Alison Y. Chang

The Fauvel Project at Princeton

A DREU Summer 2013 Experience

Fauvel Team & Big Sur
Princeton Soundlab's Digital Fauvel team

About me:

I am a native New Yorker who is part of the Columbia University Class of 2016. I currently intend to double major in Computer Science and Psychology, but I won't be officially declaring until the end of my sophomore year (Spring 2014). Music is another huge part of my life, and I am excited to explore and bring together the classical music community at Columbia as the new president of the Columbia Classical Performers. Although this summer's CS research doesn't quite leave enough time to visit my beloved Taiwan, I am also a Programming Chair on the board of the Taiwanese American Students Association, excited to plan events throughout the next year. My email is ayc2135 AT columbia DOT edu, and, if you want, you can watch many of my performance videos on the YouTube channel that I share with my sister. The hardest adjustments I've faced here at Princeton have been the shock of cars stopping for me when I want to cross the street, my surprise at how early most stores close, and how much I miss my dog, Cookie. =]


About my mentor:

Rebecca Fiebrink is an assistant professor in Computer Science and affiliated faculty in Music at Princeton University. She describes her work as the intersection of human-computer interaction, applied machine learning, and music composition and performance. Her PhD dissertation, "Real-time Human Interaction with Supervised Learning Algorithms for Music Composition and Performance", involved use of a special software called the Wekinator, which allows users to create new musical instruments by teaching the computer to translate gestures into sounds, systems for analyzing gestures, real-time audio analysis and music information retrieval (i.e. what instrument is playing? What's the rhythm?), and other interactive systems.

Our project:

The Roman de Fauvel is a satirical, multimedia, medieval poem about a horse named Fauvel who corrupts France. The mix of poetry, images, and music in this important early multimedia object is both beautiful and intriguing. However, in order to study this 18" x 26" manuscript, it is currently necessary to consult at least half a dozen sources at once: a translation from old French to modern French, another from French to English, modern notation for the motets, conducti, and other genres of music, explanation of the images, and more.

Our goal is therefore to create a digital version of the Roman de Fauvel on the Samsung SUR40, a large, multi-touch tabletop that we have affectionately dubbed "Big Sur", bringing together all the existing resources that assist in Fauvel studies without diminishing the experience of viewing it in its true size, color, and style.

The goals for this summer consequently range from the small scale - how will we encode the text of Fauvel using TEI and XML to enable easy navigation and search? - to the large - in what ways should users be able to interact with the music? Should they sing, and have the tablet sing along, or merely view modern notations of the voices? Initial goals for my summer studies therefore begin with gaining a deep understanding of Fauvel, coding programs that will assist in the preparation of all Fauvel text and folios (pages) for "Big Sur" display, and continue with higher level planning for the user interactions that we will support. The more that we - the undergraduate students - learn about Fauvel through everything from lessons on music history to independent exploration of existing "Big Sur" capabilities, culminating in an exciting combination of technology and musical studies, the more we are able to chime in with our own visions for the Digital Fauvel Project.

See more:

  • My weekly journal
  • Photographs
  • Favorite CS links
  • My final report: XML and Search Capabilities for Digital Fauvel