Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unique career?

I completed my undergraduate degree in engineering (Information Technology) in 2013 after which I worked at a software company for about a year. I needed a career shift and because of my interest in music and programming, I saw acoustics and music technology as an ideal career possibility. I did a Masters degree in Acoustics and Music Technology (AMT) from the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh.

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How was the program?

The AMT program at Edinburgh was a programme tailor-made for me, as it had the right amount of technological and creative balance. It allowed me to use and sharpen my technological and programming skills and generate results that were creatively satisfying. What I loved the most is the diversity of courses offered and the collaborations with other programmes such as sound design, music composition and speech and language processing. This really broadened my approach towards problem solving.

Tell us about your work

I developed a keen interest in speech signal processing in the second semester. My final project was about using speech signal processing to detect and monitor Parkinson’s Disease. This final project also led me to choose the PhD I am doing now which is titled “Enriching Disordered Speech”. In the PhD we aim to devise algorithms to make disordered speech more intelligible and develop systems and devices that can be used by people with speech disorders.

The three month final project that I had at the end of the MSc was the most intense and valuable. The guidance and support from my supervisor and his openness to ideas provided me with a great platform to conduct my project, and it has surely paved the way for my current and future research ventures.

What did you like about the course?

The class had students from a diverse range of backgrounds, interests, skill sets, career goals and geographies, and the collaboration and sharing of ideas amongst us surely enhanced the learning experience.

Edinburgh is such a lovely city. There are so many activities and groups that you can be part of be it sport, artistic or cultural to keep you constantly engaged. It would not be an overstatement to say that it was the best year of my life.

Where are you now?

This final project also equipped me and led me to choose this ENRICH position titled “Enriching Disordered Speech”.

In this project we aim to devise algorithms to make disordered speech more intelligible. One important aspect of the project is also to measure the listening effort and cognitive load involved in listening and understanding disordered speech. We are currently focusing on alaryngeal speech and dysarthric speech.