novel and robust technique for data hiding of critical information in cover phone audio. Work advised by Prof. Neil Gershenfeld of the Center for Bits and Atoms. Patent pending.
Fall 2016 - Spring 2017
A rapid prototyping tool for soundtrack composers that approaches "style transfer" contextually with signal processing and AI tricks. Check out the demo video here.
Publication: VisualSoundtrack - ICMC 2017
What if we could encourage kindness and giving through gamification? We built a platform to explore this in our project from Prof. Roz Picard's Tools for Wellbeing class. Check out the video demo. Publication in CHI LWP'17
Lend us your voice and let it be heard; share your thoughts, hopes, and fears, and let them resonate. Our voice booth installation for Prof. Tod Machover's Music in Time and Place class.
My Master's research completed in the Energy Efficient Circuits group under Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan entailed running a set of signal processing algorithms to reduce system power for this platform, and implementing the algorithms for an FPGA in Bluespec. My thesis can be found here, as well as a summary of the system here on page 23.
A year-long research project, conducted as part of the 2013-2014 SuperUROP program, was based on the notion that robots might one day have the capacity to assemble themselves. The research focused on the design and application of origami-inspired crease patterns on a two-dimensional surface that could be transformed into a three-dimensional structure with the application of heat. A talk on the research was awarded first place at the EECS Undergraduate Research Conference (EECSCon) in 2014.
Publication: Folding Angle Regulation by Curved Crease Design for Self-Assembling Origami Propellers
Additional media can be found here: EECSCon 2014 Coverage,
SuperUROP Research at MIT
Our final project for 2.740, Bio-Inspired Robotics. Below is a video sneak-peak at our robot, which employs a dynamic swinging gait for vertical and horizontal climbing. The project team consisted of John Romanishin, Cameron McBride, and myself.
Yes folks, the delivery drones are real! I had the privilege of being a hardware/ software engineering intern for the Amazon Prime Air team in Seattle, working generally on embedded systems and circuit design.
Patent: "Damage Avoidance System For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle"
Summer 2014 - Spring 2015
An idea that was developed in collaboration with three other talented MIT students-- Jason Yang '15, Jaya Narain '15, and David Bian '15-- "Don't Miss a Beat" is a simple concept for automatic detection-based play/pause headphones.
Fall 2014 - Spring 2015
ResQ is a project initiative designed to create lightweight, portable, and non-electrically powered biological fluid warmers for use in cases of military trauma. The project, conceived by Prof. Michael Yaffe and developed jointly with Anisha Gururaj'15, Felicia Hsu'15, and David Bian'15, has been an on-going initiative for about two years. The project was most recently awarded 2nd place at the Soldier Design Competition in 2014.
A project developed as part of MIT's Principles and Practices of Assistive Technogies (6.811) to allow better click and drag functionalities for a client who uses a head-mouse to operate his computer. The project team was headed by Andres Romero '14 and Klaudia Leja'14.
A software engineering internship during the summer of 2013 completed at the Boeing Defense headquarters in Saint Louis, MO. The work involved developing algorithms and software tools to better automate RCS analysis for aircrafts.
2010 - 2011
The project where it all began-- my first robotic system! RAVI, my Robotic Assistant for the Visually Impaired, was built out of several years of high school research done at Stony Brook University's Robot Kinematics and Dynamics Laboratory. The research received several accolades from the International Council on System Engineering (INCOSE) and International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
In my last few years here at MIT, Assistive Technologies is a space that has become particularly close to my heart. After being inspired by Professor Seth Teller and his incredible class on designing AT (6.811), I worked closely with a team of students to organize ATHack 2014, MIT's first Assistive Technologies Hackathon! And we haven't looked back since. With the completion of ATHack 2018, the hack is now in its 6th year. The aim of both the class and the hackathon is to bring together "co-designers" in the community who live with disabilities and student engineers to work towards innovative solutions.Media: MIT News on ATHack2017, MIT News on ATHack2015, An article from the MIT Lincoln Lab, Continuing the Legacy: Assistive Technology at MIT, Perkins on ATHack2015
Interested in sponsoring, getting involved, or learning about past projects? Check out our page below.
Music is perhaps my biggest passion. I've been learning and singing Carnatic music since I was five or six years old, and I have always been captivated by the artform's expressive nature and lyrical beauty. It has provided me with a sense of comfort, an avenue of relaxation, and a bridge into a past rich with culture, tradition, and faith. I also enjoy singing lighter forms of classical music, such as Bhajans and Qawwalis, and will gladly drop anything to join in on jam sessions with friends and family. Over the years, I've learned to play a variety of instruments including the piano, violin, harmonium, and naal (a cousin of the tabla). My favorite class of instruments to play, however, has always been percussion. My freshman year at MIT, I also joined a South Asian fusion a capella group known as the MIT Ohms, and have had the chance to experiment with arranging music, directing the group, and collaborating on studio recordings. Finally, I've recently tried my hand at a bit of songwriting and have dabbled more in it after encouragement from some of my professors at MIT.
Many of my friends know me as perpetually having my head buried in a journal, scribbling down some thought or other. I've loved writing short stories and poetry since I was in elementary school, and after taking several fantastic creative writing classes here at MIT, I've had the opportunity to refine my writings and grow as an author. Some of my recent writing was awarded one of MIT's Ilona Karmel prizes, and I've written a few plays that have aired on my WMBR production, "The Daydream Company."
Some recent prose, poems, and scripts: To Be Uploaded Soon!
If you could leave one piece of advice behind for the world to hear, what would it be?
Some archives of past shows are below.
Guest: David Bian March 8th, 2017
Guest: Emma Nelson March 22nd, 2017
Guest: Neil Gaikwad April 5th, 2017
Guest: JJ Hernandez April 19th, 2017
Guest: Valentina Chamorro May 3rd, 2017
Guest: Gershon Dublon May 31st, 2017
Guest: Ravi Yegya-Raman June 14th, 2017
Guest: Keertan Kini July 12th, 2017
Guest: Arthi Vezhavendan July 26th, 2017
Guest: Vimala Nandula August 9th, 2017
Guest: Tally Portnoi September 6th, 2017
Guest: Elizabeth Devine September 20th, 2017
Guest: Jeff Dusek November 1st, 2017
Guest: Srikanth Chiravuri November 15th, 2017
Guest: Fred Allen December 13th, 2017
A whirlwind tour of the tunes and tales of the Indian sub-continent.
Some archives of past shows are below.
March 21nd, 2018
April 4th, 2018
April 18th, 2018
May 2nd, 2018
May 16th, 2018
Celebrating the spirit of radio theater with enactments of classic plays, original scripts, and a smattering of show tunes!
Some archives of past shows will be uploaded shortly.