Senses working overtime

I listened over the weekend to a story on the podcast of the radio show Studio 360 about Wanda Diaz-Merced, a blind astronomer. She is working hard at “sonification” — representing astronomical data in sound rather than in graphs. Of course, this works best for certain kinds of data — I gather from the piece that she has specialized in x-ray time series — and this seems to be the basis of her research as a graduate student at Harvard’s Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

I was bowled over by the passion and energy evident in the interview. I spend all of my days reading papers, staring at screens or pages of equations and graphs; were I to lose my sight I can’t conceive of how I would be able to go on as an astrophysicist. I hope that Ms Diaz-Merced finds all of the support she needs in our field — and great data to which to apply her techniques.

One response to “Senses working overtime”

  1. Aparna Paul avatar
    Aparna Paul

    Wanda is one of the most amazing women and friends I have ever had.
    I hope that she continues to receive the funding she needs for her research as well. Thank you for posting this!!