People

Investigators

Harinath Garudadri Associate Research Scientist, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

Hari Garudadri is an Associate Research Scientist in the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, which he joined following 16 years at Qualcomm, Inc., where he undertook mutli-lingual speech recognition (English, Japanese and Korean), speech and audio coding, and error-resilient low-power communications. Garudadri now works on technologies that reduce the cost of healthcare delivery and increase the reach of caregivers’ expertise to beyond hospital walls. Garudadri’s background is signal processing and he has practiced in diverse fields such as speech recognition, speech, audio and video compression, multimedia delivery in 3G/4G networks, low-power sensing and telemetry of physiological data, reliable body area networks (BAN), noise cancellation, and artifacts mitigation, among other areas. His contributions have been incorporated into cell phones and commercial networks. Garudadri has 40 granted patents (8 in BAN, 8 in audio, 6 in video, 4 in speech, 3 in biomedical signal processing, and 11 in voice recognition), and over 14 pending patents in biomedical signal processing and related areas. Garudadri is also co-developer and co-instructor of a new 6-course specialization on the Internet of Things on the Coursera online learning platform.

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Patrick Mercier Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Patrick Mercier received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2012. He is an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego, where he is also co-Director of the Center for Wearable Sensors. His research interests include the design of energy-efficient microsystems, focusing on the design of RF circuits, power converters, and sensor interfaces for miniaturized systems and biomedical applications. Prof. Mercier, who leads the Energy-Efficient Microsystems Lab at UC San Diego, received a Graduate Teaching Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSD in 2013, the Hellman Fellowship Award in 2014, the Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2015, and the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2015, and the UC San Diego Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, and the IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration. Mercier is also co-editor of “Ultra-Low-Power Short-Range Radio” (Springer, 2015), and “Power Management Integrated Circuits” (CRC Press, 2016).

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Bhaskar Rao Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Bhaskar Rao joined the UCSD faculty in 1983, after receiving his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California the same year. He became an Associate Professor in 1989 and full Professor in 1995. On sabbatical in 1989-90, he was a Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford's Integrated Systems Laboratory. Rao was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2000 for his work on the statistical analysis of subspace algorithms for harmonic retrieval. Rao received the 2008 Stephen O. Rice Prize Paper Award in the Field of Communications Systems jointly with Bongyong Song and Rene Cruz. In May 2008, Rao was named the inaugural holder of the Ericsson Endowed Chair in Wireless Access Networks in the Jacobs School, funded through Ericsson’s commitment to the UC San Diego division of Calit2. He teaches Digital Signal Processing, Array Processing, Parameter Estimation, Probability and Random Processes, and other subjects. He is a former director of the Center for Wireless Communications. Professor Rao's interests are in the areas of digital signal processing, estimation theory, and optimization theory, with applications to digital communications, speech signal processing, and human-computer interactions.

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Collaborators and Consultants

Student Researchers

Project Staff

Alumni

Shrea Chari Del Norte HS, San Diego

Shrea Chari is a senior at Del Norte High School in San Diego. She has pursued her interest in math and science from an early age and has taken part in various regional and national competitions, winning top awards. She was selected to participate in the University of San Diego’s Cyber Security workshop, where she proposed a GPS encryption based software solution to the Dean of the School of Engineering. She has worked with Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi to run malware prevention and detection programs. As President of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Club, Shrea influenced key changes, collaborating with major local companies on new and exciting areas. Shrea enjoys playing tennis and is captain of the varsity tennis team.

She is currently working on developing the user interface app for the open speech platform and hopes to apply her skills in math and computational analyses to solve real world problems.

Uposhanto Bhattacharya Westview HS, San Diego

Uposhanto Bhattacharya is a rising senior at Westview High School. He has always had a keen interest in both the sciences and the humanities, but after taking AP Computer Science in high school, he was inspired to dive into the realm of computers. Outside the academic realm, Uposhanto is an avid saxophone player. He has been selected for the California All-State Honor Ensemble and was the principal saxophonist for the California All-Southern Wind Ensemble; Uposhanto is currently ranked amongst the top ten saxophone players in California. Uposhanto not only has a driving passion for music, but also for giving back to the community. He is the President of Catalyst For Success, a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to push children to pursue STEM. To advance his vision for the organization, Uposhanto has implemented a programming branch while shifting the organization’s community outreach to underprivileged areas. Looking forward, Uposhanto dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and making his mark on the world.

