Who We Are
I came to love science and the arts at an early age. By the time I finished high school I my love for art continued, but I had been taught that science was a boring set of tedious rules created by a small set of mad geniuses. I enrolled in the School of Fine Arts, where I studied for two years. During this time I gradually became intrigued by the beauty of the physical world and the challenge of understanding it. I playfully signed up to take a couple of courses in the field of Physical Sciences, at the University of Buenos Aires. Those “couple of courses” turned into a few years of hard and joyful study that took me to a PhD in computational neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego, where I studied how visual and auditory signals are processed in the brain. As a postdoctoral researcher I was privileged to start putting science and arts together by studying the relationship between music performance and human cognition. As a scientist I never forgot my school experience and continuously went back to schools, first carrying brains around as a founding member of the neuroscience outreach group, then showing the connection between science and music. Seeing a student’s eyes widen when they see a brain for the first time, or when they first make a connection between a sound and a waveform, has been one of the greatest pleasures of my relationship with science. It is my vision that every child connects with science, at least once in their lives, through the experience of wonder. I think a deep look into music is a great place to start.
I am a project scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation at UCSD. I was drawn into science through my life-long involvement with music. I received my Ph.D in Ethnomusicology in 2009 and am a multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker. As an ethnomusicologist, I have traveled extensively studying several of the world's musical traditions and have spent much time working with Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern Music.I also enjoy building new musical instruments from unusual materials such as stone. I have taught music in elementary and middle school for more than ten years now and find that it is often through teaching that I learn the most.
I'm a current undergraduate at UC San Diego studying electrical engineering with a minor in music. Ever since I could remember, I've had a passion for music and for sharing music with others. In my studies, I've been able to unite that interest with interests in signal processing and creating exciting user-interactive experiences on the web. Besides these topics, I'm interested in generative music (using machine learning), embedded systems, and sound engineering. Since 2017, I have been working as a web developer with Listening To Waves to create interactive music visualization tools that allow for a personalized experience in sound exploration and music creation.
NALINI ASHA BIGGS
Nalini Asha Biggs is the Creative Director of Kaleyedoscope Productions, a San Diego based multimedia company specializing in scholarly and activist media production. She is also known on Instagram as @ThePumpkinProfessor