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Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Advisor: Emilia Gomez

May 2014 – Present

  • Funded summer internship through MISTI-Spain program (MIT International Science and Technology Initiative).

  • Contributed to the MTG’s ongoing project, PHENICX (Performances as Highly Enriched Interactive Experiences), by conducting an independent research project on musical features that induce emotions in listeners.

  • Analyzed all four movements of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony and identified 30 excerpts that best exemplified musical qualities of the Geneva Emotional Musical Scale. Developed an online survey that allowed users to listen to and rate 15 excerpts. Extracted musical descriptors from 15 excerpts using MATLAB MIR Toolbox. Currently computing and visualizating statistics on correlations between findings.



MIT Laboratory for Computational Audition

Advisor: Josh McDermott, James Traer

Sep 2013 - Present

  • Currently assisting in research project studying the statistical nature of real-world sound reverberation, which entails tracking locations of volunteer subjects in day-to-day lives and analyzing the acoustic properties of these spaces.

  • Assisted data entry from over 1800+ text messages sent by seven subjects; identified locations of most acoustical interest; calculated payments for individual subjects according to a set payment scheme.

  • Collected 60+ audio measurements of locations ranging from MIT’s campus to public and private locations in the Boston and Cambridge area, by recording the reflections of a golay complementary sequence with a multitrack digital recorder.

  • Simulated noise with adjustable sparseness and signal-to-noise ratios, convolved noise with recorded data, and tested several methods of noise reduction using MATLAB. Tests led to more accurate noise reduction of collected measurements. Combined MATLAB and LaTex code to compile of pdf dictionary of all collected impulse responses and relevant data.  



MIT Wexler Language Laboratory

Advisor: Kenneth Wexler, Ayaka Sugawara

Mar 2013 - Oct 2013

  • Assisted a research project examining the role of contrastive stress in shaping Japanese-speaking children’s interpretations of ambiguous sentences that contain a universal quantifier and negation.

  • Assisted in the design of a study that tested whether 4- to 5-year-old children are sensitive to high pitch contour.

  • Coded all animated visual stimuli using Javascript, and illustrated all still visual stimuli for the study.

  • Contacted and acquired consent from 13 daycares and nurseries in Japan. Travelled to Japan during the summer, conducted the study throughout over a total of 25 visits to daycares, collected response data from over 130 children, and performed preliminary analysis of responses.



MIT Early Childhood Cognition and Learning Lab

Advisor: Laura Schulz, Kim Scott

 Dec 2012 - Feb 2013

  • Contributed to the development and launching of "LookIt", a new online system to conduct experiments with infants.

  • Collaborated with three undergraduate researchers and a graduate student to transform five protocols studying infant development into programmed studies that families can participate in via the internet.

  • Adapted previous research on speech exposure to develop an online study examining the effect of phonemic distribution exposure on the phoneme discrimination abilities of 6-month-old infants.

  • Individually coded an online program in JavaScript and HTML to present stimuli in a counterbalanced manner and user-friendly style; explained intent of study to participating parents in writing accessible to the non-scientific community.

  • Recorded and edited audio stimuli, a continuum of syllables from voiced alveolar stop [da] to its voiceless counterpart [ta], using Audacity.


Barcelona, Spain














Cambridge, MA


















Cambridge, MA /

Tokyo, Japan











Cambridge, MA

© 2014 by Erika S Trent.

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