Arthur Boothroyd Professor Emeritus, CUNY and Scholar in Residence, San Diego State University

Arthur Boothroyd is a speech and hearing scientist, and a sub-award under the current project funding. He is a distinguished professor emeritus at City University of New York and a Scholar in Residence at San Diego State University (SDSU). He received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Hull in 1957, and later a Ph.D. in Audiology from the University of Manchester in 1968. Boothroyd has published extensively on the effects of hearing loss on development, with special emphasis on speech perception, its assessment, and its enhancement with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and tactile aids. More recently, he has published on room acoustics and electrophysiological response to acoustic change. He is currently part of a team studying, and developing tools for, the rehabilitation of hearing-impaired children and adults under a grant to Gallaudet University from the National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research. In addition, Boothroyd has consulted on the design and application of FM and Sound-Field amplification systems and has offered courses on Aural Rehabilitation at SDSU.

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Rajesh GuptaProfessor, Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Rajesh Gupta is a Professor and holds a Qualcomm Endowed Chair in the Computer Science and Engineering department at UC San Diego. He is also an Associate Director of the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego. Gupta earned his Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 1994. Earlier he worked at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara and on the Computer Science faculty at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and UC Irvine. His current research is focused on energy efficient and mobile computing issues in embedded systems, and for this project he brings insights from a current NSF project, RoseLine, that is investigating time-aware protocol stacks (with Gupta as PI of the multi-university project). Gupta is also a pioneer in "codesign" of hardware and software for embedded microsystems. He has served as Editor in Chief of IEEE Design & Test of Computers and chair of the steering committee of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE, and a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.

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Ganz ChockalingamProfessor, Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Dr. Ganz Chockalingam obtained his PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1995. He then joined the Scientific Research Laboratory of the Ford Motor Company. At Ford, he worked on in-vehicle software architecture for next generation infotainment systems. In 1998 he co-founded Coolsync Inc., a single signon password synchronization service for the web. Coolsync was acquired by Blink.com in 2000. He then joined Wingcast, a Qualcomm-Ford joint venture. At Wingcast, he worked on the research and development of next generation wireless telematics applications for the Wingcast Service Delivery Network. He joined Calit2-UCSD in 2002 as a Principal Development Engineer. At Calit2, he has been directing the research and development mobile applications for various smart phone platforms. The applications range from various domains such as health monitoring, telematics and pollution monitoring. Dr. Chockalingam has numerous publications in IEEE journals and has served as a reviewer for the IEEE transactions on Automatic Control.

Carol MackersieProfessor, Audiology, San Diego State University

Carol Mackersie is a consultant to the Open Speech Platform project and a Professor of Audiology at San Diego State University (SDSU), where she directs the Auditory Research Laboratory. Dr. Mackersie’s primary research interests include the perceptual consequences of hearing loss and hearing amplification. Her research focuses specifically on psychoacoustic factors underlying individual differences in speech perception & benefit from amplification and on the development of performance measures of hearing aid benefit. Mackersie earned her Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from City University of New York. She is currently affiliated with the International Society of Audiology, American Academy of Audiology, American Auditory Society and the Acoustical Society of America. Her academic and clinical teaching areas include: hearing amplification; research and evidence-based practice in audiology; and psycho-acoustics and speech perception.

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Sean Hamilton Project Staff

Sean Hamilton is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He received his B.S in Computer Engineering at UCSD in 2014 and continued right into graduate school. He is currently researching the use of Unikernels/LibraryOSes on embedded systems to improve real-time performance and increase security under the supervision of Rajesh Gupta. Sean is also exploring the topic of time as first class citizen in general purpose programming languages to improve how developers think and work with time in software. He is applying his research on both Unikernels and programming languages in the development of the Open Speech Platform.

