Luise - DREU Research Intern
I finally got here! And I finally started! We are a small team, but everyone seems very sweet, and I am excited about the project. I did not know much about speech recognition beforehand, so this week has been a lot about learning the theory behind it all. I got a bunch of research articles and textbook chapters to read, and even though it was heavy reading for a newbie like me, it was very helpful. Also, it was super cool to see how the field actually draws on a lot of material I learned in my lower division classes back at UC Berkeley - especially the one on probability theory. It is always fun when theories from class suddenly have very real and useful applications. After getting a better grasp of the basics, I was introduced to Kaldi, a great software toolkit for speech recognition. I am going to use this to process some of our data sets, so I spend a couple of days working through tutorials and running example scripts. Now that the week is over, I know enough of the theory and software to start writing my own scripts. The first challenge is to get our data into a format that Kaldi can work with, so that is what I am working on now. Kaldi is very particular about the format, so I have to be careful when writing the scripts - but I really like to fiddle around with that kind of work. Besides from work, I really enjoy the city. I moved into a temporary dorm room right next to campus, and I have spent most of my afternoons exploring the neighborhood, doing yoga in Columbia’s gym, and going for runs in Central Park. There are so many things to do, and I am excited to explore the city. Also, campus is beautiful - perhaps even more than usual, now that it is decorated with happy graduates in long blue gowns.