Hello, World! I'm a PhD student in Cognitive Science at Brown University, where I am co-advised by Dr Leslie Welch and Dr Cindy Xiong (UMass Amherst).
I do research on data visualization - particularly, how do we effectively communicate complex ideas and information using visual media in an easy-to-understand yet scientifically rigorous manner? How do we glean information from graphs and line drawings? How and why do we misunderstand them? Moreover, why are features of certain types of data visualizations more easily understood than others?
MuSyC:Music, Synaesthesia, Colour
MuSyC is a project which aims at building a music to colour synaesthesia visualizer.
Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which perception of a certain stimulus, such as the musical note ‘A’, involuntarily elicits another seemingly unrelated sensation, such as seeing the colour red. As someone who sees colors when I listen to music, I've found it hard to explain what this cross-sensory activation feels like. To help share my experience, I wanted to create a portable device which did just that. Inspired by music visualizers, MuSyC is a multi-functional device which is sensitive to amplitude and frequency (or pitch) of a sound and flashes certain colours in response to particular defined notes.
Potential Use Cases
Allows non-synaesthetes to experience music from the eyes of a music-colour synaesthete
Accessability tool for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to experience music visually.
Performance art tool to create dynamic and responsive light show installations
Educational tools for those beginning their training in music and those who need an additional visual cue to help distinguishing between closely related notes. For the untrained ear, it is very difficult to differentiate between the flat, whole and sharp note (F vs F#) and a color signal might be helpful!
Adafruit Electret Microphone Amplifier MAX9814
Arduino Uno Board with Breadboard
Length: 68.6 mm
Double A Batteries
Microphone with Auto Gain Control
Conversion of Analog Sound Waves to Digital Frequency Waves
3D Printed Casing
Length: 80 mm
Converting Sound to Light
Digital Signal Processing using Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs)
Java, Python and C++ for Arduino
3D printing using AutoCAD
Optimizing microphone position for clearest input
Altering LED shape for best visual impact
Minimizing shape and required battery for maximal portability while ensuring robustness to use in dance or performance settings
MuSyC: Physical Prototype Demo
LED Neopixel Ring
COLOR determined by PITCH
[analog sound waves converted to digital frequency using FFTs]
# of LIT LEDs determined by VOLUME
[using amplitude as a proxy, normalized with auto gain control]
Creating Experimental Stimuli for Cognitive Science Applications
Using my skills in digital art, graphic design, wood working and drawing along with my research experience in psycholinguistics, developmental psychology and cognitive science more broadly, I have designed and operationalized illustrations and visual corpora for use as appropriate stimuli for experiments in research studies. Clients and collaborators include researchers at Harvard University, UC Merced, University of Edinburgh, MIT, Mount Holyoke College, and Brown University.
Experimental Stimuli Case Study
designing a toy for a developmental psychology experiment investigating how children understand quantifier words like "each", "every" and "all"
Must have distinct individualizable elements which cannot be separated
Must have the affordance of being able to test each distinct section out
Suitable for the manual dexterity of children as young as three years old
Does not pose a choking hazard
Simple enough that understanding the geometry of the toy is not an additional cognitive challenge for the participants
inspired by chemistry molecular model kits!
Excerpt from research paper for this experiment
Wooden toy prototypes created at the Brown Design Workshop
To adapt to the pandemic, the toy and "blicket" detector were recreated using 3D modeling (Blendr) in order to create an online game where children could still watch the toy rotate and pick their preferred orientation.
How to Save a Kakapo: an animated film short
Made for the joint Brown-RISD course BIOL 0140T: "Communicating Science through Visual Media". Research, script, voicing, animation and editing done by a team of 3 undergraduates and me. I pitched the idea and I was responsible for the research, the bulk of the script, the voicing and contributed 65% of the hand drawn animations to the film. I conducted an interview with a park ranger who is a member of the Kakapo Recovery Team at the New Zealand Department of Conservation in order to serve the science outreach needs of the ecologists and ornithologists.
Primary Studio: Anyhow Studio in Providence, Rhode Island.
I live in a small apartment with minimal storage. Traditional mugs with curved handles that extend almost a radius away from the surface of the cylinder occupy a lot of space. But, smooth sided mugs aren't the best option for me - some kind of groove, indentation or grip helps me hold the mug. Can I make a functional cup has some kind offinger grip and is also sleek and streamlined enough in design and occupies less space than a standard mug?
Each idea I sketched out would reduce the volume if liquid that could be contained, compared to a straight sided vessel. Maybe I can consider external additions?
Laguna 55 Stoneware Clay, Cylinders thrown on a pottery wheel with sculpted rock climbing hold additions. Painted with underglaze and waxed prior to glazing in order to simulate the rough matter texture of real climbing holds.
Ceramics: Sculptural Lamp and Functional Houseware
Bisque stage: 28 inch tall sculpture of a coral structure, hollowed out with the intention of converting it into a lamp.
Glazed internally with opalescent white glaze to promote light reflection
Installed a Bluetooth enabled dimmable light to act as ambient lighting. Cat for scale.