Swaroop GadiyaramM.S. Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Swaroop Gadiyaram has been a graduate student researcher in the ECE department since 2015 and expects to complete his M.S. degree in 2017. He has worked on two related projects: designing and implementing signal processing algorithms on DSP for a self-fitting hearing aid system; and implementation of a real-time speech enhancement algorithm in the presence of non-stationary industrial noise at low SNRs. Prior to UC San Diego, Gadiyaram was an engineer in the Samsung Research Institute in Noida (India) from 2012 to 2015. Gadiyaram received a B.Tech. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering in 2012 from the Indian Institute of Technology at Roorkee.

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Dhiman SenguptaPh.D. Student, Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Dhiman Sengupta is a 2nd year PhD student at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In 2013 Dhiman received his B.S.E. in Computer Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After receiving his B.S.E. he worked for the Advanced Space Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Branch at Naval Research Lab for 3 years before joining UCSD. Now he is doing research in real-time cyber physical systems under the supervision of Professor Rajesh Gupta. Dhiman is applying his research experiences in the development of the Open Speech Platform.

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Sean HamiltonPh.D. Student, Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Sean Hamilton is enrolled in the Ph.D. program after completing his M.S. in Computer Engineering (2016) and B.S. in Computer Engineering (2014), both in the CSE department. Since 2015, Hamilton has worked simultaneously as a software engineer for Tortuga Logic, Inc., a San Diego company launched by CSE Prof. Ryan Kastner and CSE alumnus Jason Oberg (M.S., Ph.D. ’12, ’14), that specializes in hardware security providing assessments and software for secure chip design. Prior to UC San Diego, Hamilton was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army (1999-2004), a digital systems engineer at ManTech in Fort Hood, Texas, for two years, and a senior data architect for CSC (2006-2007). He joined General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Rancho Bernardo as a computer engineer in 2007 and simultaneously pursued his studies at UC San Diego while remaining at GA until beginning the Ph.D. program in 2014.

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Ching-Hua LeePh.D. Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Ching-Hua Lee became a Ph.D. student in the ECE department at UC San Diego in September 2014, and expects to complete his doctorate in 2019. Lee’s primary research is on digital signal processing, optimization theory and machine learning. His current work focuses on adaptive feedback cancellation techniques for hearing aids and phase retrieval algorithms for speech enhancement. Lee received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 2013.

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Justyn BellSoftware Developer, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

Justyn Bell is a software developer in the Qualcomm Institute specializing in embedded *nix systems and software-defined radio. His projects have taken him through a breadth of platforms and devices ranging from FPGAs and embedded wireless systems to web-based applications. Bell is also a lab technician who helps support the software-defined radio ECE191 projects and is available for setting up and maintaining group servers.

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Raphael MelgarEngineer, Sonic Arts R&D, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

Raphael Melgar is a research development engineer with the Sonic Arts R&D team at the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California San Diego. His work primarily consists of developing and testing experimental audio technologies, such as novel multichannel immersive audio systems and signal processing software. Melgar is a graduate of UC San Diego’s Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts program with an emphasis in computer music. He also enjoys composing electronic music and designing custom software instruments and audio effects.

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James M. KatesConsultant

Jim Kates’ primary area of research is signal processing for hearing aids. His current research includes developing mathematical models of auditory processing, and using those models to predict speech intelligibility, speech quality, and music quality for signals processed through hearing aids. He is also conducting research in binaural hearing, particularly in how hearing-aid signals can be modified to improve spatial perception. He retired from hearing-aid manufacturer GN ReSound in 2012, where he held the position of Research Fellow. He designed the feedback cancellation and dynamic-range compression algorithms used in the GN ReSound family of hearing aids, and did additional research in noise suppression, speech enhancement, frequency lowering, sound signal classification, adaptive microphone arrays, and binaural signal processing. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and the professional degree of Electrical Engineer, all from MIT. He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, and he received the Samuel F. Lybarger career achievement award from the American Academy of Audiology in 2015.

