Rhoddy Viveros Muñoz Q&A

‘This job is an opportunity to learn more about the needs of people with a hearing impairment, which I hope will be my area of research in the future.’

Rhoddy Viveros Muñoz

What do you do on the project?

My work has focused on room acoustic simulation, especially on the generation of different virtual room acoustic environments. Using the software RAVEN [1], thousands of different rooms with different characteristics could be simulated. This allowed us to generate binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) for a target and interferers under different room acoustic conditions.

How did you end up working in this area?

My background is as an electrical engineer, but my search for more meaningful work to help people led me to pursue a PhD in Medical Acoustics. My doctoral thesis was on speech-in-noise perception in virtual acoustic environments with moving sound sources. So, this job is an opportunity to learn more about the needs of people with a hearing impairment, which I hope will be my area of research in the future.

What is your role on the clarity Project?

In my role, I provide support in creating the sound stimuli. The generation of BRIRs for the target and the interferers is fundamental to the creation of all of our speech and noise stimuli.

What is exciting about the clarity project?

I strongly believe that the final aim of the challenge is to encourage participants to improve the quality of life of hearing impaired people. What could be more exciting?

What would success look like for the project?

The success of the project would be to find novel processes and models that really improve the quality of life of people with hearing problems. Hearing impairment is known to lead people to isolate themselves from friends and family, and can even cause deep depression. Therefore, whatever improvement in their hearing the challenge may bring, in the end, it can only do good.

What hurdles are you going to face getting the project to be a success?

In addition to the technical challenges related to generating thousands of different room simulations, a prolonged lockdown due to the coronavirus has been a big hurdle for all of us.

If you could go back (or forward) in time and discover new science or invent anything, what would it be?

It would definitely be the cure for cancer. Because thousands of people die every year from cancer, I think that would be the greatest achievement of all.

Reference

[1] Schröder, D. and Vorländer, M., 2011, January. RAVEN: A real-time framework for the auralization of interactive virtual environments. In Proceedings of Forum Acusticum 2011 (pp. 1541-1546). Denmark: Aalborg.

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