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  • So, this is our mobile soundscape exhibit.

  • Where do we go from here?

  • Soundwaves are just vibrations in the air.

  • Such a vast and strange environment.

  • As long as you have curiosity, you know there's life.

  • When I look out to the ocean,

  • I get that same feeling as I do when I look up into the stars.

  • Hearing my parents playing guitar,

  • that's probably my first memory.

  • As a kid I would run through the hallways

  • and I would hear them practising Mexican traditional music.

  • I went to a Catholic school, and the nun who had the Spanish class

  • always took students down to San Blas,

  • and that's where I met him.

  • And I was 15, and he was 16 years old.

  • Here we are at the plaza, La Plaza Principal.

  • Qué bonito.

  • My mum didn't know Spanish and my father didn't know English,

  • but they were able to communicate at least with music.

  • And then I came along.

  • Danny, he was a busy one.

  • Very inquisitive when he was little.

  • But his curiosity sometimes got him in trouble.

  • I was not a good student in high school. I didn't have any expectations,

  • I wasn't looking at universities or anything like that.

  • But after graduating I thought, well,

  • might as well go to community college.

  • I started at Cabrillo and I didn't know what engineering was.

  • As far as I was concerned, it was like a mechanic or something like that.

  • But I started taking some maths classes and it was different.

  • You know, there's lots of types of students.

  • The majority of the students, they want the equation

  • so that they could calculate a number.

  • And then there are students who actually try to understand.

  • That's Daniel.

  • I would always question things, I would always wonder,

  • how light works, why the waves are crashing the way they do.

  • And when you start looking at physics, and learning about

  • these soundwaves are just vibrations in the air,

  • and how we can represent those mathematically,

  • my eyes opened to a new world.

  • And that's, I think, when it clicked.

  • That I knew I wanted to do engineering.

  • Cabrillo College held a symposium,

  • where they connect students to research institutions.

  • It was really interesting what Danelle and John were doing.

  • Daniel had a musical background.

  • That's an important part of working on audio;

  • you have to have an understanding of the way sound works.

  • Light may reach a couple of hundred metres in the ocean.

  • Sound can travel thousands of miles.

  • It's not a surprise that many life forms use sound for communicating.

  • Blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth,

  • including bigger than any dinosaur.

  • They vibrate your body, they're incredible to hear.

  • The scientists at MBARI wanted to figure out a way to listen in

  • and to count how many blue whales there were.

  • So, the process that we're using

  • involves recording audio from the ocean.

  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • But that's a lot of information;

  • too much information for a human to try to look at and listen to.

  • We were able to turn those sounds into spectrograms,

  • which are just images or mappings of what sound looks like.

  • And fed those images into TensorFlow, this machine-learning tool.

  • Machine learning is getting the computer

  • to be able to pick up patterns.

  • It allows us to take a mammoth pile of data

  • and distill it into something meaningful,

  • so that we can do the analysis.

  • We want to understand how and when they're using all these calls,

  • because that can help us understand their ecology.

  • We could answer a lot of questions about the way we are affecting

  • the marine environment and how we can help conserve it.

  • Daniel was key in developing the software

  • to automatically find the calls for us.

  • Daniel started with the artistry of sound,

  • and found a meeting place with the science of sound.

  • That note is this note here.

  • Ultimately, both of those experiences, they're from the same source.

  • That is sound energy varying in frequency through time.

  • That's what makes music,

  • and that is the signal we analyse.

  • The whales are communicating something to each other.

  • I don't know what it is, but it made me think about

  • how music is a way of communicating.

  • Just like going back to my parents and how they met each other.

  • They were doing the same thing.

  • When I was a kid, I didn't think I was going to be a scientist or engineer.

  • And especially as I grew up, I didn't think I was capable of doing it.

  • School was hard for me, and it still is hard for me.

  • I don't know if I've found my passion.

  • I find myself so interested in a lot of different things.

  • But knowing that I'll never stop learning,

  • makes me feel pretty lucky.

So, this is our mobile soundscape exhibit.

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A2 US Google daniel sound communicating plaza learning

Daniel and the Sea of Sound

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    Samuel posted on 2018/06/28
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