Mark StambaughProject Staff

Mark has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (2011). He toiled in the mines of industry as a digital hardware engineer for four years before he quit that life to become a hired gun. The wandering years saw him working a mix of jobs on a spectrum from Electric Vehicle environmental monitoring consultant to Osyter Mushroom Farmer. He came to UCSD in January of 2017 as a staff engineer to put his talents toward the next generation of medical devices. His professional goals can be summed up as “build the best toys.” The majority of his life outside of the lab is dedicated to making dinner and snorkeling in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve.

Louis PishaProject Staff

Louis Pisha is a second-year PhD student in the Signal and Image Processing research area. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College (Annapolis, MD), and then took additional undergraduate coursework in electrical engineering at Stony Brook University (Long Island, NY). He is working on audio signal processing under Dr. Bhaskar Rao (ECE) and Dr. Shahrokh Yadegari (Music), with a research interest in sparse nonlinear time-frequency representations of audio and dictionary-based feature extraction on these bases. At LACI, he is contributing to the Open Speech Platform project as an embedded systems hardware/software engineer, and is a key developer in the Odoroki concept project.

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Jeffrey Sandubrae

Jeffrey Sandubrae holds appointments at UCSD as Director of Research Partnerships for Sonic Arts R&D, Center for Hearing Innovation, and the San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure at the Qualcomm Institute. He manages large, complex, multidisciplinary programs. Sonic Arts R&D is a research unit at the Qualcomm Institute committed to forward-thinking research, engineering, and implementation of modern digital audio technologies for commercial and academic applications. In his role in Sonic Arts R&D, he develops and manages research projects, relationships with industry partners, and the process of introducing University research to industry. He also manages the commercialization of University developed and owned intellectual property. As part of UCSD’s continuing support of entrepreneurship and technology transfer, he is currently managing the inaugural program supporting the Qualcomm Institute Industry Innovation Space, bringing together academia and industry in a combination of research sponsorship, technology licensing, and collaboration in facilities to promote commercialization of research findings.

Prior to his return to UCSD, he has spent his career performing applied research and managing projects of national significance. His experience ranges from research and engineering of products and systems to business development and management of multimillion-dollar programs. Upon receiving his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD, he joined SAIC, a rapidly growing research and engineering company based in San Diego. During his 19 years at SAIC he completed his M.S. at UCSD in Mechanical Engineering and founded and managed the Collaboration Technologies Division of SAIC. He was Assistant Vice President and Division Manager as SAIC grew to a Fortune 300 company and the largest employee-owned research and engineering company in the U.S. As project engineer he performed engineering analysis and design of solar energy systems including heliostats and parabolic dishes for concentrated solar power using advanced materials and analysis techniques. In addition to his early work for Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, he performed research and engineering and was principal investigator on programs for Los Alamos National Laboratories, NASA, Department of Defense, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Department of Justice. He has deep expertise in the application of complex emerging technologies, engineering analysis and design, systems architecture and integration, and software development. He has used his expertise in mechanical and structural sound and vibration on projects to analyze and measure radiated acoustic noise in underwater environments to assess vulnerability and to develop quieting measures. In 2006, when SAIC became a public company, he joined a small privately held company in the financial services sector as Chief Information Officer where he developed innovative online financial distribution services in a highly regulated and security conscience environment.

He is an experienced musician and audio engineer. He spent six years playing drums in the UCSD Jazz Ensemble and continues to actively perform in the San Diego area. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California.

Krishna Chaithanya VastareProject Staff

Krishna Chaithanya Vastare has worked on a variety of projects for Smart Space Lab at Calit2 including collaborating with five different universities for Open Speech Platform project as a Graduate Student Researcher. He has worked on Speech Enhancement for Real Time Master Hearing aid (RT-MHA), Adaptive Filtering for Systems with Nonlinearity and Android app development to control the RT-MHA. While working on these projects, he has developed a passion for building approaches to improve hearing healthcare. Though the challenges like dealing with extensively noisy environments, non-linear feedback paths and wirelessly controlling the hearing aid using android devices often punctuated by encounters with the real world but his impetuous devotion conquered it all. His research interests focuses particularly on Audio Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Before commencing his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at University of California San Diego, Vastare completed his Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering at R V College of Engineering, Bangalore, India in 2016.

