INPhINIT Incoming PhD: "3D Sonification"

  Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas   Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía   Excelencia Severo Ochoa   HR Excellence in Research
February, 4th 2021

Over the past decade, there has been an emerging research interest in converting
astronomical phenomena into sound. Sonification is a technique that uses data as a
source to generate sounds from their transformation and its considered the
counterpart of visualization. Two of the main primary goals of the effort of sonification
of astronomical data are making astronomy accessible to everybody (researchers
included) who are blind or visually impaired, and investigating if sound can enable a
more efficient way or a deeper understanding of the data.
In this PhD project we will focus on exploring the best approaches to sonify Integral
Field Spectroscopy data, also called 3D spectroscopy, packed in datacubes with 2D
spatial information and a third 1D spectral axis, as well as their hyperdimensional
products derived from its analysis. The candidate will use raw and processed data from
surveys such us CALIFA, MaNGA or SAMI. This is an exploratory endeavor on the best
practices to convey the power of these rich datasets to the general audience for
educational and outreach purposes by using all available sonification techniques, from
audification to parametric mapping or model-based sonifications. The final audio
examples will be integrated in powerful animations and will be tested on different
audiences to assess their effectivity.
3D sonification is under the umbrella of the CosMonic and Astroaccesible projects lead
by Dr. Rubén García-Benito and Dr. Enrique Pérez-Montero, respectively, both
researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía. CosMonic is a sonification
project with broad interest exploiting sound for analysis, artistic or pedagogical
purposes and has produced a number of products for the inclusive astronomy project
Astroaccesible which aims to emphasize the dissemination of astronomy to blind and
low vision people by putting within their reach concepts and descriptions of the nature
of our Universe that are understandable far beyond their visual perception.


Motivated and creative candidates should hold a Master's degree in either Sound
Engineering, Music Composition with specialization in electroacoustic music or
equivalent. Excellent programming skills and fluent English are essential. They should
have a solid background in at least one of the common Music Programming Languages
(CSound, Supercollider, ChucK, ...) and be familiar with in Python. Skills in video editing
or 2D/3D animation (Blender, ...) are encouraged but not required. Candidates should
have strong enthusiasm for scientific research with an interest in astrophysics. They
should be highly motivated and flexible team players with the capacity to work
independently as well as be innovative, critical and have great problem-solving skills.

Period (months): 
36 months

IAA is an equal opportunity institution. Applications to this program by female scientists are particularly encouraged.

Should you need any further information or assistance concerning the application, please contact the IAA at severoochoa[at]