Please tell us about yourself

To say Devangi Parikh is passionate about speech and audio systems research and development is an understatement. The TI systems (Texas Instruments) engineer is more than happy to apply her education in TI’s Dallas, Tex., Systems and Applications Research & Development Center. She’s hard at work developing technologies that make cell phone conversations quieter – and that’s why she’s one to watch.

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How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?

Growing up, the India native had no questions about her career path. “I grew up in a family of all engineers, so electrical engineering always interested me,” she says.

She wanted to be an engineer – and one whose focus was signal processing.  Parikh had an interest in the specialty from a young age – she knew the impact it could have on improving daily technology use. After receiving her undergraduate degree in India from Nirma Institute of Technology (Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering)
, she headed to the Georgia Institute of Technology to earn her masters and Ph.D (Electrical & Computer Engineering).

In 2007, when she was in the midst of her master’s, reps from TI’s Leadership University Program (which supports university research and gives universities the chance to work on TI-funded programs), stopped by the school to visit with students and check in on research projects. That visit piqued Parikh’s interest in TI.

Parikh then signed on as a TI intern over three summers (in 2008, 2009, and 2011), to work on speech enhancement and noise suppression projects.

Tell us about your work for TI (Texas Instruments)

Her goal was to develop additional capabilities for the miniDSP. The miniDSP is an audio codec (a chip that codes an analog audio signal to a digital signal and vice versa, and that has a built-in Digital Signal Processor). DSP chips inside cell phones process sounds rapidly – they’re what make digital cellular networks possible.

She was working toward adding a noise reduction feature — to help eliminate the background noise that interferes with a cell phone conversation — along with other features that would extend the capabilities of a miniDSP. “You want people to understand and hear you on all devices,” Parikh says. “And that’s why speech and audio fascinate me and I’m very passionate about them.”

Her time at TI has enabled her to apply her theories to real-world applications and directly translated to her studies. “My work was directly aligned so I could apply my research here to my work back at school,” Parikh says. “I was able to include my findings and results in my dissertation.”

What did you do after your PhD?

Parikh joined TI in Sept. 2012, just a month after she defended her Ph.D. thesis. Now, she works in in the R&D Center full-time, on the same miniDSP project she tackled as a grad student. She gets closer to finding a solution every day. “I enjoy the work culture, the people that I get to work with, and the things I get to learn,” she says. “I love working in the R&D center, collaborating with top researchers and learning new skills and applications. That’s always exciting.”