Çağrı YalçınProject Staff

Çağrı Yalçın is a research and development engineer at Qualcomm Institute (UCSD) and Ph.D. candidate of Magdeburg University, Germany. He received his B.Eng. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Aalen University, Germany, in 2013 and 2016. During his Bachelor’s he worked several years for Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances in the refrigerator R&D division in Germany and the US.

Before joining Qualcomm Institute in May 2017, Cagri was a research associate at Aalen University and worked on an industrial research project covering Industry 4.0, Automation and IT-Security.

At Qualcomm Institute, Cagri is doing research on the Rady Glove project and is involved for the hardware design of the Open Speech Platform project.

His research interest are biomedical devices, sensors, robotics, and machine learning. He is holding a patent for a refrigeration device.

Alex TungProject Staff

Alex is a third year Electrical Engineering undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on signal processing, music technology, and computer systems. Having joined the Open Speech Platform hardware team in Summer 2017, he helps with PCB design, hardware testing, and acoustic measurement of prototypes. Having spent years working with studio and live sound gear, he hopes to pursue a graduate degree and work with audio hardware and processing.

As an avid guitarist, he had studied jazz music in Paris, France and enjoys learning complex rhythms and harmonies characteristic of different cultures. Outside of the lab, he enjoys making specialty coffee at Muir Woods coffee shop, studying the Bible rationally, and restoring vintage speakers.

Aravindan Joseph BenjaminProject Staff

Aravindan Joseph Benjamin received his BEng(Hons) degree in electronics and communication engineering from the Northumbria University at Newcastle in the United Kingdom in 2010 after a fleeting pursuit of a degree in radio physics at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Following this, he completed his MSc. degree in media technology with emphasis in audio engineering at the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany in 2017. His master thesis which was completed under the supervision of Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg was in psychoacoustically evaluating speech perception via auralization approaches in auditory virtual environments simulated using computer modelling tools.

His areas of interest revolve around signal processing, audiometry, spatial audio technology, psychoacoustics, computerized modelling of room acoustics, loudspeaker design, transparent audio coding, filter banks, multirate systems, broadcasting systems, and wireless communication. He also dabbles in microwave circuit design, hardware description programming, image forensics, video coding, media/digital public relations, and ludology. He joined the hearing aids project team at UCSD in the pursuit of a doctorate under the supervision of Professor Bhaskar Rao and Harinath Garudadri in October, 2017.

Gokce Sarar Ph.D. Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Gokce Sarar is a Ph.D student at UCSD in the ECE department with a specialization in Signal and Image Processing. She received her B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2017.

Her primary research interests are digital signal processing, machine learning and estimation theory. She is currently working on binaural speech enhancement for hearing aids under the supervision of Professor Bhaskar Rao and Dr. Harinath Garudadri.

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Julian Warchall Ph.D. Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Julian Warchall received the B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA, in 2013, and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA, in 2015, where he is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering. His current research interests include low-power signal acquisition systems for medical applications. Mr. Warchall was a recipient of the Natural Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2014. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

Tamara Zubatiy Ph.D. Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego

Tamara is a fourth year Cognitive Science major with emphasis in Machine Learning and Neural Computation at UCSD. She is interested in applying machine learning to user experience design in order to create the healthcare experiences of the future. She is passionate about personal preventative health, human computer interaction, and open science. She has been working to craft the User Interfaces for the suite of web apps that utilize the OSP platform. By working directly with audiologists from the very conception of these designs, she hopes to create tools that are easy to appropriate for the unique needs of this field. She hopes to bring the lessons gained from helping create this platform into her graduate education and future career.

Tamara is also a certified yoga instructor and CEO of Hapi Inc., a personal preventative health startup launching a an audio-guided yoga web app later this year. With the help of the Quantified Self community, she is launching a longitudinal study on the effects of yoga on heart rate variability in a diverse population. If you are interested in being a part of this, please email tzubatiy@ucsd.edu.